This is a different sport, I know, but the lessons are the same. I was at a national wrestling championship over the weekend, and saw a stunning example of the value of a good coach.
One of the wrestlers on my son’s team was having a good day, wrestling the freestyle event with great focus and fought his way into the bronze medal match. Incredibly tired and banged up, he wrestled that match well but ending up losing the match on a highly controversial call with just 2 seconds left. He was devastated, exhausted and beaten up both emotionally and physically. And to make matters more interesting, he was scheduled to wrestle Greco-Roman style the next day.
Apparently, when he got up the next morning he had trouble getting out of bed, and really didn’t want to wrestle. Didn’t think he COULD wrestle at the level required. But one of the coaches quietly listened, talked to him, and eventually convinced him that he had to give it a shot. That he owed himself that much.
The whole coaching staff got behind him that morning, and the wrestler won his first match. You could see him gain confidence throughout the day, even as his body got worn down. And he won. His first National Greco-Roman style championship. Sure, his training and drive and commitment played a big role. But so did that coach who quietly motivated him when he was at his lowest. And who taught him a lesson that will benefit him his whole life. Determination and perseverance pays off.
“It ain’t how hard you hit…It’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s about how much you can take and keep moving forward!” – Rocky Balboa