The Secret To Excellence
I began playing competitive sports when I was five years old, and my earliest memories are filled with my father’s advice. Every time I went to training and every time I went to a game, my dad would say the same thing to me: “Matthew, listen to your coach!” Every time. He never forgot. If he was traveling, he would call me before a game to wish me well, and to remind me to listen to my coach. When I was about sixteen years old, he was dropping me off for a soccer game while he went and parked the car. As I walked away from the car, he put down the window and said, “Matthew, don’t forget—” I interrupted him and said, “I got it, Dad— listen to my coach, listen to my coach, listen to my coach!” A few weeks later, Dad and I were talking and I asked him, “Dad, why do you always say, ‘Listen to your coach’?” He didn’t miss a beat. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Because nobody achieves excellence at anything without coaching.” “What do you mean?” I asked. “You can get good at something just by working hard at it. If you’ve got some talent and you work hard at it, you can get really, really good at it. But excellence, peak performance, being the best you can be at something—that doesn’t happen without coaching.” My father was a student of excellence. He loved excellence, wherever it could be found. He would point it out to us, in business, in sports, in the arts, in politics, spiritually and academically. He was a student of excellence, and he taught us to be students of excellence too. At the core of all excellence was his belief that coaching played an indispensable role in the life of every champion. Matthew Kelly From The Culture Solution
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