The following is a passage written by Steve Goodier and passed on to me via Coach Creighton Burns. When I read it, I thought of players and assistant coaches. Players must not only accept the roles but take great pride in being the absolutely best at what their coaches are asking them to do. If the coach is asking you to be primarily a screener -- work to be the best screener on your team, your conference. If the coach is expecting you to be a defensive stopper -- take great pride in working and developing so that you can be the best stopper in the history of your program.
If you are an assistant coach, you too will have a role. If the coach is asking you to be responsible for the team managers, than create an organization of managers that will be second to none. Maybe you have to represent your head coach in marketing meetings. If that's the case, take great notes, do your homework so you can contribute in those meetings. Become an expert in the areas that your coach has assigned to you. Make a different in your program no matter what your head coach has assigned you to do.
Hope you enjoy this passage:
Pablo Picasso, the great Spanish painter and sculptor, once said this about his ability: 'My mother said to me, if you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as Pope. Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.' No lack of confidence here!
But he would have agreed with Abraham Lincoln. 'Whatever you are,' said Lincoln, 'be a good one.' He demonstrated the wisdom of that advice with his own life. And in this present age, which often seems to be contented with mediocrity, his words summon a yearning for improvement and growth.
I think it helps to remember that excellence is not a place at which we arrive so much as a way of traveling. To do and be our best is a habit among those who hear and understand Lincoln's admonition. Viennese-born composer Frederick Loewe, whom we remember from his musical scores that include - My Fair Lady, Gigi and Camelot, was not always famous.
He studied piano with the great masters of Europe and achieved huge success as a musician and composer in his early years. But when he immigrated to the United States, he failed as a piano virtuoso. For a while he tried other types of work including prospecting for gold and boxing. But he never gave up his dream and continued to play piano and write music.
During those lean years, he could not always afford to make payments on his piano. One day, bent over the keyboard, he heard nothing but the music that he played with such rare inspiration. When he finished and looked up, he was startled to find that he had an audience - three moving men who were seated on the floor.
They said nothing and made no movement toward the piano. Instead, they dug into their pockets, pooled together enough money for the payment, placed it on the piano and walked out, empty handed. Moved by the beauty of his music, these men recognized excellence and responded to it.
Whatever you are, be a good one. If what you do is worth doing, if you believe that who you are is of value, then you can't afford to be content with mediocrity. When you choose the path of excellence through this life, you will bring to it your best and receive the best it can offer in return. And you will know what it is to be satisfied.