Attitude and Effort

As summer begins to wrap up, families take their last vacations and moms head to stores to buy school supplies, this all reminds me that football season is fast approaching. Football, you could say, has been a big part of my life. It has taught me a lot, given me a lot and helped me to give back through coaching. I wish everyone had the opportunity to play the sport, and I consider myself blessed to have played the game and am now able to coach a new generation of players.

I know this kid that is seven years old, who has all the potential in the world. Both of his parents were good athletes in college, and the kid doesn’t know it yet but he is a little freak of nature. I have been blessed to be his coach, and I tell all the kids on the team that there are only two things that you can control on the field: Your ATTITUDE and Your EFFORT. I have given it a lot of thought, and that is really all you can control. Nothing else, just those two things. So this little seven-year-old kid has a hard time with both his attitude and his effort. I am constantly reminding him to stay positive if things don’t go our way and to always give a 100% effort on the field. Sometimes I see flashes that I am getting through to him, while other times I feel like I am talking to a brick wall. But nonetheless, as long as his parents allow me to coach him I will keep trying!

For me, coaching is something that has been more fun then I thought. I have always enjoyed the game of football and I have grown to love the psychological side of the game. How do you get kids to believe in themselves and their abilities? How do you instill 100% effort and a positive attitude? The more thought I put into it, the more I realize that I should be preaching to myself. Because at the end of the day, the only two things you can control in this world are, Your ATTITUDE and Your EFFORT! That is it. Everyday things will happen. Things you didn’t plan for. Bad news will come. Someone might hurt you or you might hurt someone else. It’s hard to say, really, but if we all focused on staying positive and really giving our all in the things we choose to do, the world would be a better place for it.

Starting a business is much like a sport. There are ebbs and flows. Good plays and bad. You will get knocked down and you will get hurt. There will be successes and there will be failures. It’s at the lowest points where you have to reach deep and stay positive, and it’s at the highest points where you can’t coast. You have to continue to give 100% effort or else you will get behind. I would be lying if I said this last three years of running a business hasn’t taken a toll. It has been one of the toughest challenges I have ever faced. However, during this time, my co-founder and I have also accomplished some amazing things. We have filed a patent, been issued a trademark, and have signed a license, we have grown to 500 retail locations and continue to grow sales. We have employees, we make great breakfast food that people enjoy, and probably most of all we have built a great work environment that people enjoy coming to each morning! To do all those things, we have definitely sacrificed not only ourselves for the cause, but at times those we love around us. It can wear you out, make you cynical, and even cause you to withdraw a bit. But because of coaching and my stance on attitude and effort, I wake up in the morning with the intent to have a positive attitude and give 100% effort. I don’t get it right all the time, but I am getting better.

So back to that seven year old kid. He is actually my son, and yes, I love football because I played at a high level in college. To me, football teaches you so much about life, which is probably one of the things I enjoy most about the sport. It has taught me how to be coached, how to be a good teammate, how to be empathetic to other’s circumstances, and it has taught me that ATTITUDE and EFFORT can make you excel much further than athletic talent or smarts alone. So as I keep reminding my son about his attitude and effort, I will also keep reminding myself that no matter what, I must stay positive and give full effort in what I do. I hope you can do the same.