No risk, no gain
Marcella, HR specialist for a food distribution company in Washington, told session 4 of the Leadership Development Lab:
"In my senior year of high school, I decided not to take any of the athletic scholarships I was offered so I could stay close to home and attend the University of Washington. My dad encouraged me to walk-on to the basketball team because he felt I could do it, so I did try out during my freshman year. I was given 30 minutes in a scrimmage to showcase my ability. Afterwards, the coach told me they really didn't take walk-ons and he only did it to satisfy NCAA regulations. That spring the team had a coaching change; someone new was now in charge. My dad once again urged me to walk-on. What was the worst that could happen – I wouldn't make it again? I spoke with the coach and began preseason conditioning with the team. This time I was given a twoweek tryout. I made the team and had a full ride scholarship for the next three years. "The lesson I learned from this experience is not to give up on my dreams and goals, no matter how many times someone says you can't do it. Sometimes all it takes is one person to give the encouragement needed to keep me going. The action I call you to take is follow your dreams. Set goals for yourself that will help you achieve your dreams. Don't let early failures and setbacks stop you. The benefit you will gain is the confidence in yourself to accomplish anything you set your mind to achieve."
I love this story. It's an amazing story about many things, including the power of
persistence, the willingness to try again, the willingness to come back and ask one more time when you've already been told "No" in no uncertain terms. I love this story because it's a story of the power of a coach, a caring, concerned coach; in this case, a dad who's willing to exercise more belief in his daughter than his daughter had in herself. That's your job as a coach – your job is to give your team that little extra encouragement so they will try one more time, even when they feel they've been told a final "No." And you know what you gain you gain scholarship, you gain the full ride, you gain winnings, you gain prosperity. Your team wins!
There will always be people standing on the sidelines saying, "Look at how lucky they are," "Look at how lucky she is," "Look at how lucky he is." They will never understand until they learn from personal experience, until they give it a try themselves, the power of persistence, the power of trying one more time, even when we're told "No," even when we're told it's impossible. So I challenge you to ask once again when you've been turned away. I further challenge you to be the leader who urges someone on, the one who gives them that extra nudge.
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