Big Life with Ray Waters Neal Campbell no

Both of my sons played college football at Columbia University in New York. They are both 5’9. If you evaluated them from the perspective of a college scout, you would say they were undersized but had good natural athletic ability. Why did they have the success they had growing up in sports when many with greater abilities, size and strength did not? I think the answer to that question lies in the way they approached sports from their earliest years of playing.

When both of my sons were little they realized the coach of the team was in charge. They intuitively understood their job was to give the coach what he wanted, with no excuses. I watched other parents run interference for their kids by talking to the coach about giving “little Johnny” more playing time; or lobbying for the coach to give their child a shot at a different position. That was never the way my boys approached sports.  They would have died if they thought I had tried to persuade the coach on their behalf.

If the coach was in charge, my boys figured out what the coach wanted and then they gave it to him as best they could. On every team they played on coaches quickly noticed them because of their work ethic and their willingness to help accomplish the coach’s vision for the team.  As a proud dad, I think this was one of the reasons they had so much success. And, I believe it is why coaches went out of their way to help open doors for them as they left a team to move to the next level of competition.

If you want to achieve, there is a huge lesson to be learned from my sons. If you have a boss, find out what he or she needs and wants from you and then give it to him or her with no excuses. Don’t depend on someone else to get you the job promotion. Give your best to your supervisor and keep a good attitude and I believe in most cases the doors of advancement will open up for you. It’s really that simple. Show up every day with a great attitude and produce. I believe that puts you in the top 2% of workers in America. You will do better than 98% of everyone else with that simple work philosophy.

My sons played their last football games a long time ago. Now they are successful business men with wonderful families and careers. And I believe the success they are experiencing now has direct correlation to the way they played for their coaches when they were younger. Never forget, the coach is in charge. Give the coach what he wants and he will play you and you will have a chance to be successful.

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