Put Me In Coach, I'm Ready To Play
September 19, 2014
By Mark Giles
Before the days of GPS, and thoughtless navigation, our family took a trip to New Orleans.
The ladies wanted to take a scenic drive and look at some of the houses.
So we drove away from the tourist area, and headed back into the residential section.
Driving, meandering, wandering, sightseeing….and somewhere along the way, I got lost.
So I did what any strong-willed, red-blooded American male would do.
I continued to drive without stopping to ask for directions, believing I could figure my way out.
The rest of the folks in the car with me had no idea that I was lost (or so I thought).
They just thought it was all part of the planned tour.
Each turn, in their mind, was merely a further venture into the realm of discovery.
From my perspective, however, each corner offered a vanishing hope of ever finding the safety of our hotel.
Or any hotel. Or a convenience store. Someplace I could buy a Slurpee and discreetly ask for directions.
Without everyone in the car knowing I was lost….and subsequently they were, too.
So I continued to drive, now somewhat aimlessly, but still pressing on.
Still busy. Still active. Not quitting.
But I had absolutely no direction whatsoever.
And then it hit me. Straight out of nowhere.
Well, actually my wife in the back seat reminded me, with a kind glance and nod of the head.
It took her three gracious nods before it finally sunk in….
There was a compass readout in the rearview mirror.
North, South, East & West directional assistance had been at my disposal this entire time.
And since the Gulf of Mexico was to the South of New Orleans…
if I were to consistently drive North, I'd at least be heading towards the Interstate.
And I bet I'd see some road signs before I got that far.
So I began to watch the compass, and made several calculated turns until the desired "N" shone brightly.
Suddenly, I didn't feel lost. I didn't feel abandoned.
I had a new-found purpose. I knew where I was heading.
There was a plan, and I was sticking to it.
And I was systematically finding my way out of the forest of homes.
I remember my first sighting of neon & plastic during that journey back.
Never have I been so thrilled at seeing a Burger King.
We WOULD find the sanctity of our beloved hotel.
And we would live to continue our exploration another day.
Life & business sometimes have funny ways of teaching us things.
John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, said,
"Never mistake activity for achievement."
Let that sink in for a minute, from his perspective.
He could have 5 guys all running around like crazy.
Never stopping, jumping up and down, waving their arms like madmen.
But if they weren't working together as a team, and following the plan….
Then there wasn't going to be much, if any, achievement.
Regardless of the level of their activity.
Sometimes we fall for the line that if we just keep doing something, it will all work out.
But we've got to be running a play from the playbook.
A play that was designed, from experience and wisdom, to help us win.
No matter how much we dribble, or pass, or jump, or run….
Unless we learn how to score, and score, and score again….
We are never going to win.
And to learn to score, we must first learn to shoot.
Find someone to help you hone your shot.
A coach….a shot guru….a game mastermind.
Everybody in the basketball hall of fame had one.
The coach teaches newbies how to play the game.
And he teaches professionals how to play it better.
To play to the top of their level.
To truly achieve greatness.
The coach reminds you to check your compass.
The compass that's been right in front of you the entire time that you've been lost.
So who's your coach? Who's in your backseat?
Are you listening? Or just driving around?
True greatness awaits.