Most people have read the Little Engine that could. I know, I would even refer to it while educating eighth graders or teaching sales associates, how to reach their personal quota. However, this past weekend, my experience, cleared the muddy waters or concepts behind this fabulous story!
You see, anytime I was coaching I would say look at the end result and go for that finish line. Which is one hundred percent normal for a coach. As we timed each runner in their event we would refer to their ending time and ask, can you beat that? After all, Track is all about who crosses that finish line first. I would run as fast as I could and cheer, “I think you can, I think you can…Come On You can do it, just look at that finish line, it is right there!!! (Ending with) I know you can! I know you can!”
Exasperated, I would check with John or Dad, for time and let them know where they were and where they needed to be! Does this sound normal to you? Of course it does as a coach you are to bring them up to their best potential and motivate them to complete the task, improve upon the last one and visualize the positive results is your job. However, if I chose to do that type of coaching again I would reverse their thoughts and my technique.
Why? You ask? Becuase although we had several qualify and attend state, once we arrived the goal or end result became overwhelming and several of them struggled.
Back to My lesson and then you will understand. As Eric and I rode bicycles, we would come upon some steep hills. He would shift down to second or even first gear and ride like the wind. (Of course he was demonstrating how necessary it is for me to have gears) Me, on the other hand, would begin pushing, panting, standing up and usually stop mid hill, exhausted. Though, I will say, I never walked and pushed my bike. Instead, I would look right in front of me about two feet and begin pedaling.
Pedaling, pedaling, pedaling slowly sometimes almost coming to a complete stop! Wobbling back and forth…hang on! I would say you can do this, you can do this.
My pep talk or phrase to myself became almost like a cheer/chant/song I would say out loud.
“You already know the end, all you have to see is, two feet & your free!”
I know that seems weird, but in the midst of the struggle it became, “2 feet in front of me is all you gotta see.”
Over and over again I would chant/cheer, “Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see… (push the pedals with all my might) Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see… (again, but a little louder)…Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see!”
I tested it time and time again. We would approach a hill and if I would ride, starring at the top; I NEVER MADE IT, without stopping! However, if I glanced at the top (or end result) I would take a snap shot of the path, quickly glance where others could be, ensure I could avoid any Big surprises and proceed. (All of that preparing was not a strict plan it was just a glance. So if I had to veer off the path, I would still arrive at my final deatination)
Next, I would look two feet ahead of me, glance behind me and take off!!! Push with the right, then the left. Breathe…inhale, exhale, inhale exhale. Focus on your breathing, Teena. And when I thought I couldn’t go anymore, I wasn’t strong enough, I would push even harder and cheer, “Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see!”(again)
“Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see…two feet in front of me is all I gotta see!”
Sometimes I would throw in the full mantra, but mostly I just concentrated on turning the wheels two times and moving two feet.
Isn’t this true in everything we do! I never understood why @The Little Engine that Could, began with, “I think I can.”
I do now! If he had looked at the end result the entire time he might not have made it to the the toys, on the other side of the mountain. Instead he began with just right then, right where he was at that time. He didn’t transition to, I know I can, until he had reached at least one major hurdle and enjoyed the journey along the way.
Anything you want to do big or small! Know the end result or goal, feel it for a split second. Then begin to take one step, then the next. You do not want to miss the delicious journey along the way, so you can bask in the glorious warmth and good feeling at the top.
Back to track. I love track as a sport! Because it focuses your brain to improve you for your own personal record. If you are a coach try not to focus on the end quite as much, but rather visualize the end and improve by only seeing two feet ahead, two days, two hours, or even two seconds!
You can get thru, accomplish or achieve anything you want! If you are depressed, struggling with addiction or just wanting to pedal to the top of a hill, you can do it! The key is to see it and break it down into smaller, manageable pieces!