We are all a work in progress. It’s easy to forget that . It’s easy at any moment and especially as we grow and mature to fall into the trap of seeing ourselves or the people we coach as finished products. We live in a world dominated by judgement, evaluation and measurement and that’s certainly one element of sports – keeping score, recording stats, checking the standings.
Somewhere in all that measurement though it’s easy to lose sight of a couple of things. First, much of it is subjective opinion,hardly fact at all and second, all of it (even the hard data) is just a snapshot of what’s happening and where we are in a given moment.
The measurements we do take are hardly complete – weight lifted, times run, goals scored or allowed. They’re only one visible point on the tip of a much bigger iceberg of almost infinite variables. We only measure what we see and we only see what we’re looking at or for.
That doesn’t mean they don’t have value. They give us information about where we are at any given point. And, knowing where we are is important information in deciding where to go, plotting our next steps. Knowing the score matters in a game. It’s just important to remember that those measurements, whether it’s the time you ran, the team you made or how you played or practiced today, are neither complete nor final. It’s more accurate and more practical to think of them as points on the journey.
When we start to think of them as final or complete the journey is over, growth and development stop. We make the measurement the biggest thing – bigger than ourselves or the person we’re coaching.
Most of the college players I work with over the summer, in any sport, will tell you they didn’t really begin to become the player they are now until after high school. The evaluations, data and measurement they got along the way were helpful but the most important thing was staying on the journey. Almost none of them could have predicted where they would be now when they were in high school.
So, if you’re a player pay attention to those measurements, there’s information there you can use but, remember its’ just that – information. The team you made or didn’t make, the position your coach has you playing, the times you ran in training or the race – notice them and learn and then keep moving ahead. Remember they are neither final nor complete. That goes for the one’s you like as well as the one’s you don’t. The journey stops when we think we’ve “made it” too.
As coaches we need to remember we’re not just here to accomplish results. Our first job is to increase the capacity of our players to do even more and reach their full potential.
We’re all a work in progress. Enjoy the journey. Who know’s what’s in store?