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3 of the Most Important Life Lessons You Can Learn From Sports

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Among the many values of sports, there are three special lessons that transition flawlessly into life. Every successful person I have ever worked with has developed these three concepts.

FQ is more important than IQ

I was directing a basketball clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah when Dale Brown, the former Louisiana State University coach, spoke these words, “Your FQ is more important than your IQ.” He then explained that your FQ is your Failure Quotient. How often can you fail at something and have the resiliency to get right back up?

Pat Riley, the president of the NBA’s Miami Heat, wrote, “Success is getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down.” If there is one constant in the athletic world, it is that athletes will meet failure.

Baseball players must develop strong FQ’s because failure is a huge part of their game. Great hitters fail 7 out of 10 at bats. They experience failure 70% of the time. Basketball players have a similar experience. A player is an outstanding 3 point shooter if he fails 6 out of every 10 shot attempts.

The University of St. Francis basketball team I coached for 34 years played in a tournament in New York against the number 2 ranked team in the country. They were a great team and they beat us on a shot at the final buzzer.

Our best shooter, who was averaging 17 points per game, took 10 shots in the game and failed to make one basket. We had to play another game the next day. Before the game I told him, “If I see you open and you don’t shoot, I am taking you out of the game. You are our best shooter and you will shoot us into the national tournament at the end of the season.”…And that is exactly what he did because he had developed a resilient FQ.

Life can often be a struggle. Most of us will meet failure personally and/or professionally. There is a lot of adversity out there and none of us are exempt. We have to beat failure in life just like our player did in the athletic arena. We have to get back up. How? Two ways: Learn from it and put it behind you.

“I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Team ego

Bill Russell played for the Boston Celtics for 13 years. In 11 of those 13 years, the Celtics won the NBA championship. Russell said whenever the Celtic players entered a building for a practice or a game, they left their individual egos at the door. But what they brought in was their Team Ego.

They knew they were a talented team and they also knew they played together. Their Team Ego was telling their opponent that they better bring an outstanding game if they were to beat the Celtics, because the Celtics knew they would bring a great game every night.

The essence of athletics is teamwork. John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, taught, “The main ingredient of a star is the rest of the team.” He was fortunate to coach numerous stars and he got them to believe in his team first philosophy.

Michael Jordan was a star. I saw him play in person at the Chicago Stadium and the United Center at least 40 times during the most important time of the season – the NBA playoffs. He is the best player I have ever seen play the game.

When you think of Jordan, you think of his great scoring ability, but you seldom hear what a great teammate he was. He practiced harder than anyone on the Bulls; he was their best defensive player, arguably the best defender in the entire NBA; and he is the leading assist man in Bulls history. Jordan set the tone for the Bulls Team Ego!

I have worked with some outstanding leaders – principals at the high school level and presidents at the collegiate level. They knew they could not lead alone; they needed to develop a strong team and they did two things toward this goal: They surrounded themselves with good people and they gave all the credit away. They created a strong Team Ego by taking the blame but passing the credit on.

Listening

Sport is a great arena to develop the skill of listening. Every sport begins with the teaching of the fundamentals. Every sport teaches a system of play. Every athlete wants playing time and that begins and ends with listening. It is only by listening intently that a player can successfully understand and implement the fundamentals and the system.

One player not listening to game planning and game coaching can destroy team play. One player not in the right spot at the right time leads to broken plays.

Classroom teaching and the teaching of sport are the same, with one exception. Teachers and coaches teach their subject matter in the classroom and their systems on the athletic fields and courts. When the classroom exam comes, the students must know the subject matter to perform well. The exam in athletics is the game.

The players must execute the system the coach has taught them during the game. However, the opponent will do all he can to not allow the team to run their system. It would be like a student taking an exam with someone’s hand waving over his eyes during the entire exam! Players must develop the skill of listening if they are to beat the opponents who are waving their hands at them throughout the game.

Every great leader I’ve worked with was a great listener. They listened with their ears and their eyes. Their eyes were riveted on the person speaking as they gave that person their full attention.

The bottom line to listening in life is simple: LISTENING IS RESPECT.

“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.” – Muhammad Ali

The development of a strong FQ, concentrating on team ego, and listening  – great lessons that can be learned in athletics –  do lead to a successful life.

If these lessons of sport and life lead to success, you may want to remember John Wooden’s maxim:Talent is God given, so be humble, Fame is man given, so be thankful, But conceit is self-given, and you better be careful.

Pat Sullivan was a successful coach, teacher, and administrator in the Chicago area for 44 years – 10 years at the high school level and 34 at the collegiate level. His basketball teams won 602 games; he was named Coach-of-the-Year 11 times; and he has been inducted into 8 Halls of Fame. He has received Lifetime Achievement awards from Lewis University, the Joliet, Illinois, Chamber of Commerce, and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. Pat has offered basketball clinics and camps in Austria, Ireland, Belgium, and Greece and has spoken at clinics throughout America for the USA Coaches Clinics. He has also spoken to business executives from IBM, Accenture, and Sun Microsystems, as well as the University of Notre Dame’s Play Like A Champion conference. He is the author of Attitude-The Cornerstone of Leadership and Team-Building: From the Bench to the Boardroom.

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Life

The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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