Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Shukhov’s Standard

Posted by admin April - 19 - 2010 - Monday

It’s not easy to maintain a strong work ethic… especially when you feel overworked, underpaid and underappreciated. But that’s the point at which your character is tested— and developed.

Having a work ethic means 1- doing what you don’t feel like doing, in order to achieve the results you want; 2- paying a higher price than others for something worthwhile; and 3- standing up for your principles when someone’s trying to knock you down.

In his first novel, author and Nobel prizewinner Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote about Ivan Shukhov, a political prisoner in a Siberian labor camp. Shukhov is forced to build a wall in weather 20 degress below zero. At it gets darker and colder the foreman gives the order to hurry the job by throwing leftover mortar over the wall instead of using it, so they could be finished for the day. “But Shukhov wasn’t made that way,” wrote Solzhenitsy, telling how the man resisisted the order— determined to finish the job right.

“Eight years in a prison camp couldn’t change his nature. Shukhov worried about everything he could make use of, about every scrap of work he could do— nothing must be wasted without good reason. The foreman yells at him and then hurries away. But Shukhov— and if the guards would’ve put dogs on him it wouldn’t have made a difference— ran to the back and looked about. ‘Not bad.’ Then he ran and gave the wall a good look-over, to the left, to the right, his eye as accurate as a carpenter’s level, straight and even. Only then did Shukhov stop working.”

Sooooooooo… measured by Shukhov’s standard, how’s your work ethic?!

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