The Mirror Test

Remember The Titans..What a Classic Movie With So Many Great Lines:

“Split Veer, Like Novacaine, Give It Time Always Works”

“Jump On That Ball Like A Starving Man On A Christmas Hen”

“If We Don’t Come Together, Right Here…, We Too Will Be Destroyed”

“What Is Fatigue?? Army Clothes!!”

“Water Is For Washing Blood Off That Uniform”

But My Favorite: Attitude Reflects Leadership Captain

As a staff, every spring and fall, we define 17 different ideals or expectations together. We do this so we can all understand program expectations, preach the same message, and all have direct ownership. The topics can range from describing our culture, what is great effort, player appearance, players not in your drill, a player leaving our program, to how one should run off the field. My favorite definition is when our coaches describe their mental and physical status of a “Great Day Coaching”. This gives each of us a reference point on how we should feel each day walking off the field. I love the sense of mental exhaustion, tired feet, and the inner joy of accomplishment. This gives each of us a “Mirror Test”, a standard for us to see in ourselves at the end of each day. We also discuss the reflection of player expectations and our effort as coaches. “Do not ask players to do anything we are not willing to do”. Everyday we have a “Mirror Test” either as a coach, player, or “Person of Impact”. Does our expectations of performance and others match our effort or mindset?

“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
with skillful hands he led them.”—Psalm 78:72

As a coach, am I coaching with the same energy, passion, and attention to detail as I expect from players and staff. Do I value the success of others as much as my own? Do I hold my staff accountable but not myself for the same actions? Can I admit weakness and fault the same way I would expect of a player or fellow coach? Do I get upset in a failed game situation, but did not prepare others for this situation? Do I change my expectations and abandon my beliefs when I experience failure? Am I seeking scoreboard wins only or the mission statement on the wall? We also expect every player in our program to train, improve, and perform at a the highest level. As coaches, if we are not prepared to match those expectations then we are cheating our players. Do I expect communication, timeliness, and service to be different because of my title? In a C.O.R.E. Leadership exercise recently on the “Power of Caring“, all stories by players and coaches ultimately centered around valued time, listening for understanding, or genuine accountability. We have to be very careful that we do not create standards that supersede those we lead. Make sure people are working toward a greater purpose and not surviving underneath an operation. Great coaching staffs already understand loyalty, an existing hierarchy, and “One Ultimate Authority”. The fastest way to lose people is to pull the plug on the power of human value. Don’t expect others to value your direction when they are on a depth chart of priorities. Above all, “Believe in your Mission”, do not change your reflection because of the pressure of short term success. Self-evaluate daily, hold yourself accountable, and be intentional to improve for those you serve. Put Your People Over Your Plans, Enriched People Seek Excellence

“In everything, show yourself to be an example of good works….”- Titus 2:7

As a player, do I judge and gossip about my teammates when they are not performing well? Do I expect teammates to support me, but won’t answer the call when someone is in need? Do I complain about the depth chart but not seeking extra work for improvement? Do I perform only when circumstances are in my favor but expect others to be consistent?  Do I expect others to be prepared but I procrastinate to study my opponent? Do I hold others accountable but get defensive when the same is done to me? At team functions, others wait in line, but I can move to the front. Is it ok for me to get personal with a teammate, but they should watch their words with me? Ask Yourself? Is my effort noticeable to my team each day? Do I seek to be a difference maker in my current team role? Do others want to imitate my actions positively? Will I seek to be the hardest worker and best teammate?  I guarantee this attitude will match your performance. If not, then it is Time To Meet Or Raise Your Level Of Self-Standards….

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are doing.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:11

As a “Person of Impact”– do I expect to be judged a certain way regardless when I make a mistake. We all inherently feel inside that we are good people. We see our difficulties as times of trial, a stage of life, or just a general miscue. We expect grace when going through trials as if everyone should understand our struggle. Because again, deep down we know that there is “Good In Us“. However, when others make the same errors we tend to relate it to their integrity or character. We can make a judgement or create a stereotype that can last for long periods of time. This mindset is tough to break, but we are limiting our impact without understanding. Understand that each of our unique stories has molded us for impact and purpose. Seek to understand, seek to influence positively, seek for them to see value in their journey. Rather than a throw away, Help Them Find Their Way….

Simply put, do we expect others to operate and perform at a standard that doesn’t apply to us?? Do we expect a different level of accountability than those around us?? Only you know the answer to those questions… Don’t put your sincerity in jeopardy, seek to self-evaluate, and be intentional to improve for others.

Example Comes Before Expectation

Expectation Must Match Example

Enrichment Precedes Excellence

Your Reflection Must Match The Mission

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