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Coach E says that a strong drive and perseverance are keys to athletic success. Photo by Jason Lewis“Perseverance – The Key to Success” Throughout the 23 years that I have enjoyed running Collegiate Search Youth Organization, I have had the benefit of meeting the most tremendously talented young people that have participated in our program. These incredible young people have achieved goals that, in some cases, they could not have imagined. I am quite proud of them and their accomplishments. Interestingly, each of these young people has demonstrated a common characteristic. They have each displayed a strong drive and perseverance. Perseverance is defined as persisting in anything undertaken and to maintain a purpose in spite of difficulties or obstacles. Parents often ask me, ‘How do I teach my child to persevere?” My first response is to tell parents that both they themselves as well as the child, are “unique.” There is no one else in the world that is the same. This means that each person is special, and each posses unique and wonderful talents. This uniqueness, translates to the understanding that the individual journey to success is also unique. Hereby, each person must make choices which are based on the individual purpose, in spite of any difficulties or obstacles. How do we develop a sense of perseverance? 1) Finish - Any endeavor that is undertaken, must be completed. The task must be completed. Children/people must become finishers so they’ll know what the journey entails. It is upon completion of a task or journey, that a sense of accomplishment is attained.2) No excuses – One thing that my dad drilled into me was the understanding that we do not make excuses. There is no such thing as an excuse. There are only solutions. If children are allowed to continually come up with reasons why something can’t be done, they will not do it. They will never complete a task. However, if the parent makes a stand and insists on solutions, rather than excuses, then the child is left to find the characteristics and the resourcefulness that will help them to endure until the end. This endurance will carry them through adulthood as problem solvers, and independent thinkers.3) Preparation - The key to any performance is preparation. Be prepared! Study hard for a test. Practice hard to play football or a sport. Practice and work at the art piece. Practice, practice, practice the instrument. The only way to perform at a high level is to practice at a high level. One thing I ask the young athletes is “What do you do when nobody’s looking? It’s easy to go hard when someone’s looking at you, like a coach, or fans. When no one’s looking at you, how do you push yourself?” 4) Consequences - Finally, we know this, but we don’t specifically teach our children the fact that there are consequences to all decisions. Consequences may be positive or negative. If our children are taught to make decisions based upon their belief in their purpose, then their choice should be in alignment with what they want out of this life. They become aware of their responsibility to themselves. When these disciplines are repeatedly re-enforced, without exception, the child will have learned to persevere. Perseverance with purpose and preparation can only lead to success. Remember, “You can’t fail, if you never stop trying!” Peace and be more! (Erich Nall is the Owner and Founder of Ultimate Transformations Training (www.ultimatetransformations.com) in Los Angeles, California. He is the author of 21 Days to Ultimate Health and Wellness. He has coached and trained many successful professional athletes, actors, models and others in the entertainment industry for the past 18 years.
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