Heal what hurts, fix what’s broken. Don’t carry it around. Find the best to be your true self before your true self goes missing forever. Nothing is more important than being true to self, expressing true self, and building what true self is supposed to become because the alternative is hell. This process starts with work and changing attitudes toward it.

My football team will have its 2nd indoor practice this Friday night at 9 pm, in Mississauga. The same story repeats itself every football season – conflict about practice. So much conflict and controversy about showing up at practice. What is supposed to be an escape from reality becomes reality. When an escape from reality becomes reality, there’s a big problem. The cause of the conflict is the same cause that plagues poisoned workplaces – hatred of work.

Hatred of work, physically and intellectually, is the cause of all workplace hell. Business and sports included. Those who love work show up and concentrate on work. Those who hate work don’t show up, physically or mentally. The dynamics of hatred toward work are psychologically complex. One of the main causes is low-interest rate. The disinterested make workplaces hell for the interested. Football is supposed to be interesting, especially for the disinterested who are looking for something else to fill the void of regular real-life. But its isn;t becuase football is made-up of the 90-10 Rule – 90% is training, 10% is playing. Football is another word for extreme fitness. Football is a form of working out. The same rule applies to business and any profession – 90% is training, 10% is playing. That’s the key to winning. When that rule gets reversed, losing is guaranteed. 10% training, 90% playing leads to abject failure. Always. No exceptions.

The biggest leadership challenge as a coach, business owner, manager, or parent is enforcing the right order of the 90-10 Rule and making sure it doesn’t get reversed. The right order of the 90-10 Rule is the secret to actualizing full potential. The wrong order wastes potential. Throws it in the junk.
A long time ago, I learned that hate is a difficult emotion to change. Those who hate work don’t change overnight. The worst leadership move is lowering the bar to accommodate work-haters. It’s a disservice to the team and to the work-hater because the problem only gets worse. It’s not a solution, it’s an accelerant. I believe you can’t force anyone to love anything but I believe that you can help change minds…under the right conditions. Changing hatred of work to love of work is a work-in-progress but it takes the right conditions. However, there’s a time clock. Just like in football, there a time limit to make a call. You can’t keep delaying the call.

There’s nothing more draining than trying to convince work-haters to love work. It sucks the life out of you. The energy expended in trying to change hatred of work to love of work is not a labour of love. It’s hell. The reason is that change has to come from within. I still fall in the trap of making nonsensical post-practice angry speeches about the uncommitted who miss practices. Life is far too short for angry practice speeches, posting angry comments on Facebook, etc. I learned a long time ago that the best practice is: (i) to coach those who show up to practice (ii) not worry or even dignify those who don’t show up to practice. The best practice is where the true workers show up. The worst practice is getting caught up in the anger of missed practice. Those who miss practice will someday miss practice – they will miss it with all their hearts when their playing career is over. Missed practice makes you miss practice. You miss something like hell when its gone.

Peace.

Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., NCCP Level 3
owner – X Fitness Inc.
head coach – Oakville Longhorns football team
author – Soul of a Lifter