A dream is not enough. Neither is a goal. Wanting something is never enough. Something else is needed to push past limits that hold you back. Something else is needed to drive you to heights that you never thought you could reach.
Twenty years ago, Annel Carballo tried out for the high school football team I was coaching. He was the smallest player on the team. He invested a level of work every day that had to be seen to be believed. I started him at fullback. Several people questioned my decision. He was too small, they said. He didn’t fit the stereotypical fullback.
Annel Carballo spilled his guts for his team for three years. He never quit during high-intensity training despite not being naturally gifted. He was training for football but he was also training for something else. There is no way of predicting the future with certainty. I had no idea what else Annel Carballo was preparing for. Years later, it became obvious. He had been training to serve and protect his country, just like he trained to serve and protect his high school football team.
Years later, I started questioning myself – why I had coached for free, the meaning of coaching, and my future. I questioned why student-athletes today were mired in apathy. Then my cell phone buzzed.
“Thank You Mr. Arcaro. Yes, those practices in the rain and in the summer heat sure contributed greatly to my son’s success in the military. HE NEVER QUITS!!! God bless you as you change lives. I am so thankful that you both crossed paths. The process is ongoing…Thanking God every day.”
I have never met Annel’s mother in person but we crossed paths at a time when I questioned what I was doing and why. It was easy for me to see “meaning” on the surface. It wasn’t easy for me to see the deeper meaning. Then I woke up. There was more to football practice than what was on the field. I had to look beyond the game. Nothing just happens. There are no coincidences, just connections. I learned that lesson while investigating crime as a cop between 1975-1990. I wrote it in a criminal investigation textbook in 1993. But Mrs. Carballo showed me how it applies to career development, leadership, business, and every aspect of relationship-building needed to build a team that will push through limits instead of letting limits crush them.
I’ve been blessed with several “dream” professions but none have been more rewarding than the volunteer coaching of student-athletes. The experience of coaching student-athletes from scratch and bringing out potential that may otherwise have been wasted has to be lived to be believed. The #Process is long and painful. Lifting a student-athlete beyond pre-conceived limits is brutally hard work. It can drain your mind, body, and soul but the reward is worth it. The intrinsic reward of lifting others to where they need to go to become who they are supposed to become fills you up with purpose and meaning that raises your level of consciousness. Coaching and lifting student-athletes is a reward that exceeds any material possession. My paying professions have been extremely rewarding but not at the same level of volunteer coaching.
The beauty of coaching is witnessing a level of work, passion, and commitment by student-athletes that transcends conventional effort. The difference between a fulfilled life and empty life is who and what you serve and protect. Your either serve only yourself and only protect your own assets or you serve and protect others. The greatest reward is not material possessions. The greatest reward is serving and protecting others, lifting others. Annel Carballo, was a guest on Blunt Talk Podcast recently. He is an X-Player who shares his 10-year career in the military, explaining #TheProcess he endured including his athletic career, to build mind, body, and soul to help him survive his military duties and assignments.
Annel Carballo didn’t turn pro in football but he turned pro in real-life, choosing a career to serve and protect.
The next time you are subjected to incessant complaining about being stressed out at work, here’s a remedy. Have them listen to my podcast and hear about real workplace stress. Listen to what Annel Carballo does for a living. His interview is an inspirational real-life case study of a student-athlete’s career and military career. There are enough stories of the rich and famous but not enough of those at the grassroots level you’ve never heard of who are bringing real change to the world. The link to the Blunt Talk #Podcast is: http://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