For quite a few years now, I have established and taught team themes with my teams. Whether it be our team’s core covenants, John Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success,” or just random life lessons that I believe are important to discuss with our kids, we have had some kind of focus each week throughout the season. This week I am going to talk about five of the themes I have used, and next week I will pick five more to discuss. All ten of these themes make up ten sections of my gift book for graduating seniors called Inspiration for the Graduate. The book covers each theme in more detail, and there are many more quotes to support the themes.
No matter where you go or what you do in life, you must have a strong work ethic. Whether you are continuing your education, you are going into the military, or you are joining the work force, the ability to work hard is going to be crucial to your success. Athletes are expected to give their best effort every day to help their team have its best chance at success.
Most often when we think of work ethic, we think of some physical labor. But along with the physical part of having a strong work ethic comes focus, initiative, and attention to detail. When you develop strong work habits, you can accomplish so much more in life, both individually and as a team.
“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” Vince Lombardi – Professional Football Coach
Discipline is having a focused attention and effort. It is doing what needs to be done, doing it the proper way to accomplish the task at hand, and doing it that way every time one is working to accomplish that task. Sometimes, though, there is no task – there is just living your life. When speaking of discipline in this situation, one has to have the discipline to live one’s life as she should in order to be all that she can be.
Discipline is a choice. One who has discipline has chosen to do all that is necessary to succeed, whatever that entails. The disciplined worker shows up at the job site on time, knows what needs to be done and does it without being told or reminded, and sees the job through until its completion. Discipline carries people and it carries teams to heights unattainable without it.
“Discipline helps you finish a job, and finishing is what separates excellent work from average work. Discipline yourself, so no one else has to.” Pat Summitt – Women’s College Basketball Coach
Most of us think of poise as controlling one’s emotions while maintaining a calm demeanor and a self-assured dignity. The person with poise can maintain a sense of composure when things are not going well or not going as planned.
While this ability is extremely helpful for individuals to be able to achieve their goals, it is crucial for success in any team or group setting. When teammates see others reacting to stressful situations with poise, it gives the rest of the team the confidence it needs to deal with the situation. Conversely, when teammates see one another displaying anger, temper, or frustration, it ratchets up everyone’s anxiety. Be a person who shows poise in the midst of chaos. Be the face your team needs to see.
“Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis.” C.J. Redwine – Author
Enthusiasm is a critical component of anyone involved in any worthwhile endeavor, and it is critical to success for someone to possess enthusiasm for whatever they are involved in. From school to sports to work, those with enthusiasm bring more to the experience, both for themselves and for others. Enthusiasm is catching. When people on a team or in any group see and hear others displaying enthusiasm, it spreads to all involved.
When people choose to be enthusiastic, they up their own output, and they help spread excitement to others in the organization. Put your heart and soul into all you do and let it show to the world around you. You, and the people who you touch in your life, will be glad you did.
“The successful man has enthusiasm. Good work is never done in cold blood; heat is needed to forge anything. Every great achievement is the story of a flaming heart.” Harry Truman – President of the United States
Confidence comes from a few different sources. It takes preparation and success to have confidence become a part of one’s character. The truly confident person is prepared. He realizes that any future success is only going to occur by preparing properly for the chance to create the outcome he seeks. He realizes that, while hope and prayer have their merits, the only sure-fire way to create the best chance at success is to prepare for it. The truly confident person carries himself with a quiet, peaceful inner confidence that says, “I have prepared well for this, so I know that I can perform well.”
The other quality that breeds confidence is success. Those who have experienced success before generally feel confident that they can achieve it again. Interestingly, these people’s confidence may carry over into other areas of their lives where they have not had success before, but because they understand the importance of preparation for success in one realm, they can see its value in all of the realms of their lives. But again, it all comes back to preparation. The prepared person is a confident person.
“Confidence comes from being prepared.” John Wooden – College Basketball Coach
This is just a small sampling of the kinds of themes you can use with your teams and just a glimpse of some of the ideas you can talk about with your teams when discussing these themes. The next post will cover another five themes that you may want to consider discussing with your teams.
Each of these themes is discussed in my gift book for graduates, Inspiration for the Graduate. There are also many more quotes in support of each of the ten team themes covered in the book. Also, the first page is set up for you to write your own personal message to the graduate. The cost of the book is $7.95 plus shipping, or you can get a 10-Pack Bundle for just $70.00 plus shipping. To order Inspiration for the Graduate or to download a free PDF of the Introduction and First Chapter of the book, just click here.
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