On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
A recent experience. I am currently coaching a flag football team of 4–6-year-olds. The league has only three teams and most of the kids have never played before. There is no strategy involved, and as the coach, my job is to try and teach the kids fundamentals, get them lined up correctly, remind them which way to run, and provide enthusiasm. In fact, I spend as much time helping and encouraging the other team as I do my own.
On Saturday, we played a team for the second time, which has two players closer to age seven that are incredibly fast. They easily score on us each time they touch the ball and pull our flags in the backfield before we can even begin running. We’d lost by halftime, but at this level that didn’t concern me. What did bother me, was that the opposing coach continued to play these two older boys in such a way that they were demoralizing my team, while ignoring his own (only those two players were doing anything but standing around). He cheered like he was coaching in a professional game, and after a game and half of this, I’d seen enough. He excitedly ran down the field after a “big play” at which point I stopped and confronted him.
I was not mean, but I was direct and told him what I thought of his behavior, reminded him that our job was to uplift these young kids, and what I expected of him going forward. My wife would tell you I was intimidating, but I like to think I was just honest. Had I not said anything, I could not have looked myself in the mirror. I don’t relish confronting anyone, but sometimes it’s necessary, especially when you are in a leadership position. To the other coach’s credit, he did an excellent job after we spoke. I have been on the receiving end of tough criticism many times and it often hurts in the moment but is invaluable going forward.
Something that inspired me. Last week, a man by the name of Bob Becker tried to become the oldest finisher of the Badwater 135 at 77 years young. This race is one of the most brutal imaginable, covering one hundred and thirty-five miles straight through Death Valley in 115 plus degree temperatures beginning at the lowest elevation in our country and going to the highest. Bob gave everything he had during the race to try and accomplish the goal but narrowly missed by 17 minutes.
The attempt alone inspired me but what he did to complete the race really got me fired up. His body would no longer allow him to run or even stand fully upright, and he was cramping so badly coming up the steep terrain that he finished the final mile of the race crawling on all fours. Watching this older gentleman crawl to the end of one of the most grueling races imaginable, refusing help of any kind, and having people chant his name was amazing to me. I have been in some brutal races myself and I know what it takes to finish one even under optimal circumstances. Watching Bob Becker finish that race when he had every excuse not to was next-level toughness that inspired me tremendously!
A simple but crucial question. Assets are useful or valuable things. This is true of business assets as well as those that we collect personally. The question I find most important though, are you an asset to those around you? Do you make your family, friends, work environment, team, business, etc. better?
I think if you can make someone or something better then you are an asset. This can be done through love, friendship, hard work, critical thinking, humor, encouragement, effort, or any number of other means. Becoming an asset can happen quickly but the value grows exponentially over time. Ask yourself if you are an asset to those around you and if not, how you might be able to be.
Something I have found effective. Years ago, when I began coaching football, there was so much myself and my coaches wanted to share with our players. These included fundamentals, strategy, experiences, and more. What I noticed was the more we communicated at once, the less the players retained. It was like drinking from a fire hose and they couldn’t take it all in. That is when I began breaking things down into three actionable steps (sometimes less). With only three things to focus on, my team was able to retain information easier and become more effective in each area.
Having seen the benefit of this approach in sports, I began to use it more in my everyday life. Anytime I have a personal or business goal I want to achieve, I define what my three most effective steps to attain it will be, and then begin following through on them. Likewise, if I have a daunting task or event in front of me, I ask myself what three steps I must take to conquer it. This straightforward way of planning creates efficiency, proficiency, and reduces stress every time it is followed!
Some quotes I love.
“The days that break you are the days that make you.”
“Crawling is acceptable. Falling is acceptable. Crying is acceptable. Blood is acceptable. Pain is acceptable. Quitting is not.”
“It is impossible to win the race unless you venture to run, impossible to win the victory unless you dare to battle.” – Richard M. DeVos
- Don’t forget to follow Dr. Kenney on Instagram @Coloradochiropractor