I had great coaches growing up and they gave me so much of my real-world references about life and what it means to be a man. It was a real treat to listen to the mindset of Coach George Raveling in his interview on the Jordan Harbinger Show Podcast. I've used this blog post to recap some of the gems that I pulled from the podcast with Coach Raveling.
Coach Ravelin is 80 years old, or how I like to say, he is on level 80, and his positive attitude towards change and the future is remarkable for a coach at his level. Coach is a fascinating person to get to know...even if it is only through this interview.
Don't always follow the crowd
Considered yourself a contrarian. I've always liked to go a different way...when others go one way...I usually go the other.
Thinking a bit differently is a form of disruption
Take the roads off the highways of life. This mindset opens up additional opportunities. As we move into this new time in history...many times the disruptive action is what takes hold and moves things forward. The best place to start a disruption is with yourself.
What it takes to be a good coach
Coaching is based on Trust. There are two necessary requirements in any high-level coaching relationship...Trust and Respect. To communicate effectively, you need to be both a good listener and a clear communicator. What sets a good coach apart is becoming an active listener.
Building young people
Have a broader approach to working with players, the relationship has to be more than just about basketball or football. If you send me boy...my goal is to always return him as a man. It's not just about winning and losing, it's the growth of a person that generates the most value.
Add life lessons
Just like my HS Coach, Coach Peveto, I always spend the first 5 minutes before each practice talking about something that does not directly translate to football. This bit of time gives an opportunity to impart lessons that can help each player grow as a person...not just as a player. The Goal: The help the young person integrate into society and become a responsible adult.
Know your real value
As an adult, don't think of yourself as being smarter than young people, look for your real value. Your value is that you know where many of the pot-holes in life can be found, and you should use that knowledge and experience to help those around you avoid those pot-holes when possible.
See the future and provide a path
One of the most important lessons that should be taught to young people is placing a high value on their education. Learn that making money is the relatively easy part...keeping it and multiplying it is the more difficult part. Adults should embrace the opportunities we have to give young people a balanced perspective about the future and show them a clear way to participate in that future.
Be grateful and give back
I have had so many people help me along the way, and as you move up in age, you realize that you have had your chance to make it to the mountaintop. At some point, it can't still be all about yourself. You must understand that your success is due to the many people around you as you grew and developed, and coaching/mentoring is a way to give back to those around you.
Learn to avoid problems
Nothing in life is of any value unless it can be shared with others. Try to be a servant leader. It might be good to listen to me because I can help you prevent the problems...because I know where they show up and I know how to avoid them. It has always been important to learn to overcome adversity, however, at times it is much more useful to learn how to avoid obstacles when we can. (It is much better to learn ball security than learning to be the best at recovering a fumbled football)
Give them room to grow
You don't really choose those that you mentor... in more cases they choose you. Stop using the term "Intern" when helping young people. The term intern puts too many labels and fences up around them. Give them the freedom to grow in their own space.
The great ones are driven
My observation about many of the people that have had success around me is their unusual capacity to want to excel, their ability to work hard towards their goals and their extream discipline. They are all hyper-competitive.
Great relationships are built
There are three fundamental responsibilities as a coach: You coach behavior, you coach attitude, you coach performance. If you can manage behavior, attitude and teach performance you are going to have a great relationship with your players. When coaching great players you sometimes have to throw the rules to the wind or make them up along the way.
The most difficult decisions are made by the most courageous leaders. Your choices can be critiqued in the future, but you must make the best decision at the time with the available information and using situational awareness. Sometimes you will be forced to make choices without knowing everything, or you are not given enough time. Do the best you can and adjust along the path.
Make your day
Every morning give yourself only two options as you get ready for the day. The two options: You can be happy or you can be very happy. There are no other choices as you move to plan your day. When planning your day, it really evolves around only four actions. 1) Energy Management 2) Time Management 3) Environmental Management and 4) Productivity. Productivity is the byproduct of the first three. Each day has scheduled in it an hour of "think" time...having constructive conversations with yourself. This constructive conversation is often the most important conversation that you can have during the day. At the end of the day ask yourself the fundamental question...What did I do today to make myself and those around me better?
Don't spend a lot of your time trying to figure out how to be happy...you should just be happy in your life as the default. You should always be happy...just some days you are happier than others. Learn to understand how much control you have over your life. It sometimes just takes courage to take our lives back from society. Remove the labels and fences that people put around you.
Control your life
There are two universes, the universe called "me" and the universe called the "world." Once you decided not to buy what others want you to buy, stop eating what others want you to eat and stop going to places you don't want to go...you start to find out just how much control you have over your life and what direction you are heading.
Look to the future
As you get older, try to figure out what it is that you don't know but need to know so that you can stay relevant in this ever-changing world. Trying to learn about the future is a necessity nowadays and reading and learning about what kind of skill sets that will be of value in the future is paramount to staying on a growth path as things change around you. There will be change...you either create your way, or someone else will create it for you. Do you have your hands on the steering wheel of your life?
Make things better
The three most powerful questions that you can ask yourself in this journey through life are: 1) Who am I? 2) Why am I on this earth? and 3) What can I contribute? I wish that I would have learned this earlier on in life...I would have spent much less on clothes and collectibles...you know the things that other people think are important. It's really about your lasting legacy. Did I spend my life trying to help other people become better?
Surround yourself with young people
One of the ways to stay relevant is to surround yourself with younger people. You will never see me mostly hanging around people my own age. If you spend time with people your own age...you are going to be residing in the past. The people who understand where the world is going are the young people around us. Young people can become an older person's best mentors right now. Often times the young person thinks that I am mentoring them when in reality we are mentoring each other. There is a certain naivete to them, and they think they know a heck of a lot more than they do...but listen to them because when it comes to the future, they are mostly right. One of the best ways to work with young people is to ask them their opinions and respect their opinions. You don't have to agree with their views...it is just a good way to find a new perspective on something...making you say to yourself, I didn't think about that before. I'm not into everything that entertains them nowadays...but I am a big fan of their intellect.
Move toward fulfillment
Reinvent yourself every ten years or so with 5-year reevaluations. Society dictates change around you, so you need a plan for your future...living your life strategically. People often times spend more time planning a vacation than they do their future. Those that plan their personal lives strategically have a huge advantage over others that just live. You should want to live a life of fulfillment.
The marriage between the human and the machine
I am currently working on being enlightened when it comes to moving towards the future, and I'm concentrating right now on the role that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play as we plan and react to the future. There is going to have to be a marriage between the human and the machine. Trying to answer the question: How are the human and the machine going to work together in a collaborative manner to create a better society? You have to try to keep up or the minute that you say I'm done learning new things...you will become irrelevant. There is so much more to learn. I like to think that every day is an exciting journey with positive growth.
I want to do things that energize me while asking myself all day long...Why, Why Why. Then try to find out that answer so to live an invigorating life. Spend zero time trying to meet other peoples expectations.
Some basic respect
I was raised to believe that life is not about money...life is about the positive experiences that you create around yourself. One of the most positive things that I was taught as a young person was using "Yes Sir and No Sir...Yes Ma'am and No Ma'am". People don't say these things anymore, and it really sets you apart in today's world. Long before the women's rights movement, I was taught to stand up for women, open doors for women, and never start eating at a meal until the women had begun. I was brought up to respect women and that there was a proper way to treat them.
We live in the greatest time this world has ever known. Every day is replete with insurmountable opportunity for personal growth. Opportunities are everywhere, we just need to reach out and embrace them...make them part of our lives.
Craig Ball - The Spinwit Blog
Local HS Football Coach
Business and Technology Teacher
Executive Director of Colorado's 8-Man All-State Game
Early Colorado Gaming Industry Organizer and License holder.
Black Hawk, Colorado is an old gambling town just west of Golden on North Clear Creek at 8,000 feet of elevation. Legalized Casino Gambling was reinstated on October 1st, 1991.
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Craig Ball is an MBA student at the University of Illinois, a football coach, teacher, and former casino owner in the Gaming District. This site is used for sharing information about what I'm reading /writing on topics like education, coaching, and casino gambling.