Friday, April 12, 2013

Don't Feed The Yabut

I run a high school basketball program and while I specifically coach the Varsity all the lower level teams and their coaches fall under my purview.  We are gearing up to start our summer ball program which means the litany of excuses is about to start rolling in. Today I called a program-wide meeting and as they filed in and found their seats I told the following story:

"Have any of you heard of the yabut? It is a little animal that is very dangerous. There have been reports of these creatures being found all across the country around high school gyms."  At this point the girls began gasping and looking around at each other incredulously.

I continued, "They are potentially deadly, a real killer of hopes and dreams. What makes a yabut so dangerous is that they look harmless and cute and friendly, so people feed these yabuts. What happens when you feed animals? More show up wanting to be fed. Not only that but they grow bigger and stronger, making it much harder to get rid of or defend against them."

I could tell at this point that a few of them knew some greater lesson was coming, but most of them were still on the hook believing there were these animals running loose, possibly in the gym we were currently meeting. 

I went on, "The scary part is that some of you have yabuts." They start looking at each other, some start laughing; others quieted their teammates down knowing the hammer was about to fall.

So I said, "For instance, I may say, 'It is important for you to be here this summer.' and you say, 'Ya, but I need to babysit that day.' Or I might say, 'You need to come to this meeting' and you say, 'Ya but I can't make it.' The yabut thrives on mediocrity and excuses. The only way to avoid the pitfalls of the yabut is to stop feeding your yabut. If you quit feeding your yabut with excuses and justifications it will die."

"So, as I start to go over our summer expectations I want you to think about what your yabut is. What is holding you back from reaching your goals or becoming the type of basketball player that you want to be?"

At this point, one of my players says, "Wait, so is this real? Is there really a yabut? I don't get it."

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