Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Compound Interest of Football

Early morning, a little James Taylor crooning in the background and that oh so sweet morning cup of coffee. Dang, if life were a pond, there wouldn't be a ripple on it.

Opportunity season is really picking up its stride these days. Round these parts, we are half way through our second nine week "development" phase in the weight room (aka Iron-Den) with both the JV's and the Varsity. Am really, really impressed with the work-ethic in there. These young people have so much on their plates every day and they really bring it in the weight room and support each other through and through. I really admire their focus, intensity and tenacity! We are also working hard on getting our g. 4-7's rolling with an 8 man spring league in March and April. Between us and our gridiron brothers up the road in the green and white, we are looking to have 120 hopefulls out banging round in the mud having the time of their lives. Registration at the HS level, a big fundraiser and getting another great group of parent boosters together is also in the offing over the next two weeks. Beyond that it is camps and 7's. Sooo many rewarding and ultimately helpful opportunities.

Targeted, focused effort is so much better than ad-hoc and inconsistent participation. In so many areas of the program, it again and again is like the compound interest of football. If you are going the extra-mile, doing things right and spending time and effort even marginally better than you otherwise would, it all ads up. A daily positive difference may seem incremental or hardly noticeable, but when you take that difference and add it up day-after-day, week-after- week, month-after-month during Opportunity Season, there it is on the first snap of the season lined up next to you. There are no lies and there is no faking who has made a habit of making the extra targeted effort a part of their lives and program.

One of the great reads about competition in all times and literature was penned by Coach Frosty Westering of Pacific Lutheren University in a book called Making The Big Time Where You Are. He used the analogy of a three sided coin. One side is Being The Best; that side is the least important side as you really have no direct control over it...your opponent has a say and it is an inconsistent and wildly emotional roller coaster that you can influence but never control. The second side is Being Your Best; this side is hugely rewarding and you have all the control in the world over it. The ride here is emotionally stable and you can set and achieve the bar continuously while gaining self-confidence all the time. The third side however, is the edge of the coin, "The Winning Edge" and it is called Giving It Your Best Shot; this is to say, that if you goal set Specifically, Measurably, Attainably, Reviseable and Timely... SMART you can over time find the shortest and most efficient road to your goals and self/organizational improvement.

Frosty used the analogy of Baseball's .333 hitter. He rightly said that these guys were at the top of the major league game. The .233 hitter struggles to stay in the Majors. What is the difference between them? Well, Mr. .333 is getting one more base hit than his .233 counterpart every ten times at bat. It doesn't seem like much but when you get a team of fellows with that extra 1 base hit per 10 there is a hec of a lot more guys on base and a hec of a lot more scoring.

Coming back to Football: If in small ways not only the athletes, but the coaches and the entire structure of the program is seeking to make even incremental, but consistent positive improvements across the roster and table of organization, then the program as far as I can tell is giving it it's "Best Shot". The program has the "Winning Edge" on its side.

Frosty, wherever you are (heaven I am sure)....thanks! Some advice to anyone who is interested, go buy his book. A great personal step towards "giving it your best shot!"

All the best gang!

Time for another cup of Joe.

1 comment:

coacher said...


i remember your first year team (i believe) coming to pinetree for an exhibition game back in '98... i then heard about you guys again reading a province paper on the 2001 subway bowl- i was impressed, to say the very least... but what is truly impressive is the battles you go thru with such a small school- your players, school and community is fortunate to have someone such as yourself leading the football program there... very inspiring for coaches at other small schools...