One of the many things I love about coaching football is the perfect workplace. Football seems like a game but it isnâ€™t. Itâ€™s a high-risk life-and-death activity where student-athletes can die or suffer catastrophic injury physically or psychologically. Nothing is perfect but the football workplace is perfect in comparison to traditional workplaces. The characteristics of a perfect workplace include but are not limited to the following:
- The team spills their guts every day, every play. Practice or game-day, no one dogs it. Full-out full-time. Laziness is not an option. Thereâ€™s zero tolerance for lethargy and apathy. Players expect the best from themselves and their teammates in the weight room, during practice, and during the entire game.
- No toxic attitudes. There are no miserable football players. Football players love what they do. They truly love work and working out with a passion. Love is not created equal. You can talk about it or you can show it. Football players show it every moment of training, not just game-day. Miserable people spread misery like an infectious disease.
- Conflict-free. The biggest difference between conventional workplaces and football workplaces is the absence of unresolved conflict on a football team, the kind that attacks a team from within, consuming the team, eating it up from the inside out. Thereâ€™s no place on a football team for unresolved conflict. You work out your differences or you leave. Nothing in between.
- Lifting. Every moment I have coached football has been a lifting experience, a spiritual experience whether it was in the weight room in the off-season or the practice field during pre-season or during the ultimate â€“ the championship game.
- Miracle comebacks. I have been blessed to have witnessed more miracle comebacks in football that I ever have in my professional workplaces. No comparison. Athletes donâ€™t quit. They donâ€™t give in when they get knocked down. They donâ€™t run away from challenges. They fight back from the worst adversities, no matter how far behind they fall.
- Self-actualization. The most blessed memories that the football workplaces produce are the David versus Goliath underdog stories. During 40 seasons as a volunteer, unpaid football coach, I witnessed more underdogs build themselves from scratch with a year-round blue-collar work ethic that has to be experienced to be believed. The quantity and quality of work that athletes invest lifts my soul.
- Consistent high-performance and high character. I have never experienced the consistency of high-performance that I have witnessed in my football workplaces in any of my professional workplaces. Not even close. I have witnessed a direct relationship between consistent high-performance and high character. One builds the other and vice-versa.
I started two businesses from scratch. My business goal is to replicate the same lifting football workplace in my businesses. Donâ€™t settle for mediocrity. Donâ€™t settle for last place. There are few things worse than a toxic workplace saturated with miserable people who spread only one thing â€“ misery. I have been blessed to have seen the perfect workplace, repeated every season for 40 seasons. The perfect workplace doesnâ€™t just happen. Nothing just happens. Nothing happens by accident, randomly, coincidentally, or overnight. The perfect workplace is a place of love, where everyone truly loves what they do no matter how tough it gets.
I donâ€™t have lifting stories to tell you about my professional workplaces but I have countless lifting stories from my football workplaces. One is the true story of Jeff Benoit who I coached at my first high school head coaching job in the 1980â€™s. Jeff was a ground-breaker, on and off the field. He had to fight a number of stereotypes to get to reach university football and pro football. Jeff built himself up from scratch into a ground-breaking athlete who paved the way for others. Please listen to Jeff explain his journey on the recent episode of Blunt Talk Podcast at: www.BluntTalk.Libsyn.com
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Natâ€™l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach â€“ Niagara X-Men Football
Owner â€“ X Fitness Inc.
Blogs – www.GinoArcaro.com and www.SWATFootball.ca