Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Chicken or Eagle??

Posted by admin October - 4 - 2010 - Monday

One day a boy climbing in the mountains found an eagle’s nest with an egg in it. When he got home he put it under a hen along with her other eggs. When the eagle hatched he thought he was a chicken! He learned chicken behavior and scratched in the chicken yard with his “siblings.” He didn’t know any better. Sometime he felt strange stirrings within himself but he didn’t know what to do with them… so he ignored or suppressed them. After all, if he was a chicken he should behave like a chicken.

One day an eagle flew over the chicken yard and the eagle looked up and saw him. In that moment he realized he wanted to be like that eagle; to fly high, to go to the mountain peaks he saw in the distance. As he spread his wings he suddenly understood that he was like that eagle! Though he’d never flown before, he possessed the instinct and capabilities to fly. At first he flew unsteadily, then with greater power and control. Finally as he soared he knew he’d discovered his true self— the creature that God made him to be.

Phillips Brooks stated, “When you discover you’ve been leading only half a life, the other half is going to haunt you until you develop it.”

Are you treating your players like chickens or eagles? I hope all of you have read or seen the famous psychological experiment made famous in the 50’s where one teacher had been told that all of her students were “subpar” in intelligence and ability… so don’t expect much. And guess what? THAT’S just how she treated them. And very few of them succeeded in her class that year.

Another group of comparable students in intellectual ability were assigned to a teacher who was told that this was the “gifted” class…. that all of her students possessed high intelligence and were expected to do well in her class. Guess what? yep… you guessed it!

What were (and now that most of you are about half way through your regular season) your “expectations” of your players? Do you see your players as “chickens” or “eagles?” Every kid who plays for you has a desire to achieve. He wants to “soar.” Are you encouraging him to do that OR… has your attitude got him bound to that chicken yard?

Something to think about.

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