Why didn’t I really read it? Maybe I fell asleep. Maybe I had given up on that magazine because it had not inspired me in months. Maybe I have been too busy reading other things I found more engaging.
All I know is I didn’t read it.
Then one of my fellow coaches at the school where I teach asked if I had read the article. I said no. I wasn’t quite sure which article, but I knew I had not really read any of them. He said this as if I should know exactly which article he was talking about.
The next day he stopped me and gave me his personal copy of the magazine. It was the same issue I had just recently glanced at. I took the magazine and thanked him.
A day or two later he asked me again if I had read it. I told him that I had not, but that I would.
Then a week passed. Maybe three. The magazine sat there by the side of my bed. I knew I would read it because I said I would.
The other night I finally picked that magazine up. There was an article on the Super Bowl. Surely this must be what he meant; we coach football together. I read the article.
There was a part in that article I found really inspirational. It had to do with the Super Bowl champions adopting a method of debriefing common among fighter pilots. The players hold the debriefing without the coaches present. The players are expected to rise and speak before their teammates. Each player evaluating their own performance and the other players giving them feedback. Cool stuff.
Yesterday I saw my fellow coach. I thanked him. I told him I had read the article on football and found it quite useful.
He looked at me sideways, the way only a guy who has been coaching for almost 40 years can do. He said “Not that article, the other one!”
I knew I had dropped the ball and disappointed him.
I told him I would read it. Whatever article he meant I was going to read every word in the magazine and find out what the heck he was talking about.
I started scouring the issue before I went to bed last night and there it was.
All of it.
An example of everything I have been trying to teach.
Finally, I had an article that I could share with my players, their parents, and others I have been trying to reach. An article that would clearly back up all these efforts I have been making; proving to them that what I’m trying to tell them really does matter more than they might ever imagine. An article told in such a relatable and inspiring way that anyone could read it and be moved to apply the principles of character and mental toughness to their own endeavors.
People can be so reluctant sometimes. This article will make a difference. It will help many of them see what I see.
To think I would have missed this had it not been for a good man intent that I wouldn’t. The means by which I finally discovered this article make it mean even more to me.
If you don’t have time to read it I hope you make it a point to sometime. I hope you read it and share it.
Here are two recent responses to the article in a subsequent issue of the magazine and the link to the article.
“I think we can all learn something from Mike Powell when it comes to pursuing goals and giving your all. While I respect the talented athletes who compete in events like the Super Bowl and win championships, I really wish I had some of Powell’s inner strength, determination and drive.” -Jay B. O’Neal, Deerfield, Ill.
“He taught me that every day is a battle worth fighting and that whether you’re battling a disease, an opponent two feet in front of you or a math exam, your success depends on the character and effort you bring.” -Aaron Minnis, Oak Park, Ill.