30 second time outs

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pressure is a privilege

This past weekend Maria Sharapova won her first Australian Open Tennis Championship. On Saturday morning before the final Sharapova received a text message from one of the all-time greats of the women's game, Billie Jean King. The message read,

"Champions take chances. Pressure is a privilege".

This quote really speaks to the importance of playing without the fear of making mistakes and emphasizes the true value of the first goal of a Double-Goal Coach, as defined by Positive Coaching Alliance. A Double-Goal Coach is one who teaches his team to strive to win, but realizes that learning life-lessons is a far more important goal.

The pressure of winning and doing your best, whether it is self-imposed or from outside sources, is what provides the necessary slow-simmer of heat that makes the second goal of learning life lessons possible to their greatest extent. If we are outside shooting baskets, playing catch, or rallying in tennis it's all about fun and there might not be much "learning" going on. However, as soon as we introduce uniforms or a scoreboard all kinds of potential lessons are set on the table. Positive character traits like desire, persistence, resilience, and a sense of honesty or fair-play are tested and developed.

Sports doesn't only build character... it reveals it!

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