I talk weekly with a lifelong friend in Coach Mike Duffie. I became really close to Mike while he was our Head Basketball Coach in my first coaching job. He has been a true friend and one that is a brother in my life. I talk with Mike nearly every week and many times more that once a week. Mike has been a successful basketball coach for 30 years and has also coached other sports. He was a great Head Softball Coach and was also a very witty Assistant Football Coach. In a recent conversation, we were discussing the process and struggle in team development. Mike gave me a quick story told to him when he was coaching football. This quick parable relates to our teams and daily lives… This story goes like this:
“Mike, have you ever had the power go out and stuck in complete darkness? Yes coach I have before… Have you gone to the fuse box and tried to figure out which one turns the lights back on? Yes coach I have before… What do you do then when you don’t know which one works? Well coach, I just keep flipping each switch until the lights finally come back on.. Exactly Mike, and sometimes that is exactly what it takes to develop your team. Don’t give up just because a few switches do not work.”
- Team “Fuse Box”… I thought this was a great analogy as to the process of developing your team. Every team is different and requires a unique process. We always say we have two goals as a staff each year. We want our team to maximize its given potential and leave with an experience that impacts lives beyond our program. No matter how many players may be returning, their chemistry is developed all over again from the start. Just because “One Switch” worked last year does not mean that it will stay lit the next year. A team is comprised of people and people are constantly changing. We believe that you have to have a very consistent process that creates an environment of accountability, high expectations, relationship building, and a competitive spirit. Your daily culture should be one that creates positive team growth and highlights team issues to be addressed. We want every “Switch” on that works, and to replace the issues with “Switches” that bring light over darkness. When the season is over, we want the building shining as bright as possible and one that is so warm that our team never wants to leave. I also believe that as every team has a “Fuse Box“, we also have one in our daily lives as well. We have things that motivate us and guide us in the darkness…
- Life “Fuse Box”… I know that we each have things that motivate us or we feel we need externally to make us feel valued. When we feel like we are in the darkness, we seek things that give us some momentary light. Those things vary for each individual; it could be verbal praise, success, joy in others, substances, rewards, relationships, etc… It is so easy for us to become trapped into seeking external things to give us worth. We may hit the “Right Switch“, but when that one burns out we just try another “Switch.” This process can exhaust the mind and give the feeling of hopelessness. However I am so thankful that there is one switch that never burns out if we choose to use it. One in which we can always find hope. A “Switch” that we can always find worth, value, love, purpose, and forgiveness. God gave us an “Eternal Switch“, the “Main Switch” in the gift of his son Jesus. If we choose to accept him, then he gives us light in the darkness. In John 8:12, Jesus says “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” When the “Main Switch” is on in our lives then the other ones in the “Fuse Box” begin to fade in its importance for us. We begin to stop seeking the “Right Switch” in our lives and want to be a “Switch” that brings light into the lives of others. God just wants to be our “Main Switch” and he will provide all we need and what other “Switches” we need to use. Every “Switch” in your personal “Fuse Box” is an opportunity to bring great impact and light into this world.
I challenge you this Christmas to be a light for others and to honor what this season is all about. God sent us his son that brought light into this world. He gave us the ultimate gift, the ultimate “Main Switch” in our lives. We have the opportunity with our teams, families, friends, co-workers, or anyone on our heart to make a difference. I challenge you to think of someone that you can be a light or help see the light. The light that shines through you from the gift of Jesus in love, purpose, forgiveness, and service. Never forget that “You are Born to be Special“, and there is a great plan ahead in your life. Just like a team takes a process to have the light come on, you have great light ahead, if you do not give up. Go and Let Your Light Shine!!
Thank you Mike for a Great Story…
Love You Brother