Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Age of the 'cop-out"

The Age of the 'cop-out"

starts with the word can't.

Personally I hate the word can't, and hate is a strong word. I hate it when I use it accidentally, when my athletes use it and especially when they are using it reference to an obstacle like a lift. It burns me up. It makes me hurt inside hearing people say they can't. It means they've shut down and given up before they even tried. It's an easy cop-out, and I hear it all the time. If they fail after they say that "they can't" do something it's not a big deal cause in their minds that couldn't do it anyway. It's much more scary to tackle an obstacle with "the best that you have" than it is to sit back and not believe you can in the first place.

In 1969 a man went to the moon. I wonder how many people said it couldn't be done. People used to say no one would be able to break past the 4 min mile mark. Roger Bannister ran a 3:59.4s mile in 1954 and many others have done it since. In fact just 46 days later John Landy broke that record with 3:57.9s. Within that year close to a dozen others would run under 4 minutes. A time that was said to be impossible. Belief is a powerful deal.

People used to say that no man will ever be able to run 100m in less than 10sec. People said the body could not withstand such a feat. As if it would just fall apart. Well, Usain Bolt just did in 9.58s, and he thinks he can break 9.5s, of which may be true. How about that?

Can't.....Such a terrible word. Such a defeated attitude. Such an easy way out. There is no victory in 'can't' because you're already done, out, beat.

The interesting thing is, I also secretly love the word can't. When other people are trying to use it against me. It drives me. I remember a few instances where I heard people say I couldn't do something and I was very young. They said "He can't....". You know what it did? It pissed me off. Looking back it's amazing the people that said these things. But it motivated me in a way that's stronger than anything I've ever felt.

You know what it led to? It lead me to find what I could and could not control and use what I had. I could control my attitude, my presence, my tenacity and I could be resilient. It lead to some great things and taught me a lot along the way. One of which is that, if you have any one of those things, then you are going to do well. You may not be the best in the game but you'll go far, and you'll be proud of it. If you attack every moment with everything that you have.

This one word is powerful. It can destroy and build great things. Be careful how you use it.

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