The Challenge is Real

14 12 2016

Many people I care about and love are in the midst of significant life challenges! You might be one of those in the midst of a significant challenge.

TheseThe Challenge Is Real challenges could be best described as “being in a war.” The challenge never seems to let up. No matter which way you turn, there it is seemingly waiting to torment and therefore, torture you. It is said that when we face challenges of this intensity we come face to face with our true self.

I have to be honest and admit that the intensity of some of the challenges I am seeing go beyond a “problem to be solved.” Truthfully, a problem would be far preferred than a challenge. Problems can often be solved through advanced thinking, surrender and increased support. Challenges seem to dig at our humanity, value system, spirituality, and in some cases, our very existence. They force us to quickly assess our emotional, social, spiritual, and at times, financial resources.

How are we to respond when faced with a challenge(s) of this magnitude?

Whatever threatens our health, well being, family, security, and certainty is a real challenge. When life is at its best the strength of these arenas allow us to LIVE WITH DAILY CONTENTMENT. Once they are threatened then our life feels like it us under attack.

A bad doctors report puts the vision for tomorrow in question.

The loss of a job brings deep uncertainty of how to cover our financial responsibilities.

When one of our children or another loved one is struggling we are often faced with fear about what might happen.

Suffice it to say any of our lives could come under attack at anytime and without warning.

These challenges are REAL. They Require Encouragement And Love. (REAL)

CHALLENGES that shake us at our foundation demand the ASSEMBLING of an ARMY. No one goes to battle intelligently without an army. Armies have one thing they focus on…WINNING THE BATTLE.

We all need an army! A group of people that stand with us, fight for us and, without hesitation, go to war on our behalf.

What troubles me are the battles that people are fighting without their own personal army.

Armies compound courage in one another. BEING IN THE FIGHT WITH SOMEONE ELSE HELPS US TO FIND HOPE, COURAGE, STRENGTH, and FAITH IN THE BATTLE. Some of the challenges we face do not have any quick and certain answers. Maybe, the presence of a challenge forces us to GET OUTSIDE OF OURSELVES and LEAN INTO OTHER SOLDIERS borrowing their strength, hope and courage even if just for a season.

To those of you under attack because of a seemingly insurmountable challenge, I URGE YOU TO ASSEMBLE YOUR ARMY.

Many challenges appear to have no answers even though we chase answers with diligence and often desperation.

THE ARMY IS THE ANSWER!!

Don’t go it alone,

Shaun





Struggle and Strength

21 11 2016

I think most of us would agree that increasing strength is a good thing. Athletes invest countless hours training for the purpose of increasing their strength.Theystrugglestrength do this because the rigors and challenges about to come REQUIRE ENHANCED STRENGTH to succeed. Without adequate strength they will be overwhelmed and out matched by the demands of the sport.

ATHLETES THAT TRAIN INADEQUATELY ARE ILL PREPARED FOR THE DEMANDS OF COMPETITION.

Physical strength is trained by utilizing resistance. I have never heard of an athlete that goes to the gym to train with AIR. Resistance is a CRITICAL element of strength building. However, if the resistance is not moved with correct form then INJURY can occur which has the exact opposite effect on the body. What initially was intended for BENEFIT has now become HURTFUL simply because of the use of IMPROPER FORM. The RESISTANCE is not the problem. The FORM is the variable that allows for injury.

Through the thousands of conversations and observations I have had with athletes and those around them, I have come to a DEEPLY HELD BELIEF AND OPINION:

The emotional, mental and social training our young people need to generate success will require a complete change in “FORM” with regard to STRUGGLE. It seems whenever the presence of struggle emerges we immediately seek to remove it, avoid it or numb it.

Struggle emerges when our life circumstances are not cooperating with our current psychological framework. Simply stated, this means that we are not getting what we want. This is similar to an athlete in the gym training and the trainer puts a certain amount of weight on the bar and the athlete wants to BARGAIN, COMPLAIN, NEGOTIATE, OR AVOID the work that is ahead. In life people face struggles almost everyday. Tests, homework, crazy drivers, parenting, relationships, conflict, money, etc… rarely does life put a manageable weight on the bar of our life.

It is by having GOOD FORM (Growth Mindset) while in the midst of these struggles that STRUGGLE becomes LEVERAGED or UTILIZED by us for increased strength, maturity, confidence, trust, competence to name a few. In my opinion it is VITAL THAT WE IMPROVE OUR FORM CONCERNING THE VALUE OF STRUGGLE IN THE LIVES OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. Rather than looking to change the WEIGHT (or eliminating it all together) we need to COACH young people to engage in proper form to LEVERAGE the struggle resulting in GREATER STRENGTH and MATURITY.

Learning the proper form is different than changing the weight. Take some time and think about how your life might be different if you were able to:

Learn how to UTILIZE and LEVERAGE your biggest challenges and turn them into your greatest assets!

Grow stronger and more confident by doing nothing more than re-inventing your PERSPECTIVE and APPRECIATION for the events, challenges and opportunities that are right in front of you.

Becoming EMPOWERED to EMBRACE challenges that have limited your expression of your best self.

Learning this skill and other mental strength skills are just some of the benefits of having a SKILLED and EXPERIENCED COACH in your life!

I’d love to hear YOUR current struggle and teach you how to leverage it into an asset.  Comment below and I’ll will personally answer you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Shaun





Meeting the Confidence Challenge

17 08 2016

Who of us would not want a deep, bold and stable confidence?stencil.instagram-ad-original

Unfortunately, to many people the thought of possessing this type of confidence left long ago. It could be that a significant relationship with a coach, teacher, parent or friend sabotaged that dream. As a result we often tolerate, make excuses and position our lives to insure that we protect ourselves from a sense of failure or discouragement in order to never deal with our utter and complete lack of confidence.

For these reasons this is the day I invite you to engage in the CONFIDENCE CHALLENGE!

Simply stated I want to challenge you to PURSUE a more powerful and sustainable confidence.

For over 18 years I have been coaching thousands of athletes and without question when I ask, “What is the one thing you want to work on?” the response 90 percent of the time is “More CONFIDENCE!”

WHY ARE SO MANY OF US LACKING CONFIDENCE?

ANSWER

Because so many of us are TRADING COMFORT for CONFIDENCE.

It seems that comfort has become the desired lifestyle pursuit for many.

However, this trade is coming at a GREAT PRICE. The price is our CONFIDENCE IN OUR CAPACITY TO CREATIVELY and RESOURCEFULLY lean into challenges, obstacles, adversity, and uncertainty and learn of our untapped CAPACITY. If we are to establish and strengthen a DEEP ABIDING BELIEF in ourselves we MUST NOT ONLY MEET THESE CHALLENGES BUT EMBRACE THEM. There are not enough AFFIRMATIONS, POSITIVE THOUGHTS or WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT from others that can match the deep belief that forms when we FACE and grow through these natural life challenges.

The fear of failure is epidemic in today’s society.

Many of us parents get anxious about the possibility of our kids failing, so much so, that we put up barriers in the form of making excuses, nagging and over compensating to insure they WILL NOT EXPERIENCE FAILURE. This pattern robs young people the platform to embrace challenge, work through struggle and construct the framework for TRUE and ABIDING CONFIDENCE.

RESULT:

A COMPLETE AND UTTER LACK OF INTERNAL RESOURCES AND SKILLS TO MANAGE THE VERY ELEMENTS THAT WILL RESULT IN CONFIDENCE.

This is a challenge to embrace. Joyfully engage in the big and small challenges that life brings your way daily. The challenge of generating the motivation to get a workout in, to courageously put words to your experiences or simply give your best to something all while letting go of the FEAR OF FAILING will result in growing confidence.

When the possibility of disappointment, discouragement and failure exists this is where your greatest opportunity to learn and grow also exists.

Lets stop choosing the path of least resistance and start choosing the paths of GREATEST POSSIBILITIES. This is where the true treasure of deeply embedded confidence is found.

EMBRACE THE CONFIDENCE CHALLENGE TODAY!

Let us know your confidence challenges in the comments below!

You can find more resources at ShaunGoodsell.com





The Unsung Hero

22 02 2016

28well-bullycoach-tmagArticleIn the world of sports we have become obsessed with those that hoist trophies, win scoring titles and are the face of the latest Nike or Under Armour commercial. However, I have learned that there is a class of athlete that will most likely go virtually unnoticed, unrecognized and at times even ostracized.  For the sake of confidentiality I will not name the athlete(s) that I am basing this article on, but the inspiration for this article comes from an actual series of true stories.

I am writing to give these athletes respect and a voice.

The season begins with all of the excitement that comes with a new beginning. The off-season training, which requires significant sacrifice, hard work, and focus is now in the books and coaches speak of an “equal playing field” to compete for playing time. Coaches say things like: “IF you work hard you will be given an opportunity to contribute.” Optimism is high because the hard work has resulted in a stronger, more explosive body as well as, a  set of refined skills. However, what will transpire over the following months is nothing less then devastating!!

The season begins and over time the favoritism  becomes obvious as the pecking order is already well established. Entitlement and privilege under girds the environment while players without scholarships, draft status or a powerful enough network are given messages that if evaluated outside of the sport would be nothing short of abusive. Many coaches send verbal and non-verbal messages that  show very little respect for the heart, soul and mind of these athletes that have given their all in pursuit of their dream.

Yet these UNSUNG HEROES continue to pursue their dream with vigilance, passion, focus, and belief without even a taste of humanity from the coaches that espouse being in the sport to develop young people, a community of connection and long-term skills for success.

What keeps these athletes going?

HEART. STRENGTH. COMMITMENT. DETERMINATION. BELIEF. PRIDE.

These are UNSUNG HEROES!!! I cannot think of anything that is more WORTHY of our respect and honor than recognizing the many young men and women that have the courage to pursue their dream with this kind of vigilance and courage.

This is what champions of LIFE are made of!

To those that fit the criteria listed in this article I say, “You are worthy of the highest of awards. THE UNSUNG HERO award. I hope each of you has a person highlighting these amazing qualities in you and honoring you for the character and determination that is nothing short of amazing!!! My everlasting respect goes with you!!”

The world of sports is filled with great mentors and coaches.

However, if you are a coach that is treating those you are privileged to coach with anything less than the respect you would give to your own children, then please get out of the sport!!!

We owe it to those that are giving their all to apply the best practices of coaching in their pursuit and ours.





Communities that Unleash Kids for Success

11 09 2014

It is no secret that people thrive and exhibit moments of greatness when they are engaged and firmly rooted in a safe physical and emotional environment. I am compelled to write on this topic because there is not a day that goes by where I am not Who's Got Your Backhearing about some young person that is emotionally bruised, hurt, or devastated because of the social environment they are in.

THIS HAS TO STOP!

This writing is not intended to analyze all of the breakdowns that lead to an unsafe emotional environment. There are plenty of much smarter analysts that have written and exposed those much more effectively than I can. Rather, I would like to envision a type of community that we could aspire to provide for our young people. This community, whether it be a sports team, classroom, church group, or neighborhood, could be the most powerful asset present in a young person and families life.

I envision a community that is built first and foremost on acceptance. Acceptance is the life source that unleashes courage, self expression, belonging, and a sense of unconditional love. The type of acceptance I am referring to is actively, diligently, and ferociously protected at all costs. When someone says something that compromises the sense of acceptance of anyone present it is gracefully but intentionally dealt with. Acceptance is like soul food for the heart and soul of a young person. When ones sense of acceptance is not in question miracles of self expression happen. Fear of rejection is minimized, bullying is not tolerated and the hearts of young people are protected with fierceness and loyalty.

I envision a community where people are fully present. Imagine watching your kids learn how to start, grow, and maintain friendships. Friendship only grows when people learn how to become fully present and authentically interested in each other. I believe that we would see the hearts and souls of our young people come alive if they were able to EXPERIENCE THIS! The hearts of our young people are craving a touch from another loving, caring and present soul. Have you ever wondered why so many kids are “acting out” these days. I believe it is because the hearts of our young people are starving for authentic connections with others. In the absence of this the soul cries out in ways that seek to get the attention of those that can do something about it. A community of acceptance fueled with fully present people would literally perform miracles for many hurting kids.

I envision a community where young people are pursued with passion, fueled by the possibility another sees in them. Pursuit is powerful. We all like to be sought out, chosen and believed in. When people are taught to be and act like this with each other our young people actually end up becoming difference makers in each others lives. A community, team, group, or neighborhood that makes this type of social environment a necessity, rather than an after thought, will give each family and young person a gift of a life time.

Let me give you one other thing to consider:

You can watch exceptionally talented athletes at young ages, listen to musical talent from young people that will bring you to tears on The Voice, and Google the latest business idea that came from a 14 year old…imagine training and equipping more young people with the capacity to become difference makers socially with each other.

IT CAN BE DONE!

I HAVE DONE IT!

Look at “Who’s Got Your Back? Team Experience 1.0 Building and growing groups that transform one another.”

ACCEPTANCE, PRESENCE and PURSUIT actively executed with courage, conviction and consistency is a game changer. Let’s take this vision and make it a reality for our young people. Lives will be changed and transformed forever!

You wonder if I am right? Ask the parents that lay in bed at night wondering if their son or daughter is going to go another year without friends or experience some form of rejection the next time they go to practice or school.





Why Does Confidence Leak?

19 08 2014

lack of confidence

Many athletes chase the evasive feeling of confidence. No matter how much they have practiced, how significantly they have sacrificed and how many experiences of success they have had, confidence seems to leak    faster than it can be replenished. Just when you feel as though things are moving in the right direction, you find yourself questioning and doubting yourself again. After working with thousands of athletes over the years one question always seems to take center stage…

 How can I feel and stay confident?  

What I have observed over 15 years is athletes have come to base their confidence on others approval. This source of approval could come from a parent, coach, teammate, or simply their own unrealistic sense of what success looks like, often grounded in perfectionism.

When the approval of others is the primary source of confidence then it is going to leak at a faster pace then can ever be replaced.

Here is why:

True confidence is cultivated through establishing skills that are tested, refined and deepened through the process of challenge, mistake making guided by a mindset focused on learning rather than constantly proving oneself.

The most confident athletes are those that invest themselves in the mastery of a variety of skills connected with the success they seek. This process consistently repeated is what leads to mastery along with a deep belief in the skills associated with success.  In fact, you could say that disappointment (which is often the result of being tested and challenged) actually plays a vital role in growing confidence rather than destroying it as many people seem to believe. Believing that the cultivation of confidence happens through only the approval and acceptance of others, as well as, continual success puts the individual on a roller coaster with little to no control to experience a deep belief in themselves especially in the face of competition and challenge.

Confidence, therefore, is the by product of a deep belief in skills developed through constant competition and testing; not the fleeting words of approval or even encouragement offered from others.

For this purpose I offer these tips to begin your confidence-growing process.

HERE IS HOW YOU GROW ABUNDANT CONFIDENCE AND STOP THE LEAKS:

1. Know with absolute certainty what skills are needed to be developed to experience success.
2. Work diligently at becoming more accomplished at each of these skills.
3. Test your skills through competition. (If possible against others slightly better than you) Embrace mistakes as platforms for growth.
4. Commit yourself to learning from your experiences, staying clear of the obsession to over evaluate yourself.
5. Be fearless in your own self assessment while being able to notice what you succeed at as much as what you need to get better at.
6. Invest yourself in mastering skills verses playing “perfectly”.

If you want to have an abundance of confidence then invest yourself in mastering the skills





WHO OWNS YOUR MIND?

16 07 2014

imagesA troubling trend is emerging and gaining momentum quickly.  This destructive trend is the outsourcing of our opinions, perspectives, thoughts, interests, and evaluations to coaches, parents, friends, teachers.  Day after day I talk to athletes that are giving away their sense of personal power to a parent, a coach, as well as, friends. It would be one thing if they had already arrived at their OWN thought or opinion and were seeking new thoughts, affirmation or challenge to refine and strengthen their own opinions. Unfortunately, many have simply abdicated and allowed others to dictate and define their lives and thoughts for them. Now I know this isn’t without outside reinforcement. There are certainly many parents, coaches, friends, along with others that like to share, might I say, force their opinions on those around them believing they are helping. This is dangerous and destructive and needs to be confronted, challenged and changed. You might ask yourself, “what is the harm?” Quite frankly, the harm is significant and long standing.

The price tag of abdicating one’s opinion, perspective, and sense of possibility is significant!

  • Loss of inner confidence
  • Increased anxiety
  • Decreased engagement and motivation
  • Decreased self awareness
  • Inconsistent performance
  • Delayed learning
  • Delayed maturation
  • Decision-making skills underdeveloped
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Increased confusion and despair

These are just a few of the unintended consequences.

When athletes play and learn in environments where their opinions are rarely asked the likelihood of outsourcing one’s opinions, perspectives and personal power is high. I believe we need to challenge, encourage and affirm our young athletes to retain to their personal power by asking, affirming and acknowledging their opinions and perspectives along with refraining from offering OUR thoughts. This is not to say that every opinion and perspective one generates is helpful. However, if we rarely ask or acknowledge then how does one ever cultivate a useful, productive and personalized perspective for themselves? This is often referred to in other circles as “growing your voice.”

Over the last 15 years of coaching athletes at every level I have found that those that have learned to believe in themselves starts with having an opinion that often leads to an inner confidence, strong work ethic and faster learning than those that simply wait for someone else’s approval or perspective on their performance.

If you are an athlete that has been prone to giving away your power then I offer these tips to gain back your sense of power:

  • Start with admitting that you have given your power away. What you are most likely doing is trading your power for the assurance that you will play or please. At some level you believe that if you try to fit your game to the satisfaction of someone else it will insure you will get playing time. Hey, the truth is playing time goes to those that are clear about their role, have the skills to perform and confidently and courageously engage themselves doing the best they can.
  • Determine your strengths. GET REALLY CLEAR about them. Most athletes hand over their power because they are not clear about their strengths. To compensate for their lack of clarity they simply allow someone else to tell them what to do. KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS!
  • Have an opinion before you ask someone else for theirs. It is to easy to shape what you think after you have heard someones opinion, especially if you respect them or they have power to determine your playing time or role. No matter what it is IMPORTANT to arrive at your own conclusion. You may need others to help affirm or challenge your opinion but HAVE ONE TO START!
  • Commit yourself to fully expressing yourself to the best of your ability. We are all at our best when we live boldly, confidently, intentionally, and without regret. You can do this by designing your life and play with clarity, support and the commitment to learning along the way.

Lets take the time to ask before we tell, acknowledge before we assume, and empower our young people to retain and refine their opinions and perspectives. In doing so we will be growing independent thinkers that can confidently withstand the objections, critical feedback and disappointment that often accompanies the competitive environment they will undoubtedly experience now and in the future.