Sunday, March 27, 2011

This week's Pep Talk: "Prove Them Wrong"

It was a Wednesday evening of mid-March, the weather is spring-like as temperatures hit almost 70 in the Mile High City. The Drive Time with Mac and Doog chat centers on the resurgent Nuggets, promising Rockies and snubbed Colorado men’s basketball team.

The NCAA tournament selection committee had decided, to almost unanimous disapproval, the Buffs were not worthy of the national tournament. The outcry sparked by CU’s impressive resume, highlighted by three victories over a team – Kansas State - the committee proclaimed a fifth-seed. Wait a second, I’m just a simple dude from Missouri but when you beat a team, seeded fifth and you – talking about CU – don’t even make the tournament? That’s when it’s time for the old high-school chant after your team got robbed: “Elevator, elevator, we got the shaft.”

Anyway, the Buffs had, in a first-round NIT game, just beaten Texas Southern before another big crowd in Boulder. I picked up my phone and sent a text in an attempt to get CU’s head coach Tad Boyle on the show the next day to talk about the importance of proving ‘em wrong.

You know, there are many moments in life when we are shocked, disappointed and broken hearted. It’s not exclusive to a team deserved of membership in this year’s national collegiate tourney. No, it’s something each of us must deal with constantly.

What’s the only constant in life? Change, right? There are moments – home, work and elsewhere - when we sit there and proclaim: “What the heck is going on here?” But then it’s our choice: be a victim of the circumstance or student of the experience. It’s our choice. I’d like to recommend – and trust me I’ve screwed up as much as anybody – the latter, not former.

We learn from it, connect with like-minded folks, encourage one another to put fear aside and allow wonderment to win in trying to move forward. But, moving on is done in ways that honor, nurture and add value to the communities we serve. I know, easy to say, almost as easy to affirm but let’s be honest, far more difficult to execute, right?

When disappointment hits, and there are detractors, wouldn’t it be cool to prove ‘em wrong? We rise above, not shrink from, the adversity? We turn life’s lemons into – the heck with lemonade – sweet and savory margaritas?

It’s tough. There will be moments when that “why me, or us” whine will try and creep into our psyches. Don’t let it. Trust me, satisfaction, defined as “gratifying a honorable feeling,” of proving ‘em wrong - whether it’s a basketball team, another group or each of us personally, is well worth the effort.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This week's Pep Talk: "It's Rewarding"

One of the wonderful things this condition called life has brought into my stratosphere of late is coaching kids, teams, businesses, coaches and others on how to play like champions in the game of life.

Life is challenging to say the least. Man, rarely does it go according to plan, right? Well, I’m blessed to be able to encourage others to lead a successful life. And for me, just my opinion, a successful life focuses on thoughts, words and actions that honor us, nurture those dependent upon us and add value to the communities we serve. I know, it’s not the only way to success, but I think it’s effective.

Anyway, I’ve been working with an athlete who plays on a team that really could use somebody to step forward as a leader. From our discussions, and from what I’ve seen in person, the coach is not really providing that right now. There’s plenty of butt chewing going on but little encouragement. This team needs a chief encouragement officer. I’ve suggested – planted the seed if you will – “If not the coach, why not you?”

It’s not easy to always be encouraging, right? There are times when, being encouraging, defined as “to give hope and confidence to” is the LAST thing we desire. And there’s no guarantee our efforts will bear any productive fruit, right? Do it anyway. We know, from moments in our own lives, when there was somebody – especially in our tough times – who believed in us, it was transforming.

It’s a Saturday afternoon as I write this, basketball, thanks to the Nuggets, Buffs and Bears dominate the sports talk world and for whatever reason, my mind wanders to my very first high-school football game. The Raytown South Cardinals hosting the North Kansas City Hornets. I’m a sophomore - back then high school was sophomore through senior – making my varsity debut. The Cardinals are marching, on the very first drive, inside the opponents’ ten-yard line when I screwed up big time. On a play, “T-36 Pass”, I failed to executive properly and threw the ball right to a defender who raced 99 yards in the other direction for a touchdown.

As I jogged off the field, head down in disappointment, Ray-South’s head coach Vance Morris met me before reaching the sidelines. “You know what you did wrong don’t you? He said with a grin. “Yeah coach, sorry” was my lame response. Then he added, with an even broader grin, something I’ll never forget. “That’s okay. I know it will never happen again.”

Coach Morris was, when I really needed it, a chief encouragement officer. The player I’m coaching about challenging times could be a team chief encouragement officer. We could be the same for somebody this week. It ain’t always easy, but I promise you, it’s rewarding.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

This week's Pep Talk: "No Piling On"

I am wonderfully blessed with two great kids, a 21-year-old son and his younger sister, 14. But let’s be honest, parenting ain’t an easy job, right? I like to joke, but it’s the truth, “I’ve been a 14-year-old boy; father of a 14-year-old boy, but never the father of a 14-year-old girl, I need some help!”

I’m inexperienced in raising a teenage daughter, determined to improve and have been reading, The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children, in trying to become superior to my former self.

I recently digested many pages on a flight home to Denver from Las Vegas where I had spoken to employees, of Mitch Murch’s Maintenance Management (MMMM), at their annual operations, sales and awards meeting. MMMM is a St. Louis-based facilities management company led impressively by Tim Murch, a college buddy. In our two hours together, the discussion focused on, especially in challenging times, keeping the faith, leading by example and caring for others, including our selves.

In modern-day America, integrity-based corporate leaders like Murch – he learned well from his dad, the company founder - would love to fret more about expansion of business and less about expansion of employee’s waistlines. Our economy is contracting but our bodies are expanding along with the challenging byproducts: high blood pressure, heart ailments and diabetes, to name just a few.

MMMM is dedicated to providing world-class services to its employees, clients and communities. This team is united, but if the employees, which MMMM calls Team Members, don’t have their health, it’s tough to serve others, isn’t it?

As the plane began its descent into the Mile High City I was reading about the importance of, when talking with kids, using “forward-thinking” words and emphasizing the positive. The thinking being if we want to encourage healthy and productive decision-making from kids – and employees for that matter – it’s wise to focus on what they’re doing right, not wrong.

The author’s reminder of that truth took me back to a short conversation I had, the night before, with one of MMMM’s star employees as they patted their protruding belly: “I have been with this company for almost 30 years and have expanded along with it.”

Focusing on the negative is really counterproductive. Whether it’s a Team Member who knows it’s time to lose some weight or a parent who can’t resist criticizing a child, do your best to avoid it. Take the author’s advice and utilize a forward-thinking, positive outlook.

Quit beating yourself up, okay? Life, with its tendency to throw unexpected, and unwanted, twists and turns our way does a fine job by itself. We don’t, through negative self-talk, need to pile it on.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

This week's Pep Talk: "Irv, Thanks Buddy"

‘Twas a Saturday in late February, one of those spectacular Centennial State days that make you pause, mutter “wow”, and give thanks for living in Colorado. I’m reflecting on a chat, earlier in the day, with a friend. The conversation covered many topics but, at this time, was dialed in to the radio show I co-host weekdays, along with Jimmy Doogan, from 3-6PM on Mile High Sports Radio, AM1510 and FM93.7.

Our show is called, “Drive Time with Mac and Doog: Ain’t about us, it’s about YOU!” We really try and walk that talk in providing a forum where our listeners know their opinion is truly valued and respected. It’s like we’re a bunch of folks sitting around the bar, having a beer and, in a fun and competitive way, talking sports, and other stuff pertinent to playing like champions – sorry couldn’t resist the temptation.

Anyway, back to the story. I’m telling my friend how much fun its been to connect with Irv Brown and Joe Williams. The “Irv and Joe” show is on right before us, from 1-3. They are legendary Denver sports talk radio hosts and even better guys.

I knew Irv long before I met him. Back in the day when I’m was dreaming of big things in athletics, the Colorado native was considered one of the nation’s top basketball officials. Irv was always referring the big games. And as a young kid who wanted to play in those “big games” some day, I watched ‘em all. Irv was there. I saw him on television. He was respected by all and officiated seven national championship games, more than any referee ever.

After moving to Colorado in 1988, I’ve gotten to know Irv in different roles: husband, father and community leader at the top of the list. The father of three is one of those “fox-hole” kinda folks you like to hang with.

Irv played, through referring those big games, a part in forging my dreams. I will forever be grateful. And now today, his show with Joe - 30 years strong – airs live right before Doog and I take over at three. We see each other all the time while they’re departing and we’re entering the studio.

And then it hits me. This reflection on the condition we call life takes me to Irv Brown and, perhaps more important, to saying “thank you” to someone who helped shaped me. It takes me to being grateful, defined as: “feeling or showing that we value a kindness or benefit received.”

I’ve have certainly benefited from knowing Irv. Thanks buddy. Got somebody like that in your life? Reach out to them this week, okay? I promise, it will make you feel good.
facebook metwitter
linkd in

Hey Comeback Coach Copyright© 2009

About The Comeback Coach | Contact Us | Links | Privacy Statement