Coach's Corner Thought for the Week: Find Your Own Fanatic

My research tells me that countless articles are written about how to motivate others.
Offerings like: Be the change you want to inspire.
Challenge and appeal to people’s value systems.
Empower people with trust.

Much less, however, is written about a question few people ask:
“Who motivates the motivator?”

True we all need a pat on the back,
We appreciate a round of applause,
And on occasion a bouquet of flowers for a job well done.

To be frank, I am beyond fortunate.
By virtue of staying in Iowa City the summer of 1986, I met a fanatic.
Three years later, I married my biggest fan and my soulmate.

Though the foam finger and pompoms are no longer around,
The undying support and cheering endures, for me, for us, for our family.

During the last 31 years my support system has taught me a
boundless amount about Commitment, Courage, Leadership and Love.

And believe me, We’re both still learning.
Have you found your fanatic?
Take Care and Make it an Outstanding Week,
Coach Curley

Coach's Corner Thought for the Week: Leadership

Leadership is not about being in charge.
Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge. (aka Captain Brett Crozier)

The exceptional ones get it.
I know it because I’ve witnessed it - first hand.
Not often, but enough to recognize it when it’s there.

Contrary to some belief,
I believe good coaches and leaders are made,
Not born.

They read;
they study;
they practice.

They listen;
they plan;
they respond.

They hire the RIGHT people;
they train them;
They coach them.

And all that, leads to a great “sine qua non”. 
Quality leaders and coaches do all that, too.

But there’s one thing that separates the good ones from the great ones.
The great ones care about their people.

And as a result…
The warriors care about their Chief.
The metaphoric soldiers show that they care
by delivering what they need to deliver 
So everyone wins.

It’s a leadership lesson you must see to believe.
Do you care? 
Do you care enough?

Take Care, and Have a non-Ordinary Weekend!
Coach Curley

Coach's Corner Thought for the Week: Not Fair

Jan and I are being raised by three boys:
Harrison (27), Mitchell (24) and Hayden (20).
All you parents out there, can I get AMEN!
(Pendant your understanding of where I’m coming from)
When our three terrific young men were a bit younger,
we occasionally had to deal with issues of fairness,
especially when one received something the others did not.
The Christmas Santa brought Harrison a Vespa Scooter,
The birthday Mitch was gifted the PlayStation 3,
And of course on any occasion the youngest received a present at all!

In response to the tools that siblings so masterfully use
to negotiate satisfactory outcomes - whining, complaining and/or fighting -
Jan and I would respond, “OK. Next time Mitchell gets punished,
You all get punished too!”

The usual response: “But, Mom, Dad! That’s not fair!”

Eventually, they got it.
And eventually, We did too.

My sons were born, after their mother pushed heroically for untold hours,
while I stood bedside encouraging her to breathe
And offering ice chips.
By what stretch of the imagination does that seem fair?
Everyone knows that the genetic lottery is not based on
the principles of equality and justice.
Heck the very symbol of American ethics - Lady Justice - wears a blindfold
as she weighs the law on her impartial scale.

It’s not fair that some of the best ideas often get lost by lack of funding,
competence or experience.
Not fair that athletes that qualified for the NCAA Championships won’t get a chance to shine this year.
Not fair that the tastiest foods are unhealthy.
And of course it’s not fair that Tom Brady has to play his final two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

It’s not fair. But life is not always fair.
In the end it's up to US to make chicken salad
from the chicken _ _ _ _ that life sometimes plops our way.

Is something in your life not fair?
Time to Make Lemonade!
And please remember Love trumps fairness every time.

Take Care and Have a Great Week!
Coach Curley

Coach's Corner Thought for the Week: Yesterday’s Tomorrow 2.0

"A positive attitude is a person's passport to a better tomorrow."

Scientists have determined that every thought
creates an impression on the brain.
These impressions create mental tendencies,
and our tendencies create character, ability and purpose.
The combined action of character, ability and purpose determines our experiences in life.

Given the opportunity (see last week’s Coach’s Corner) of vast amounts of ‘free-time”,
I must confess this past week I have spent a considerable sum of time visiting various social media sites.
Some of that time, at least in my judgement, proved productive.
Looking for inspiration for my Coach’s Corner piece
I decided to check out quotes from Pinterest.

At the present time with a good portion of the world feeling stressed
I typed in the interest-sharing-search box ‘quotes about worrying’
There perhaps could have been as many quotes
as leaves currently resting in my gutters.

The one I chose is a smidge philosophical:
“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!”

After organizing in my brain exactly what I believe the quote meant;
I decided to use it in this week’s THOUGHT prose.

I turned to Mr. Webster for his take on what "worry" actually means.
In surmising, worry is to feel distressed, anxious, troubled or uneasy.
Today’s world-wide societal mindset in a nutshell.
Though Mr. Webster hits the nail on the head possibly encapsulating
the emotional state of over 7.7 billion people,
The notion of allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles, is NOT good. 
True some folks probably did spend an exorbitant amount of their waking
and probably non-waking hours yesterday, worrying about today.

Thoughts like:
Will our Country go into a financial depression?
Are the Olympics in jeopardy?
Where’s Tom Brady going to play quarterback next year?
Do we have enough wine?
Is it possible to expel my own child from home-schooling?
Will the toilet paper be restocked at Walmart?
Well, I’ll leave you with another truth... 
Today is the yesterday you’ll reflect on tomorrow.
Whoa, talk about abstract maybe even transcendental...
I challenge you why not make that reflection a positive experience?
Use today to create the yesterday you’ll look back on tomorrow with pride and self-satisfaction.
You won’t have the time to worry about tomorrow.
Or the need.
Take Care and Try to Have a Great Week!
Coach Curley 


Now more than ever it’s important to have a strong immune system.
We know that stress weakens our immune system while a positive mindset boosts it.
We need to win the mental battle so we can win the physical battle.

Coach's Corner Thought for the Week: NOW

So what are we going to do the next 4 weeks?

It might be said that everything comes to those that wait...
It is also true that good things come to those that initiate.

Me personally, I'm not the most patient sort.
I don’t believe ALL good things come to those who wait.
I believe more in what Abraham Lincoln proposed:
"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle."

Sometimes, we just have to go and get it.

When it comes to the next 28 days…
The promising news:
It’s time to discover extraordinary things.

Read books you should have read in High School and College.
Not just the Cliff’s Notes.
Pride and Prejudice
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Great Gatsby
Brave New World

Take steps to learn a new language.
French or

Discover Crochet,
Quilting or simple sowing techniques.

Explore the world of cooking.

Begin lessons to play a musical instrument. 
Piano or
Harmonica (one of my ambitions along with continuing to write)

Many people are waiting for the perfect time to begin a new journey...
The regretful news:  
The perfect time is now.
Regretful, because there are no excuses for not beginning right now!

We’ve been given a chance, an unexpected golden opportunity.
Do something right now to better yourself, move a little closer to your dream.
Do anything.
Act, even its frivolous – at worst, it’s a learning experience.
Right now is the first moment of the rest of your life.

Are you using the “NOW” in your life?

Take Care and Make IT a Great Week,
Coach Curley

Practice social distancing but make sure you stay emotionally connected.


Thought for the Week: Reading the Message

Just 10 days ago I traveled with my wife to watch our youngest compete at the ACC Championships.
After, I wrote an ode to my son in attempt to explain how much I enjoyed watching him swim.
“I smile because your wishes do not take the place of deeds.” I penned.
Rather prophetic considering the topic of today’s Coach’s Corner.

This weekend I attended the Florida Age Group Swimming Championships (FLAGS).
Again a sporting event.
When I wasn’t coaching,
Or flexing! (catch last week’s Coach’s Corner Thought for the Week)
I entertained myself between Highlander swims by reading colorful T-shirts.

There was an entire  team sporting T’s in club colors.
Going through a strict regime of ballistic stretching exercises.
Their cotton billboards exclaiming “Eat, Sleep, Swim, Repeat” - PREPARATION

A 10 year old boy with gold mirrored goggles donned in a shirt:
“Veni Natavi Vici” come to find out means “I came, I swam, I conquered” - PERSEVERANCE

A 13 year old girl easily close to six feet tall, with a neon pink T stating “Courage is Contagious”
She was bawling her eyes out because she didn’t achieve her best time. – COURAGE??

There was one parent with the Olympic symbols on his shirt.
He was sitting outside eating a doughnut and drinking a Mountain Dew.

There were two moms loudly questioning the chosen order for their girl’s upcoming relay,
One with “Shut Up and Swim” inked on her back,
With the other “I can wine all I want, I’m a swim mom”
Mom One certainly not showing any restraint.
Mom Two whining.

And then there was the 14 year old
After triumphantly winning the 1650 Freestyle last night bearing the brand:
“At Lap 20, I thought I was dead.”
“At lap 40, I wished I was dead.”
“At lap 60, I knew I was dead.”
“At lap 66, I realized I had become too tough to KILL

And it hit me: the message (wishes) is not what we say,
or how we appear,
but in what we DO (deeds).

What message will people read from you today?

Take Care and Have a Great Week,
Coach Curley


Thought for the Week: Where You Are

This weekend my wife and I traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina.
The occasion: A sporting event.
At 55 I’ve had the pleasure and chosen to attend my share of spectacular sporting events.

This past weekend was more than just an occasion to be in attendance.
It gave me a fortuitous opportunity to witness, observe and personally reflect.
My presence at the Men’s ACC Swimming Championships was My choice.

My Choice also gave me countless scenarios to witness where everyone else was at various moments in time.
The athletes representing 12 schools:
Periods of stretching,
Warming up,
Parading out for finals,
At various times loose, smiling and happy, at others serious and stern.

The 50 plus coaches and supportive staff sporting colors from Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame and NC State.
And Flexing!
Sometimes loose, smiling and happy, other times serious and stern.

The thousands of spectators somewhat organized seated above the pool.
Friends and supporters in Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami and Pittsburgh T’s.
Parents donning the colors of Duke, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Boston College.
And at times Flexing!
Sometimes loose, smiling and happy, other times serious and stern.

As for myself there were instances that moved me tears.
For the record: tears of pride and joy.

At the conclusion of the 400 Free Relay which culminated the Championship
I had an overall sense that most everybody was pretty happy to have been there.

Which made me reflect:
For me and for each of us,
We are happy because we choose to be.
We are where we are because we choose to be.
And if we’re not happy, nor where we want to be,
We simply need to start moving in a new direction.
It’s within your power to do it!

We call the shots.
Your life, your rules.
You, me, us… are responsible for our own happiness.
It’s the greatest power we have, the power to choose.

Are you happy?
Are you where you want to be?

I say choose to be HAPPY.
Choose to be where you want to be.
Choose happiness for your health.
Choose happiness for your relationships.
Choose happiness for the success of the world you live in.
But most importantly of all, choose happiness for the simple fact that this is YOUR LIFE.

Take Care and Have a Great Week,
Coach Curley


Thought for the Week: Door Openers

Call me crazy, but there’s something different about a business that has automatic door openers.
More welcoming.
More inviting.
More friendly.

And they’re just a little more appealing and
approachable than those businesses I frequent
where I have to  p u l l  the door open to cross the threshold,
And  p u s h  it to get out.

While the new Credit Union building is sleek and modern,
I have to share that it possibly has the most substantial door
I  have ever strained to enter.

I find there are people in my life who exude automatic door openers.
They’re more welcoming.
More friendly.
More inviting.

And there are people who are the epitome of my Credit Union ingress.


Take Care and Have a Great Week,
Coach Curley