I have started the last 13 seasons of my head coaching career with this quote from David Livingstone. Yes, THE David Livingstone from the famous quote, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" Livingstone was a 19th Century medical missionary and explorer who is best known for his work and philanthropy in Africa.
“If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."
I use this quote because it is a reminder to me, my staff and my players that whatever happened in the past no longer matters. We have a blank canvas, and it is our job to create a new story, picture, journey, etc. that only we can define. We cannot be defined by a championship or a train wreck of a season from the previous year. We can only control what is in front of us. Whether you are a young coach or a seasoned professional, I think we can all take something from this idea that no one is going to do it for us. We have to create our own path and destiny.
For those of you in the world of academia, the noise of students triumphantly returning to campus is a symphony of sounds and emotions. I hope you all take the time to reflect on the road you will build this year and where you want it to take you.
As I start my new journey out of coaching, I am finding that I did not know myself as well as I had thought. I am finding that by asking those I respect for counsel, direction, advice, criticism, help, and a kick in the pants when needed (thank you, Dr. Triplett!), I am learning for the first time not only what I have accomplished in my career, but also what I have failed to see in my mirror's reflection each day. I am capable great things, but I have often taken for granted how I have limited myself in using those skills and experience.
This blog is a my first big shovel of rock towards my new road. Have a great day!