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I want to address my biggest disappointment first. My efforts over the years with athletes and coaches has fallen short of my intentions. It is the the failure to work with a large number of black athletes and coaches. I think there are several reasons if I want to be reasonable, and that and a buck fifty might get you a cup of coffee.
One factor was, with the exception of basketball, that the majority of sports had small numbers of black athletes and coaches, if any. In D-1 sports there were small numbers or no numbers in women’s golf, tennis, field hockey, softball and volleyball. Track and field was an exception and soccer had minorities of all kinds. Even women’s basketball had small numbers although that number grew over my 30 years.
Men’s sports had a similar story. We only worked with one football team ever and black athletes were a majority. I don’t recall the numbers. It was not of interest to me. In all the sports it was the absence of minorities that I knew could benefit greatly that bothered me.
So I have been disappointed. What did I do about it? Virtually nothing. Too much in life we settle for what we get, i.e. being reasonable about our circumstances. No one promised you a “rose garden” baby. I failed to deliver on a commitment I made to myself. My performance wasn’t good or bad. The failure was I stopped working to cause a breakthrough in making the difference I committed to.
In the everyday performance, what is mostly acceptable is actually sub-par to what is possible. What I am saying is not about working harder, working more often or working longer. It is about constantly creating with others what’s next without the constraints of what we know or understand. It is not about fixing or getting rid of. It’s about adding to, taking a risk and being accountable for delivering what we say we will.
Possibility is created. It is a work of art. It is not painting by the numbers. It is not a thing. It is a way of being. Whenever we are stuck or stopped in some way it would be useful to ask, “Who am I being?”
Follow this with, “Who am I committed to being?”