Lead Your Family Uphill & Into The Wind & Watch Them Grow

Fathers have a responsibility to develop and mentor their children. Just this week one of my mentors posted the following on Facebook:

I think most everybody has that one person that pushed them, supported them, and mentored them…Tough, but always fair. Demanding, but “human.”

It is your job as a father to be that person. To provide tough opportunities. To support and build-up. How do you create those opportunities? Look back on your life and think about the teachers, coaches, or mentors who made the greatest difference. They understood you and the lessons you needed to learn.

We all face challenges. But, we also know our reactions determine outcomes. I coached high school track for several years. Three years coaching distance runners and one year as head coach. There was a tremendous difference between athletes who excelled and those who were mediocre.

Marathon Uphill Run Lead
Photo Credit: familymwr via Compfight cc

Early in the season I pushed my runners hard. I had to toughen their bodies to the max. I had to make them strong and prepare them for the difficult training at the end of the season. One of the most hated training days was sprinting hills. My school had the unique advantage of having wind blow down the hill at each practice.

It really is just like it sounds. All the runners would line up at the bottom of the hill and sprint as fast as they could to reach the top 50 meters away. Some sprinters loved the thrill of overcoming a challenge and pushed through all 10 sets. Some wanted to quit after their first attempt. It was my job as their coach to make training hard yet appropriate.[shareable cite”Robby Miles”]Difficulty and challenges force us to become stronger. #leadership[/shareable]

I was not just some mean-spirited coach set on destroying the muscles and self-image of my athletes. Instead, I knew one basic truth: difficulty and challenges force us to become stronger. Running uphill forced their muscles to work harder. Running into the wind forced self-discipline of pacing their run and breathing properly. Both the hill and the wind turned something easy, running, into something difficult, training.

Going through Officer Candidate School, my class’ motto was, “Strong Through The Forge.” I always liked this because of how it describes a process of purification and toughening. Steel is forged in fire, muscle is gained under stress, and the human spirit strengthened in adversity.[shareable cite=”Robby Miles”]Steel is forged in fire, muscle is gained under stress, and the human spirit strengthened in adversity.[/shareable]

I took several students to compete at state competitions over 4 years of coaching. One trait stood out amongst the state contenders. They embraced the hills, the wind, and the struggles. They were the ones who pushed themselves to overcome whatever challenge I threw at them.

I had one purpose a leader: help my team realize their goals, see their potential, give motivation, and provide opportunities to grow.

[reminder]What single lesson did your coaches or trainers teach you to help overcome obstacles?[/reminder]

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