The more you love it, the tougher it is to leave it.
Athletics has an extremely early retirement age. A playing career is a fraction of an athlete’s life. The majority retire right after high school. Early retirement is hard to take. One of the top five questions I’ve been asked during 40 seasons of coaching is, “How do I get a scholarship?” One of the beauties of coaching football is working with dreamers, those who want to beat the odds and get to the next level, to extend playing careers past high school because it’s never easy to give up what you love. But the more you love it, the more you will fight for it.
Athletic dreams are easy to make but they are easy to break unless you’re willing to go through a #process that not everyone has the will or capacity to endure. #TheProcess demands a lot from you and takes almost everything out of you. Without self-belief, the reality of #TheProcess will flatten you and your dreams.
My biggest challenge as a coach and college teacher has been to convince adolescent students and athletes to believe in big dreams. Achieving ‘belief buy-in’ is my first objective because a ‘belief mindset’ starts a mind-body-soul high-performance chain reaction. The ‘belief mindset’ is non-negotiable because potential is at stake. During four decades of coaching and teaching, I have been blessed to have eye-witnessed extreme actualization of potential in students and athletes but I have witnessed just as much wasted potential. There is nothing worse than adolescent waste of potential because burying God-given gifts and talents is not an option for any of us. We are all blessed with God-given gifts and talents. If you waste them, it will hurt. The feeling of underachieving is hell. It always leads to inner conflict that, left unresolved, will turn to psychological and emotional turmoil.
#TheProcess of actualizing potential starts at the top with the right mindset. The leading cause of adolescent wasted potential is disbelief – lack of belief in self, in dreams, in the present, and in the future. Achieving ‘belief buy-in’ doesn’t just happen. Nothing just happens. Nothing happens automatically or accidentally or overnight or randomly. Potential is actualized during a gradual #process, a long #process that requires high-performance coaching and teaching.
Convincing adolescents to believe takes special leadership. The most ignored leadership role is the most important leadership role – parenting, teaching, and coaching adolescents. No leadership role is more challenging and demanding. The reason is the maturation process. Every process has challenges and demands but the maturation process from adolescent to adulthood is the toughest process of all.
Case studies give clues into the coaching and teaching #process needed to develop adolescent potential. The journey of Carlton Linton is a case study that teaches insights in the #process of developing the potential in adolescents. His journey involves crossing paths with the right people and the right time. Nothing just happened. Paths were crossed for a reason. When paths are crossed, an impact is always made, good or bad, to a small degree or a large degree. #TheProcess guarantees that you will experience some degree of culture shock. The difference between winning and losing, between success and failure is the effect that culture shock has on you and your response to it.
Dreams are always tough to make happen but it’s tougher when you’re not the prototype. When you don’t fit next-level specifications of your position, it’s easy to kill your dream when you’re rejected over and over because of stereotyping. When you don’t fit the image of a certain position, you have to decide how far you will go, literally and figuratively. Carlton Linton decided to go far. He decided to travel a long distance where he experienced one Culture Shock after another. How far you are willing to go determines whether you go as far as you can.
Carlton Linton was a recent guest on Blunt Talk Podcast. The episode is called: #TheProcess – Culture Shock because
Carlton explains the culture shock he experienced during his #process of learning to believe and actualizing his potential. The episode can be downloaded for free at: www.BluntTalk.Libsyn.com
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach – Niagara X-Men Football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Blogs – www.GinoArcaro.com and www.SWATFootball.ca