Wednesday, August 27, 2008


RT Staff Note: This is another great Thought For The Day we found on the TeachdGame web site run by Jim Giles. Enjoy!

By Jim Giles
I recently ran across a small little thought in an article I was reading. The thought went like this:

There are Two Wolves fighting within each one of us. One embraces pride, burning ambition and desperate to win and gain honors at all costs. The other is humane, compassionate and eager to teach or learn life’s lessons. Which one will win? Whichever one you FEED!

I think this is a very important aspect to think about whether we are a player or coach. It also can serve us well as our athletic careers dwindle down and we move forward in our lives. While difficult on the surface, to be truly successful and reach our full potential today as an athlete, tomorrow as a coach or long term as a human being, we must learn to FEED BOTH in equal parts to survive. If we only feed one and ignore the other, that “wolf” will die. Feed only the ambitious one, you may succeed but quite possibly you will be left lonely and incomplete. Feeding only the humane or compassionate side could leave you achieving less than your full potential.

As athletes, you must be and remain hungry. You must have ambition and embrace the pride and challenge to succeed moving forward to the next goal. Otherwise you will not push yourself to greater things. How often have you seen someone have a good performance, only to follow it up with a less than stellar one? Whether it is at bats, or innings pitched during a game, you have to continue to push. Get a hit in your first AB, wonderful, now what will you do in your next. As a Pitcher you get through the first inning or two fine, but how will you finish the game. In the end it is how you finish that matters.

This same concept carries over as you approach games or your season. Start off in preseason just fine, but then you have to keep things going into your league season. As you enter the end of the season and move forward toward the playoffs, you now have to step things up. How will you continue to “feed” this desire to move forward as the weaker teams are eliminated and each game get’s progressively more difficult? Coaches, how will you continue to “feed” your team game to game, week to week, to keep them hungry and continually striving for more?

You must continue to avoid becoming complacent with who/what you are and failing to strive to achieve more. If things are not going well, how will you find the ability within you to not give up and continue to “feed” the wolf of desire, ambition and pride to turn things around and get better. Coming off a bad game or season, you need to find this inside you to move forward and improve to avoid spinning in the other direction.

Contrasting that, you cannot go about life with a win at all costs mentality and forget the humane side of things. If you do, you will win but will have no one to share the success with. Part of the joy of succeeding in athletics and in life, is having someone around when it is all said and done to share the celebration with. It is also about having respect for and being respected by those you have encountered along the way. At the end of the day, we should all seek not just the victory or success, but the respect that comes from going about it in the right manner. If we reach the end of a journey, only to look around and see no one there wishing to share it with us, then what joy does that bring.

Greed is Good ----- the good is in continually striving for more. Be Greedy, continue to strive for more out of your life experiences and out of yourself. The good can also be in how we handle this desire to achieve. Achieve it in a positive and compassionate manner and you will have a wealth of people around to share in these successes with. In the end, you must find a way to FEED BOTH THE WOLVES. Only in doing this, will you find your greatest potential while achieving it in the right manner and gain respect along the way.

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