Thursday, January 5, 2017

#59 The Power of Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is the greatest asset you can possess, for it can take you further than money, power or influence. --Dada Vaswani

One of my great joys of working at NCSA is that they let me continue to be a teacher every day.  I teach a couple of live webinars every month on a number of topics as it pertains college and college recruiting.  You may have watched one or seen the recordings posted on the blog in the past.

I finished one of those very webinars tonight, and it is always a great sense of motivation and pride for me when I hear from dozens of families around the world afterward who are now motivated and inspired to go fight for their dreams.  They tell me that my enthusiasm is contagious and want more of it.  It is the closest thing to winning a basketball game that I have felt in my 20 years of coaching and teaching.

With that said, I was inspired tonight to write about the power of enthusiasm.  I don't know why I have not written about it before because it is probably the singular most consistent thing I have to critique to young people every day.  The topic is well overdue and should not be taken lightly.

Imagine you want to be recruited by a college coach...or you want an employer to interview you...or you want the boy or girl of your dreams to go on a date with catch my drift.  If you sound shy, disinterested, tired, bored, quiet, lazy, you are immediately creating a first impression that makes that person ask themselves "Do I really want to have to be with this person every day or even for the next hour?"

For my high school kids, they may only get a 2-3 minute phone conversation (1-shot) with a college coach.  If that coach doubts for a second that he or she may be a bad fit for their team, their program, their school or their coaching style, they will hang up the phone with him or her faster than you can say "goodbye", and they will forget his or her name faster than they learned it.

So, whether you may get a call from a future employer or future mate or your future college coach, you have to practice how you want that first impression to go well before it ever becomes real.  We practice our running, shooting, passing, and defense.  We make reservations and put time into cleaning up to smell and look good for a night out.  We go to school and take classes to master our craft.  Why wouldn't we practice presenting ourselves in a way that puts our best foot forward with each new person we encounter?

Whether you are introverted and shy or just a bit awkward in the beginning of any relationship, I encourage you to own it and own it with enthusiasm.  You don't have to change who you are or the values that make you special, but you have to make sure those characteristics don't cost you a job, or a date, or a chance to play at your dream school.

When I say own it, here is an example I have probably used with 10 kids already in January who sounded like they were trying to crawl under the couch when I called them for their evaluation:

"Coach, thank you very much for contacting me and having an interest in me.  My dream is to play in college, and I would love to hear more about your program and school and how I might fit with you and your team.  I want you to know up front that I can come off as a little shy and introverted when I don't know people well, so bare with me if my enthusiasm for my future doesn't show up on my sleeve.  I don't want you to think for a second I am not passionate about my future or not thankful for the potential opportunity you may offer to me at some point."

What do we all crave in our human encounters?  Authenticity.  Honesty.  Directness.  Generosity.  Humility.  Yes!  It is those things that make people fall in love with us...or at least fall in like with us.  Even when your best isn't as good as that darn extrovert sitting next to you, never forget that it is your ability to own YOU with enthusiasm that will always bring people back for more!

Now, don't just sit there.  Go find someone to practice with. 😊

Coach Matt Rogers
Twitter:  @madcoachdiary
Phone:  (312) 610-6045

Matt Rogers is a 20-year high school and college coach veteran.  He has led two teams to the NCAA National Tournament and one team to High School State Championship.  His teams hold numerous school and one NCAA record. He has mentored and coached players at every level while serving as an athletics administrator at the high school and NCAA levels. He has helped numerous players continue their careers at the professional level. He currently is the Head National Scout/Recruiting Specialist for NCSA - Next College Student Athlete where he has helped thousands of young men and women from around the world achieve their dreams of playing at the college level.  Coach presently lives in the Denver, CO area with his wife of 19 years and his two children. 

To request Coach Rogers to speak at your school or event, you can reach him through any of his contact information above.