When I see that my athletes are playing at the top of their game, it gets my day off to a great start; however, when I see my players struggling, I feel their pain. When I see a player really struggling, I tend be upset for hours or even days at a time.
I have had colleagues counsel me that I should not take my work home with me, or that I should not allow this to affect me on a personal level. I disagree. I feel like it is my job to care. When they are hurting, I am hurting. But this is the key: anytime I am struggling because a player isn’t playing well, I use that pain to focus my mind on potential solutions.
I have solution notebooks that I keep in my car and by my bed. When I catch myself feeling down, I grab the notebook and write answers to the question, “What is one thing I could do to make this better?” The pain actually becomes the gift of motivation. It motivates me to be relentless in looking for ways to improve how I help the athletes.
Some days, I must admit, caring so much becomes a burden, but using it to keep me growing is worth it. I believe this is one of the reasons I have success. If (and this is a big if) you can learn to be relentless with your solution focus, you can learn to use your pain to motivate growth.
To find out more about developing your RSF (Relentless Solution Focus), check out chapters 9 and 10 in 10-Minute Toughness.