“Fall in love with the process, and the results will come.” – Eric Thomas
I am fortunate. I am currently a part of one of just the greatest blessings. I am one of four or five thousand coaches assembled in Dallas, Texas, in attendance at the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) annual convention. For a young coach hoping to make a difference in the lives of young athletes, the abundance of resources available to me down here have been tremendous.
I have made numerous connections that will afford me the opportunity to reach these players in new and better ways. I have developed personal relationships that will help me intellectually and mentally. I have spoken with people who will be instrumental in ensuring that this blog reaches more people.
As I boarded the plane from Louisville on Thursday morning, I was still wrestling with choosing my One Word for 2014. Tuesday evening I had told Lauren that I was going to go with PROCESS. As I drove to Louisville Wednesday evening, the word CONTROL jumped into my head. So, I wanted to take some time to make sure which word would speak to me more.
Well, after today, I can proudly say that my One Word for 2014 will in fact be PROCESS. If I could give the first day of clinics at the ABCA convention a theme, it would be PROCESS.
Coach after coach that took the stage (and there were great ones including UCLA Head Coach John Savage, MLB HOF manager Tony LaRussa, Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett, Louisville Head Coach Dan McDonnell, Indiana Head Coach Tracy Smith, and psychologist Ken Ravizza among others) spoke about the importance of process over outcome.
This message is really simple in its words but so complex in its application. In essence, it offers us the potential to focus on bringing our best today–something that I mention at the end of every one of my blog posts. By dealing with our daily process and winning every day, we will usually end up in a great place in all aspects of our life. The difficulty comes in that we do not always do this.
We tend to let the attainment of goals or wins or outcomes be our guiding force. We NEED to lose 20 pounds; we HAVE to reach certain sales numbers; we WANT to win our next four games.
Goals are great things to have. They keep us inspired; they help us stay motivated; they allow us to shoot for something.
But, what happens when we achieve those goals?
In my experience, we find only mild satisfaction in the reward because then we just seek new rewards and new goals to replace the ones we have. Every coach desires to win championships. That is a given. But, as I have heard coaches discuss those championship seasons, the shiny new ring on their finger reminds them of the real satisfaction–the process of achieving it. The memories that the coaches have of those seasons and those players are what stick out to them.
Coach LaRussa spoke about the respect, trust, and caring every member of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Championship team had for one another. Those were his memories. That was what he cared about. He loved the process of achieving it.
As people, we get too caught up in results. As we continue to do this, it only adds more stress to achieve these benchmarks, these numbers, these goals. We feel like we fall further and further behind, and are now stuck playing catchup, which only adds to the stress.
My challenge to you today is this: Embrace the process. Fall in love with what you do, not what you accomplish. Then, do it well daily.
The four to five thousand baseball coaches I am privileged to be associated with this weekend are constant reminders of that for me. Part of the process for us is loving the game of baseball. They are here to find out how to do things that will improve their process.
I read the book, Wooden on Leadership, written by legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. In it, he stated that he never spoke about winning or losing. This man won 664 games as a coach, 10 National Championships (including seven (7!!!) in a row) and never talked about winning and losing. What he said was that winning became a by-product of doing things the right way. He never measured the success of his teams in terms of wins. He measured his team’s success by their process on a daily basis.
As I have come to find out, many of the greatest coaches in the game of baseball and the most successful teams at all levels think the exact same way as Coach Wooden. I have been fortunate to have that message spoken clearly to me today.
Trust the process. Do the right thing, one day at a time. The results will just come along for the ride.
Bring your best today!