‘I was aiming for 8th place’ — absolutely sickening.
All three of my children are involved in some kind of competitive sports.
Nick and Casey are both on their high school wrestling team, and Casey’s also on the swimming team.
Sam is on the cheerleading squad in the neighboring town just a few miles down the road.
I recently witnessed to one of the most pathetic examples of mindset, winning, and coaching, when Samantha had a cheerleading competition a few weeks ago.
Out of 9 teams, her team came in 8th. They were disorganized and unprepared. While many of the teams were well prepared and had their routines down, and were as tight as a squad marching in time on a military base, Sammy’s team was not unified at all.
Afterwards, to “assuage” a lot of the parents who were upset (at the standings, not at the lack of preparedness — which just goes to show you how nearly EVERYONE is clueless about what it takes to succeed), the coach reassured us all that “this is exactly what I was aiming for — just to not finish last.”
Perhaps this made some of the dum-dums feel better, but for me it was like a bull seeing red.
Now I don’t pretend to be an expert on cheerleading, or on coaching cheerleading, or on almost anything related to this event.
But… I DO know a thing or two about success. And I also know you become what you think about (the late Earl Nightingale first coined this phrase). And frankly, this was perhaps one of THE most embarrassing things I’d ever heard, especially coming from a coach.
What kind of leadership are you offering when your goal is to finish 8 out of 9?
What kind of spirit or lessons are you teaching someone you’re mentoring when your frame of ‘accomplishment” is essentially ZERO?
The answer is simple: You are teaching them failure is acceptable.
Look, reality is, the higher you aim, the higher up you’ll find yourself. If you’re aiming for first out of 9 teams, and you miss by 50%, the worse you’ll be is 5th place. If you’re aiming for 8th, the worse you’ll be is 9th.
Where would you rather be?
And by the way, it’s the same thing when it comes to your business. If you’re aiming to make, say… $2 Million bucks, and you miss by 50%, you’re still at $1 Million. But if you’re aiming to make $500,000 and you miss by 50%, you’re only at $250,000.
See how this works?
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of these parents who’s obsessed by their kid’s stature on the pecking order of their peer group. Frankly, at this stage of the game, I could care less — I’m not exactly hanging out around the school talking with anyone, anyway, if you know what I mean.
However, I DO care VERY much about the kinds of messages my kids are getting. Programming them for success is FAR more important than actually succeeding, just the same way programming them for failure (which is what is happening now) is FAR more devastating than actually failing.
Rest assured, we won’t be re-signing Samantha up for any more work with this coach. I’ll let her essentially “poverty consciousness” be spent on other kids — but not mine.
My kids are well aware of all my failures. I don’t pretend to be anything but who I am, and I’ve shared the good times and the bad with all of them. But if I were to fall off the face of the earth tomorrow, one thing they’d know for sure, is that even in failure, you couldn’t have found someone who pushed harder and tried for more, than me.
And THAT… is worth… remembering.
ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT!: Good thing for you I’m NOT falling off the face of the earth, because if I did, you wouldn’t be able to get your hands on the February issue of Seductive Selling. It is BY FAR, the MOST outrageous issue of ANY marketing newsletter EVER published! Here’s a comment I received about this issue from Danielle Amory in Lakewood, Washington: “Just want to let you know I nearly got arrested because of you! I stopped to get my mail because I was in that herd of other people slepping to the courthouse as a prospective juror…took them forever to call anybody, so I opened the envelope (God knows why) any way – I laughed so loud everybody turned around. Then I couldn’t stop, the guy next to me got a glimpse of what I was reading and then we both got ‘excused’. Thanks Craig. Yes, it’s my civic duty but this time, they’ll have to wait! Danielle”
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Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. Check out the recorded past episodes of my radio show, right here: http://www.kingofcopy.com/radio