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THE SCORE TAKES CARE OF ITSELF

Although I wish that I could take credit for the title of this blog post, I cannot. It is the title of a book by the legendary coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Bill Walsh. Walsh was a Pro Football Hall of Fame coach that won 6 division titles, three NFC Championship titles and three Super Bowls. In addition to winning 10 of his 14 postseason games, he is credited with popularizing the West Coast offense.

In the book, The Score Takes Care of Itself, My Philosophy of Leadership, Walsh talks about the process involved in achieving excellence. Walsh was meticulous in establishing a standard of performance for everyone within the 49ers organization – from the coaching staff to the secretaries in the office. There was a “49ers way” to dress, practice, study game film and answer the phone. In learning about his methodology, there were two key takeaways for me: 1) Identify the specific actions and attitudes relevant to your successful performance and production and 2) Concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the results – the process, rather than the prize.

I have been coaching youth sports for over 15 years. When I first began coaching, the final score was the metric by which I graded my (and my team’s) performance. As I have aged, winning has become less important to me. I now try to make a conscious effort to focus on how we, as coaches and players, prepare for games as opposed to the final score. Too often in today’s society, we only focus on the final result: “Did you win?”, “Did you get the promotion?”, “What was your finishing time?”, “What school did your kid get into?”. Instead, we – as a parent, coach, boss – should ask, “Did you do everything possible to put yourself in the best position to succeed?”

As Vince Lombardi put it, “The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win.”

 

–Jeff Bryk, FITT-RX Personal Trainer

 
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