Intentions Don’t Tell the Story
by C.A. Phillips
I came downstairs this morning and immediately noticed the wilting plant in our living room. “Oh yeah,” I muttered audibly under my breath. “I meant to water that last night.”
Thankfully for the plant, I was able to add water just a minute later, and by lunchtime it was stretching its leaves in the afternoon sun.
I had intended to do it the day before, however. Did the plant know that? Even if a plant could think like a human, by the next morning, would it care that I meant to water it, but forgot?
If you’re a coach or athlete, or maybe a parent of an athlete, you likely have aspirations for the year ahead – whether it’s for yourself, your team, or your son or daughter. Perhaps you have a goal to simply make a team you are trying out for. If you coach, you might have a goal to develop skills to be a better play-caller, or to manage your time more effectively. If you are a parent of an athlete, you might be looking at ways you to provide them encouragement, or some ways your kids can gain strength or develop physically.
These are all great things to think about. But, they’re even better things to do.
- Your son may have just had the worst week of practice ever, and he’s really down on himself. You remember earlier in the week that you had planned to text him every day before school and offer him encouraging words. But, you got busy. Work emails came flooding in. The laundry needed to be done. The dog needed to go out. Life happened, and now you’re kicking yourself.
- Your team is playing the number one team in the Region tonight. You had planned to throw your ace, but he tweaked something in his elbow, and now you aren’t sure who to put on the bump. Maybe Robby? You think back to last week, when you thought to yourself, “I need to give Robby some extra bullpen time, and throw him an inning or two in some non-region games to see what he’s got.” But, you never talked to Robby or your pitching coach, and now you’re in a pickle.
- Your coach sees your potential to help the team on the court. You are an incredible defender, and when the game is on the line, coach brings you in the game to keep it close. But, if you worked on your shooting, you might play even more. You read an article last month about how Kobe Bryant was always the first one at the gym, and the last to leave, and in that moment, you pledged to yourself that you were going to start arriving early to shoot around. But, you never did. Somehow, between Snapchat, video games, and hanging with your buddies, time evaporated.
One of the greatest quotes of all time is attributed to Stephen Covey: “We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior.”
You may have had the greatest ideas in the world, but nobody ever knew, and nothing ever changed, because you never acted upon any of them.
If you are looking at 2019 as a year full of possibility, you’re not wrong. But, I’m sure you want to move beyond possibility and into achievement. That only happens when you act.
In the famous words of John Kennedy, former coach of the Hawthorn Hawks Australian FC, who implored his team to take action during a passionate halftime speech during the Grand Finals in 1975: “Don’t think. Do!”
C.A. Phillips is a lifelong sports enthusiast and youth baseball coach, and currently serves as the Communications Pastor and Director of Men’s Groups at NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, Ga. He lives in Kennesaw with his wife, Amy, and his two sons, Chaz and Chandler.
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