30 second time outs

Monday, June 09, 2008


Recently, on the Coaching Hoops Email Group a bunch of coaches were asked, "What are some times in your life where you had to sacrifice things for the better of your career? Or when did you have to put things on a higher priority list then you'd like? I think that another question to ask might be "... are some times in your life where you had to sacrifice your career for the betterment of your life?" As coaches we make choices as to what level we want to coach, and many of us enter the profession with the desire to coach at the highest level possible. As those opportunities are presented to us it becomes time to decide what is really important to us and what we are willing to do - and how we are willing to live to have "a career".

Coaches spend a lot of time developing a Coaching Philosophy, but do we spend time regarding our Career Philosophy? We have Team Goals, but do we have Daily Life Goals? We work really hard at creating a winning Team Culture, but what about our Family Culture. And we certainly do things to establish our Programs Priorities with signs and posters in the locker room, but do we surround ourselves with the same kind of reminders of what OUR priorities are?.

On top of the computer armoire in my office is a display of memorabilia that began to develop, paying "homage" to some career successes. I began to reflect on what was really important, and the display took on a different life. I began with a poster against the wall courtesy of Jostens, our championship ring provider, that shows our ring design and includes a celebration photo from the floor of the Anaheim Pond.

We like to frequent some of the great Flea Markets in Southern California, such as the one at the Rose Bowl, and I came across a wonderful brass clock which had a "Scale of Justice" that I had to have, and I set it up there in front of the poster. Then it occurred to me that the weighted scale signified the weighing of importance - or balancing priorities. It is here that analyzing the positioning of my memorabilia reminds me daily of my priorities.

Here is a photo of the display, that I'll explain leter. You can click on the thumbnail photos to view larger copies .

On the right scale is a basketball and a photo of cutting down the nets... the pinnacle of a season. Next to that scale is a gift mug with the phrase "#1 Coach", and a salvaged trophy figurine from an old award.

So often, and so many seasons we have that vision, that goal, to cut down the nets... but at what cost? A great quote that I like is, “Success is only another form of failure if we forget what our priorities should be.”

On the left scale is a piece of driftwood found on a special family camping trip one August (the only month that some coaches allowed them selves to have off) and a photo of my four children. In front of the photo is a cross made of nails and a gift keychain that says "#1 Dad". Notice the juxtaposition? Next to the scale is a photo of my wife that sits atop three books, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Awaken the Giant Within, and 7 Habits of Highly effective People.

Guess which scale sits lower, reminding me daily what needs to carry more weight in my life? Basketball, awards, championships, and being the "#1 Coach"...or faith, family, quality time, and being a "#1 Dad"?

Sitting in front of the scale is an old set of glasses (before RK - radial keratotomy) to remind me to "see" what is important, and behind it a preseason photo of that tuxedoed championship team gazing into the distance with a "vision" of where we wanted to go. Wrapped around the back of the scale is a three panel Family Circus cartoon where Billy asks Dad to " play some one-on-one". When Bill says no because he's busy, Billy says , "That's OK ... I'll just play one-on-NONE". Then in the final frame Bill and Billy are seen shooting hoops in the dark. There have been plenty of times when I've had some work to do, that I can be found in the driveway shooting hoops with my son... because I'm reminded daily of what I believe is important.

“The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Stephen R. Covey

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great thoughts Coach, and so True!

Lok's Ledger