It’s January, it’s cold (at least in many places), we’re right between the start of the season and the playoffs. In short it’s probably the toughest time of the year for us coaches. I know it’s tough for me, at least.
I took over a 1-6 team a third into the season, and now we’ve won six of the last eight, are in fourth place of a very competitive 10 team top flight league in Northern Europe – and we could easily miss the eight team playoffs. We win by playing defence, but out of the remaining 11 games five are against the top three, who are all great offensive teams, and most of the rest are away games. In other words I worry a lot right now. Worry about being relegated to the league below. Worry about injuries. Worry about every game, every practice.
Then someone sent me a quote. Someone who knows me really well, who knows this time of year for a basketball coach. It reminded me that just going out there on the court – fighting for every little thing – is more than worth it. I hope it will get you some energy to get you through January too:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt, “Man in the Arena” Speech given April 23, 1910 26th president of US (1858 – 1919)