Guest Column: Can't Cheat the Process

How many times has someone told you they want to be "the best?" They want to be the next state champion, national qualifier or better yet...a national record holder. I am sure at some point in your life you have been on the receiving end of this type of conversation. As a coach, I hear this far too often and, quite frankly, I am tired of the conversation. Before you get your tights in a bunch and start to question what kind of coach I am and why would I say such a thing, allow me to explain.

I am tired of these types of conversations because, more times than not, that kid with the lofty goals is the same kid you must continuously stay on about putting in the necessary work to achieve said goals. We all know the usual suspects - the ones with the elaborate excuses on why they cannot come to practice today or the one that skips a rep or two when they do not believe the coach is looking. My personal favorite is the athlete that did not eat breakfast and/or lunch but expects to have a productive practice. If you've spent more than one day in this coaching profession, we have all come across these athletes a time or two. I am at a point in my career where I do not even yell about these issues anymore; I simply recite one of my favorite sayings "YOU CAN'T CHEAT THE PROCESS."

"The road to success will always look different case by case, but the key components to the process has never changed." - Charles Proctor

I am starting to believe that since everything being so accessible to our athletes via social media. They have become desensitized to what success really is or what it takes. A kid follows their favorite athlete and has a front row seat to their life's highlight reel but what is rarely shown are the countless unsuccessful days they have. They have fallen in love with the end results and have forgotten there was a process that was developed and followed to reach the results they love so much. I have affectionately named this trend the "Lebron Effect". In my later high school years, Lebron was the young rising star set to enter the NBA draft out of high school. When he burst onto the scene, his high school games were on ESPN, as well as gracing the front cover of our favorite magazines at the time. For most of the people that did not follow basketball viewed this as an overnight success-type situation, not realizing the countless reps and hours that he has accrued over half his life mastering his craft. Our young men and women are looking for instant success and unfortunately, there is not a pill for that, at least not legalized by USADA yet. We have gotten away from the work, and I blame the participation trophy era for that but, I will save that rant for another time.

The road to success will always look different case by case, but the key components to the process has never changed. Nothing great happens without discipline, countless correct repetitions and learning how to dominate the set of skills needed for whatever it is you are pursuing. I believe I can speak for all coaches when I say I am tired of the conversation that is not backed up with championship effort. Let the work do the talking!



Coach CP

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