Seeds and Controllables

by Ryan Krzykowski

We say it all the time — “control the controllables”.  It’s good advice, as there are plenty of things we have no control over.  The weather, officiating, opponents’ preparation, and more, fall out of our control.  And I’ve heard so many coaches over the years talk about the two things over which we have control: attitude and effort.  The idea is to stop worrying about the things we can’t control, and focus on having a great attitude and giving great effort.  Not sure anyone would argue with that — it sounds like a perfect formula for success. 

But does anyone show up to a practice or game planning to have a bad attitude or give a poor effort?  Probably not very often.  So where do the bad attitudes and poor efforts come from and how do we minimize their frequency?  I’ve been thinking about this one quite a bit lately, and I’m convinced that while talking about attitude and effort is helpful, to really dig into attitude/effort we need to go beneath the surface.  If attitude/effort are the visible result, the part of the tree above the ground so to speak, what are the seeds they grow out of?  What are the core values that are embedded into who we are, under the surface, that manifest as the behaviors we display for all to see?  That’s what I’ve been talking to students/athletes about over the past month — challenging and encouraging them to put thought into who they want to be.  What are their core values?  Why did they choose those?  And how can they live into those values, especially when they don’t feel like it?  Is that being a phony…doing something or making a certain decision when we don’t feel like it?  I remember hearing a wise friend say there’s nothing more authentic than deciding who we are, something we have control over, and living out the decision we’ve made about who we want to be, even when we don’t want to.  That’s powerful.  That’s real.

Let’s help young people plant seeds — help them establish core values.

Let’s Coach With Purpose…