One of the many things I love about coaching football is the perfect workplace. Football seems like a game but it isn’t. It’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. There’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. There’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 – 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 don’t quit. They don’t give in when they get knocked down. They don’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. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t settle for last place. There are few things worse than a toxic workplace saturated with miserable people who spread only one thing – misery. I have been blessed to have seen the perfect workplace, repeated every season for 40 seasons. The perfect workplace doesn’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 don’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 1980’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 (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach – Niagara X-Men Football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Blogs – www.GinoArcaro.com and www.SWATFootball.ca