We really try to take the blame for our mistakes and our failures with Henryville Basketball. One of the easiest defense mechanisms (which has been nurtured by our society the last 45 years) is to blame someone else for our shortcomings.
Basketball related "it was the refs fault"; "I didn't walk, he just doesn't know a good move"; "He takes too many shots"; "he needs to pass more"; "the fans are supportive enough"; the other kids are punks"; "the administration needs to have my back"; I could go on and on.
We as a staff must be able to accept our mistakes, acknowledge them, and move on. We will make mistakes, and if we try to deflect, blame others, act like it isn't the pink elephant in the room, we will lose respect as the leader of the program/team.
I have said "sorry" to my team, to my players individually, to my assistants when I was wrong. Believe it or not, I have been wrong. I know, I know if you go into the stands on a Friday night you will find a lot of people who agree with that assessment, but I am admitting it.
Don't be a victim, one of the hardest things to do is lose a game on a Tuesday night, especially sectional games, and come to school the next day. To walk the halls and look at the people who the previous night were doing all they could to help you win, and you feel that somehow you let them all down. Usually, they are very nice, but sometimes you don't even want that.
In life, we have a victim mindset that has permeated everything. We all need something, have failed because of something whether it be child molestation, murder, parents that loved you too much, parents that didn't love you enough, mean teachers, hard ass coaches, lenient substitutes, the police...something, somebody has caused you not to do what you are supposed to do, has made you into what you are.
Trust me, I have had more than my fair share of bad things happen to me, some worse than others, but I absolutely refuse to be a victom. Often we cannot control what happens to us but we can control how we react to it. It isn't easy sometimes, probably most times, but what other choice do we have?
Lie around and feel sorry for ourselves? Blame others? Do things we aren't supposed to do? Crime? Passing that sin onto others? Not me, I refuse to be a victim, I prefer to be a victor. I absolutely refuse to blame others for my mistakes; I refuse it. Do I fall short sometimes? Yes, I know when I am doing it, and I should stop, but it makes you feel better inside, psychologically, which is not right in my opinion.
I do believe that it is okay to feel sorry for yourself, to be depressed, to be down. If you put a lot of time and effort into something you are bound to feel defeated when you fail. It is normal, and okay to feel this way, but you must not keep you from moving forward. It is at that moment when you find out what you are made of, what kind of mental toughness do you have?
Perspective helps, too. I look at the stories of some people who have it worse than I do financially, career wise, health wise and it humbles you. Some of the things I have complained about, been upset about are really nothing in the grand scheme of things, in the overall picture.
But, in those darkest moments when you are dealing with death, when you are dealing with the illness of a loved one you must seek out the help of others. Someone to talk to, someone to vent to, someone to help you keep proper perspective. You have to have someone in your worst times, heck in all bad times that you can share your feelings with. Even in these worst of times, it too shall pass, and then what do you do? I would hope we move forward and persevere because that is what is wanted for us.
So, when you come to our games in the future, you can know that we are taking responsibility for us. We have practiced, planned, and prepared for that game. But, when you see me on the referees, or one of our players complaining about something, you can know we are falling short, but always striving to not be a victim.
(Pictured is Clint Horine, a recent graduate of HHS, fan of HHS basketball, and The Voice of HHS baseball. Clint has battled some daily struggles with his health, sometimes is down, but takes a negative situation better than most adults and makes a positive out of it. He is one of my heroes.)