Raiders News · A Message To All From Coach McCollough

Aaahhhh the old….Is the glass half empty or is the glass half full??

What a trying time we are in! Quarantined, hunkered down, isolated! Who will be affected? Will it reach us? What will happen next? When will things go back to the way they were? Will we go back to school, work, sports?? When, what, where, how, if!

What a great time to embrace the present. What a great time to embrace the situation.

This is the time to ask yourself…what can I do to get or be better? What can I do during this time to be a better person? What can I do to be a better friend? What can I do to be a better student? What can I do to be a better athlete/player?

Let’s take a look at athletics. What are other teams doing to get better? What are other players doing to get better? Am I doing everything that I can do to improve my skills? Am I doing everything that I can to gain/lose weight? Am I doing everything I can to get stronger, faster, more flexible? Am I doing things now to gain my advantage when next year comes around? OR… I choosing to use this time and this situation as an excuse NOT to do what I need to do?

Are you reluctant? Are you compliant? Are you committed? Are you compelled? Are you tough enough? (this comes from a friend and is up on a board in our locker room)

This is where your true character strengths come in to play. Are you finding a way to improve OR are you looking for a way out? Are you taking advantage of your free time OR are you wasting time? Are you moving forward and improving yourself Or are you sliding backwards because you are taking this time off? Will this be the time to step up your game OR will this be the time to get passed up? Your true character will never come into play more than now. Will you be reluctant and make excuses to NOT work on strength/skills/conditioning? Will you be compliant and do what is suggested by your parent or your coach and do the minimum to say “there…I did it”. OR are you committed to take the steps necessary to forge forward and work on all aspects of your game/self-improvement because you want to be the best! You want to be one of the “overachievers”. But, are you in the extreme minority, that not only wants it for yourself, BUT you want it for the team. You want it for your teammates, your classmates, your friends. Do you want to help them succeed, as much as you want to succeed? This is where true character comes into play! To make this happen, you have to be “tough enough”, physically but especially mentally. You cannot be physically tough if you are not mentally tough! (or as Mr. Salkoski likes to say…have GRIT!). Mental toughness is a separating factor between average, excellent and elite!

Are you willing to do the things, the little things that will help you to succeed? The little things that will help others to succeed. Will you, can you, do the right things, the right way at the right speed whether there is a coach, parent, adult around or will you look over your shoulder and say “no one will know” “no one will see” “ I am not hurting anyone” “ it won’t hurt to take a rep off” ” it won’t’ hurt to take a day off”? Your character is what you are when no one is around, no one is looking. What is your character?

In order to be committed, in order to be compelled you have to have a plan. You have to have goals. Goals that are written down and well defined. Goals that are demanding, challenging, yet attainable. Goals that will push you and make you uncomfortable but that will help bring out the best in you (and maybe your teammates!). Write the goals down. Make several copies of those goals. Look at those goals every day. Set up your workouts to achieve those goals. Maybe its

weight or strength gain. Maybe its skill development, Maybe its speed development. Maybe you want to jump higher, throw harder, shoot better. Set the goals, meet the goals, increase the goals.

Keep in mind we are never promised anything. This has never been more prominent than now. Take nothing for granted. Don’t take family, time, or sports for granted. Don’t look back and say “what if” I could take that shot over. “What if I could have spent more time in the weight room” “What if” I could do it all over. “ What if I could hug them one more time and tell them I love them” “What if”….

Enjoy the time, embrace the time and embrace the journey. Be that girl or that guy that is committed and compelled to improve themselves and others. Be that girl or guy that does things the right way and it doesn’t matter when or who is around. Be that girl or guy that not only shows character but helps to define “true” character. The one who is humble, who appreciates family and friends and who didn’t take things for granted but rather went after them in the proper way. The one who is unselfish, a great teammate, a great friend, a great leader and one who holds him or herself accountable.

Be the one whose glass Is always half full!!