Tag Archives: adversity

Habits of Unhappy People

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I recently read an article titled 22 Habits of Unhappy People.  While reading the article I could not help but think of being an athlete, parent and coach.  I have had the pleasure of coaching thousands of players over the years as well I have had some of the best teammates and friends a person can ask for.  Whether I was coaching or playing I always encountered some form of adversity and the people that handle adversity with poise and confidence are the ones that usually come out on top and the end result is happiness.

As a John Wooden disciple I have read and memorized many quotes and maxims from this wonderful man.  The one that always sticks out is:

Never lie

Never cheat

Never steal

Don’t Whine

Don’t complain

Don’t make excuses

 

While these six simple maxims deal with honesty and adversity using them on a daily basis has helped me with my own happiness and those around me.   The article (link below) struck a cord because almost everything relating to the article is about how to improve yourself or build stronger relationships while dealing with your own happiness.

http://www.infobarrel.com/22_Habits_of_Unhappy_People/2

 

See ya on the field Coach Lou

 

How come my child is not playing and how can I be a better teammate!

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Everyone

One of our coaches (Dave Regan) recently posted the below article as well my son Gordon posted this article for US Lacrosse yesterday.  I thought they were both important for several reasons.

Atlanta Youth Lacrosse provides a safe environment for all of our players and like anything in life especially as it relates to children we take it seriously.  While we always want to have fun and be competitive we  never want to get in the way of being safety consensus first.

The first article revolves around the world of playing time and allowing young people to face adversity with failure.  All to often we protect our kids and in some cases hurt them in the long run.  As a youth program we want to be conscience of the development of each player but we also want to teach them the rules of the game, sportsmanship, respecting coaches, officials, opponents and their parents.

The article focuses on football but it can be applied to any sport.  This quote stood out for me.

“The thing is that many kids know what they’re good at, and what they’re not good at. When it comes to football, for instance, most of the middle-schoolers or freshman already know the one or two kids who are good enough to play on the varsity team. And be the ones likely to catch the eye of a college recruiter. Their parents do not.

The rest play because they enjoy it, need the discipline, want to belong to a team, have dreamed of it since they were 5 or 6, are trying to make their parents happy, need a varsity sport on their college application, or some combination thereof.”

The rest of the article is very thought provoking and puts things in perspective.

http://www.boston.com/sports/blogs/obnoxiousbostonfan/2014/10/were_about_a_month_or.html

Gorden’s article tackles the issue of learning the rules and playing a better brand of lacrosse.  If you notice in our U9 games the official counts to 4 and if the player does not pass the ball it becomes a turnover.  This is not a real rule in lacrosse and can be confusing.  We call this game “Hippo” it does several things:

  1. It forces players to look up field and move the ball
  2. It forces players without the ball to get open for their teammates instead of just standing there
  3. It eliminates the stronger player from the game who can go “coast to coast” with the ball and just score at will.  I call these players the BLACK HOLE.  Once they get the ball their teammates never get it back.

As Gordon highlights we do these things to help the players get a better understanding of the game when it means little.  When you tie it back to Coach Dave’s article it shows the importance of what we learn on the field and how we can be better teammates and develop a way to deal with adversity.  Sports are a great way with dealing with the ups and downs of life and the earlier we learn these lessons that better we will be in the future.

http://www.uslacrosse.org/multimedia-center/blog/postid/781/4-unwritten-rule-ideas-for-improving-youth-boys-lacrosse.aspx

 

See ya on the field!

 

Coach Lou

 

Obstacles Are Not As Tough As We Think

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when-obstacles-are-not-as-tough-as-we-think

I think the featured image for this post is hysterical. My family’s three dogs, Thor, Nugget, and Zeus from left to right, believe they are stuck in the kitchen. You’ll notice a barely perceptible metal fence going from one wall to the edge of the kitchen counter. This fence weights half a pound and is about three feet tall, but to my three dogs it is more impenetrable than the Bellagio vault that the Ocean’s Eleven team broke into.

I remember being a young kid and wondering why everything was so hard. When I look back on how I reacted to tough times I see that the obstacles I had to overcome as a child were not nearly as bad as I made them out to be.

The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome before I turned eighteen was failing French junior year. I didn’t put in the work and by mid-terms I had a big fat “F” staring back at me along with a meeting with my class dean. I had zero reasons for failing French. My home life was good and I did not have too many extra curricular activities taking up my time. I just thought that French wasn’t worth studying, and I wasn’t very good at it to begin with. My French teacher and my class dean begged to differ. They informed me that if I didn’t pull up my grades I definitely wouldn’t be playing lacrosse and I would likely be repeating my junior year.

The older I get the more I believe in the motto “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome“. I knew that I had zero motivation to become fluent in French, but I had a lot of reasons to pass. With the exception of HTML code, languages do not come easily to me, but I am pretty good at memorizing. So I adapted to this obstacle that I created and started studying French vocabulary. While I did horribly on the audio portions of our weekly tests, I started acing the vocabulary recall sections. Eventually those scores averaged out and by the end of my junior year I had a “B-” in French. Even though I still cannot speak a lick of French, I managed to overcome my obstacle that I thought was insurmountable, but it turned out to be completely doable.

There is no growth without adversity. There is no advancement without failure. There is no success without obstacles.

How shallow would success be if you decided you wanted to get somewhere and then you were suddenly there without any work in between?

I received my third stripe on my white belt when I was sixteen years old after a year of training jiu-jitsu. In front of the whole class my instructor asked me how I got my third stripe. I said, “You gave it to me Sifu.” He sternly replied, “I didn’t give you anything, you earned that stripe.” That one sentence changed my perspective on everything. When I received my blue belt a year later my instructor asked me how I got my blue belt. I replied, “I earned it,” and he nodded sagely. I earned it by committing my time, my energy, my sweat, and even a little bit of my blood to pursue a goal that meant something to me.

I believe that it is our job as adults in youth sports to present young kids with adversity, with failure, and with obstacles. We give them those three challenges in a controlled setting and then slowly prod them to grow, to advance, and to earn the level of success that they want to reach. If we do that our young adults will come to see that the obstacles they will face every day of their lives are not so insurmountable. If we don’t, then our young adults will spend their lives stuck in the kitchen like my three dogs, wondering why they can’t get past what is right in front of them.

Cheers,
Gordon