Often in life, we dream of better things. There must be a better way. We are envious of other teams, companies, people for their successes and the resources we perceive them to have. We spend too much time thinking about everything that is better and neglect what we have. As a coach, this becomes a deadly trap.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Teddy Roosevelt
It is our responsibility as a coach, as a leader, to make the best out of our situation regardless of the circumstances. There will always be obstacles in the way. There will always be someone who appears to have more and who appears to have it easier. Roosevelt reminds us that there should be no excuses. In any situation, a team will face adversity, and at that moment, they can fight for their goals, or they can give up. A key player may be injured. The referees are against you. Luck isn’t on your side. Your bus may not be as nice. You may have inferior facilities. You may be out-manned. You can’t control what you can’t control. However, you can compete. You can find a way.
I talk to coaches who evaluate athletic talent on a daily basis, and all too often when we discuss players, the topic of conversation turns into a conversation about the player’s weakness. We talk about what they don’t do well enough, and we forget about what makes them a strong player. We can’t spend our time focusing on the reason why we don’t have enough to be successful. It is a matter of perspective, and a positive approach is going to get you much further. You will not always have the most talented team in the league, but that is what makes coaching rewarding. Earning success by pushing a group to achieve more than expected should be the goal for every leader.
We can find many reasons to accept failure, but a true competitor will make the best of the situation at hand. A leader will make the best use of the resources he does have and not focus on the things that are missing. It is a “glass half full” approach to leadership, and this approach will guide your team towards their best every day. The path to success is achieving in spite of the obstacles. It is finding a way to make it work because in life, folding your hand is not an option. You must play with the cards you are dealt, and you must do your best to make it work for you. We are striving to get the most out of our team and our players, and if we can accomplish this, then we have been successful.