Coach Tip of the Week: “Play Good Defense”

Okay, it’s 2020, I get it. Sometimes it feels like playing one-on-one against LeBron. But, today we RISE UP my friends, because it’s World Gratitude Day! That’s right, and I pulled my sports psych text off the shelf this morning just for you!

“Gratefulness is appreciating and being thankful for everything. Although many athletes demonstrate a sense of entitlement, we are not entitled to anything in this world. Entitlements are gifts from others; therefore, take no one or no pleasure for granted. Grateful leaders see opportunity where the entitled see problems and despair.”

According to Guy Raz, host of the podcast How I Built This on NPR, some of the best companies out there got started in uncertain times such as these. Talking about his book by the same name, Raz says, “If you can make it now, when things are difficult, you’re going to be able to handle anything the future may throw at you.” We might not hear opportunity knocking though if we’re breathing the air of despair.

Remember that line from Tin Cup, when Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) says “Define the moment… or the moment defines you.” Seems like there’s so much happening TO us right now. I keep going back to this George Sheehan quote I’ve used forever, late in races, when the going gets especially hard:

“There’s no excuse for not playing good defense.”

Just because you’re getting you ass kicked doesn’t mean you get to ease up and jog it in. There’s opportunity here, in the moment. You might feel horrible, but tell yourself, “THIS is what performing at my potential feels like.” I’m here to tell you, Einstein was right, “Full effort IS full victory.”

We might not be training and racing much this year, so playing “good defense” might just mean getting ample sleep, eating well, and maintaining some kinds of reasonable exercise routine. Remember to “take no one and no pleasure for granted.” And, of course, practice an attitude of gratitude, even when you don’t want to! Evolve rather than devolve. We’ll be back on offense before we know it. Bring it, LeBron!




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