I have been fortunate to be doing what I love, teaching and coaching, for over 30 years. During that time there is very little that I would want to change. One of the things that I would try to do differently is to enjoy the wins more, and allow my players and coaches to enjoy them as well.
Winning is hard, at any level. If you win or are winning, you are doing something correctly… it is a very good thing… against ANY opponent. It is hard to do, and hard to do consistently. Winning is a good thing. I was struck by how many coach’s quotes after the first week of the college and NFL season said, in one way or another, “winning in this league is hard”.
We all know the “24 hour rule”…. which is enjoy the win for the next 24 hours then on to the next game… I used it myself with my players and coaches. I think if you actually use the “24 hour rule”… it is probably appropriate and usually a good thing. I know though, that often immediately after a win the focus became the next opponent. Discussions with coaches and players … normally right after the game… revolved around “who’s next?”
So, although the “Rule” was to take 24 hours to enjoy the win, I know typically my head was immediately spinning thinking about the next game… schemes, plans, etc. If my thoughts, actions, and discussion were already on the next week, I know that forced my assistants to jump ahead as well. If all the staff was already planning on the next game, those thoughts cannot help but rub off on the players. So, although we said “Enjoy the win for the next 24 hours”, our actions said something completely different.
One of the most recent examples of my “rule breaking” was in 2011. We had just won our District Championship… only the second in the history of the school…. by defeating a very good football team… one, which we had never beaten. I enjoyed the win for about the length of time it took the kids to dump the cooler on me. After that, we (I) immediately became serious, telling the players what the weeks schedule would look like, and extolling them as to the importance of practicing well during the week. As coaches, we were already discussing film exchange, grading, breakdown plan, practice schedule and game plan…. walking off the field and during the bus ride home.
When Monday came around at school, all everyone was focusing on was our next game… no celebration, special announcement, or assembly. It was business as usual… by my specific instructions. In retrospect I took much of the joy out of that win for our players, coaches and school.
I do not know what the happy medium is… nor do I have the answer to the conundrum…. Taking time to sufficiently enjoy the wins, but adequately preparing mentally for your next contest.
Winning is hard and a measure of success…. at any level and against any opponent…. Allow time to enjoy some fruits of your labor.
Thanks again to PrepsKC for running this column both online and in their weekly print magazine. If you get a chance to go and visit their site and “Like” this post, I would appreciate it!
You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you.. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org