Character & Mental Toughness – Blind Spots


One lesson we all learn when we first start driving is that there are blind spots.  The drivers education programs make new drivers aware that they really are not seeing everything when behind the wheel.   In short, there is more to see than you think.   You have to make the extra effort to check your blind spots before you make a move.  You have to make the extra effort in order to be aware of what is going on.  Fail to do so and the consequences can be grave for yourself and others.

People have blind spots too.

Weaknesses we fail to see in ourselves.

We must make an extra effort to find our blind spots in order to see areas we need to develop.   It helps if we have someone who can point out these blind spots and teach us where we need to grow.

If we make the effort, like taking the time to read this page, then those blind spots become small and inconsequential.  If we ignore our blind spots, eventually we make the wrong move and they catch up with us.  We end up in a bit of a wreck because we didn’t listen, or were too lazy, or too distracted, or thought it wouldn’t matter.  Taking some time now to learn and minimize your blind spots can help you to avert disaster later.

Tonight I took my two oldest boys bowling.  I’m a terrible bowler.  This is because I didn’t spend any time developing my bowling skills.  Kinda of like a football player who never lifts won’t be very good.

As soon as we got to our lane my soon to be twelve year old wanted to put up the bumper guards.  These guards prevent the ball from entering the gutter, and they make sure the person bowling knocks pins down everytime.

I refused.

”Absolutely not, you are too old, we are going to play this game the right way,” I said.

He pointed to the older teenagers in the next lane to our right who were playing with the bumpers up, and said “they have the bumpers up.”

I said in a lower tone, “you are lucky you have a father who expects more from you than that, anyone can be goofy, I’m not wasting 50 dollars on paying for us to bowl so you can be goofy.  You don’t get to bowl much, make the most of this chance to improve.  Someday it might matter.”  As I said this one of the teenagers was turned around and hiking the ball between her legs and down the lane.

The first game my soon to be twelve year old was terrible.  Gutter ball after gutter ball.  He had a very frustrated and dejected face.  The twelve year old’s soon to be fourteen year old brother then asked me to put the bumper guards up.  He felt bad for his younger brother.

I told him “Absolutely not. We can raise the baby bumpers or we can raise our game.  We can learn how to play this sport the right way.  Stop wishing for it to be easier and start working on getting better.”

I was happy to see that both of my sons improved vastly over the next couple games.  Near the end of our second game a group of soon to be twelve year olds started bowling in the lane to our left.  They had the bumpers up.  By then my twelve year old son was knocking down pins everytime he was up.  I could see he was proud of himself because he was doing something these other kids his age couldn’t or wouldn’t be mature enough to do.

I had won the first couple of games, but in the final game my fourteen year old was 1st, my twelve year old was 2nd,  and I had won.  My sons had just minimized a blind spot.

Continue to work on minimizing your blindspots.  Eventually that work allows you to begin to see the blindspots in others.  You begin to see when people make excuses instead of progress.    You begin to see things like people who tell their teammates what to do, but haven’t earned that right by sweating alongside them.  You begin to see when people fail because they can’t get through adversity.  You begin to see people who think they need breaks, but haven’t even started working yet.  You get what I call Neo vision.  I don’t mean hip-hop star glasses.  I mean you begin to see things that others are blind to.  Like Neo in The Matrix.

You begin to see why people, and teams, and towns win.  You begin to see how they lose.

I just want you to know what is possible.

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About coachbillmoore

Educator/Author/Speaker/HS & NCAA Coach Character Coach Read Coach Moore’s book “On Character and Mental Toughness” Paperback available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. "The measure of your character and mental toughness is the space between what you are doing and what you could be doing." -Coach Bill Moore
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