Last week, I took the opportunity to go on vacation and try to recharge prior to the new school year starting. I traveled out West and into some of the Mountain destinations. One of the stops being Steamboat Springs, CO in the Rocky Mountains. While spending time in the downtown area I happened to
I read a story one time about a guy who was driving down a road and noticed a wood carver actually carving a bear out of a tree trunk. The guy being inquisitive, like I would be, pulled the car over and stopped to visit with the wood carver. He, admiring the bear that was being created from the trunk, asked the man "how do you do this . . . I mean you have a huge block of wood and start sawing and chipping away and you end up with this perfect image of a bear"? The man without even looking up at the passer by simply stated "well it's pretty simple, you just carve away what doesn't belong to the bear" and then he kept on working.
When I saw this carved bear this past week it reminded me of that story. It's a story we can all learn a lesson from. So often in life everything gets so cluttered that we forget to focus on what is really important . . . we get easily sidetracked and it takes away from the goals we are trying to achieve. I for one am guilty of walking into my office in the morning with a list of tasks to accomplish and I leave at the end of the day exhausted because I've been working all day but yet I look at my task list and none of them have been marked off.
As we move into a new season I am extremely excited about the team that has been assembled. I feel like the pieces are in place for us to have a successful year. But, one of the challenges with this team and as with any team in the country is can we "carve away what doesn't belong to the bear". Can we as a team recognize our goals, focus on those goals and not get distracted by anything outside of those goals. Our team needs to carve away and remove anything that gets in the way us of winning a Sun Belt Championship, having a successful year in the classroom and staying active and being a positive member within our community. Anything that gets in the way of those three goals needs to be carved away.
This is easier said than done because there are so many distractions. Families can get in the way, friends will try to become distractions and fans' opinions can create doubt or chemistry issues. Their own bodies can take away from the goals if they don't take care of themselves by eating properly, getting enough rest or using the training resources available to stay healthy. Time management will get in the way of succeeding academically . . . there are enough resources here that if used properly all of our athletes can be successful but it takes time and it takes commitment. Our program is committed to being involved in the community. But, I realize that this once again takes commitment and it takes the right state of mind to be a positive member of the community and for us not to become a negative.
Our job as coaches is to help funnel these athletes in the direction of these goals. To, in a way, try to protect them from anything that can take away from these goals. I honestly feel like the team is in place for us to meet these three goals but there are a lot of teams that are in place to meet these goals. The difference will be which one is able to "carve away what doesn't belong to the bear".