Tag Archives: life skills

Worthy…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration for this week comes from John 14: 27

“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.


I love the life lessons that athletics teach. That is what fuels me on a daily basis to keep coaching. Sometime during my coaching tenure, I learned the hard lesson that a good coach loves their athletes more than they love the sport or the win. I don’t think that it was a passionate “aha” moment, but rather an on-going personal development in my leadership skills that led me to this realization. I know that it is something that I remind myself often as I wear the “coaching hat”.

Over the decades, I have noticed a recurring challenge that appears most often in my female athletes. Interestingly enough, it is also something that I struggled with during my own athletic career. It is a simple question that carries huge implications (both in athletic performance and in life).

Am I worthy of the win?

An innate sense of worth is critical to athletic performance. Google defines worth as “sufficiently good, important or interesting enough to justify a specific action.” I see it determine the way that the athlete perceives him/herself as well as how he/she internally formulates their role on the team. It dictates whether an athlete is all in and able to own the game. What the fans notice most is athletic performance — what I see as a coach goes much deeper than that.

Am I good enough to deserve to win sets the stage for the athletic performance. It can be both transient and permanent — it depends on the athlete and it depends on the day! While the status within each player’s mind might fluctuate, the effects of the answer are steadfast.

  • A worthy athlete plays with confidence
  • A worthy athlete plays with resilience
  • A worthy athlete is better able to look outside of themselves to play a leadership role on the team

Why girls?

I think that girls struggle with this challenge more than boys because they live in a world that constantly compares them and often expects perfection in order to grant value. As a result, girls are cautious. If they do not have 100% confidence that they can do it right, then they chose to hold back. In a teenage girl’s mind, there are different levels of failure. And, while none of them are appealing some hurt more than others. They believe that:

it is better to hold a piece of themselves back and fall short than it is to give it everything that they have and still not win.


A couple of years ago, I coined the phrase pack your faith to compete with grace. There are many implications to this mantra, but I thought of the young women that I coach when I put the words together. As a coach, I can run drills and practice so that my girls internalize what they are supposed to do and gain confidence that they can perform the tasks necessary to bring home the win. As a coach, I can also love them and encourage them to believe. But, I cannot fill their hearts with the peace of Jesus that will carry them in the moment of competition when they need it most.

I cannot. But, God can.

The apostle John reminds us in the above passage that Jesus leaves us on earth with a heavenly gift. The gift is peace of mind and heart. It is available for all those that reach for it. While it is offered to everyone, it is not forced on anyone. We each have the choice to say “Yes”. When we do, Jesus fills our hearts and the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our minds. The combination creates a new level of worthiness.

I wish that I had figured that out during my own athletic tenure.

I feel incredibly blessed that I figured it out during my coaching tenure.

God’s time isn’t always our time, and learning to trade fear for faith is a life skill. When we make this intentional choice, the results on the athletic field are tangible. But, more importantly, the impact on the confidence with which we live our lives is nothing short of amazing grace 🙂

 

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Filed under General, Wednesday Wisdom

F.E.A.R.

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I found this quote on Instagram a few weeks ago. My girls tease me that I am a quote nerd.  I proudly reply that my grandfather taught me long ago to appreciate the potent message delivered by a cleverly strung cluster of words 😉

While I did not personally coin this particular acronym, it well describes my experiences in 2016.

No one can claim immunity from fear, but fear only defines us if we chose to allow it.   

Fear of the unknown provides one of my greatest personal challenges.  I am a stalwart creature of habit, and I like to be in control.  As a result, my decision last summer to close the feed yard left me terrified. Over the course of 2016, I discovered that a decision takes on an entirely new level of enormity when it involves altering a 45 year old business.

The mental process of defining the cause of fear provides a critical survival practice for me.  While I may occasionally wish that I could forget everything and run; the act of facing the challenge ultimately provides the courage to rise above it. As I reflect on 2016, I acknowledge the personal struggle that marked most of the year.

I end this time period proud of my decisions and the actions that resulted from them.  2017 will bring change; however, I stayed true to my core values and consequently can look with both excitement as well as confidence on into the future.

Sherry Bunting did a wonderful job “telling my story” in a recent article in the Progressive Cattlemen magazine entitled As Will Feed Closes, Reflecting On Twenty Years In the Feed Yard.  You can read it by clicking here.

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Happy New Year to you and your loved ones! 

May 2017 inspire you to face everything and rise…

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Filed under Chronicles of a Retiring Feed Yard Boss Lady, Coaching / Personal Growth, Feed Yard Foodie "In The News", General

Learning To Share…

Nine years ago today my baby girl made her way into the world.  She was four weeks early, obviously deciding that she was tired of the cramped conditions in my belly as well as spending long days caring for cattle during the Fall Run at the feed yard.

The fall months are marked by cattle coming off of grass pastures and into the feed yard as the growing season comes to an end in Nebraska...

The fall months are marked by cattle coming off of grass pastures and into the feed yard as the growing season comes to an end in Nebraska…

She was a perfectly beautiful baby weighing in at 6 pounds and 7 ounces, and she arrived ready to take on the world.Karyn birth1

While I believe that all of my girls are a gift from God, the circumstances surrounding Karyn’s first four years uniquely changed both my body and my perspective of life.  Unknowingly, over the years, Karyn has propelled me toward adopting my own mantra.

Special times of learning...

When my life is over and I leave this world, I do not want to have any part of myself left.  I want to have used all of my gifts and talents in order to have made a positive difference.

Most fall days, chores keep me hopping from the dark hours of the morning until dusk falls across the prairie in the evening.  As much as possible, I try to include my girls in those chores.  I believe that working with animals teaches focus as well as compassion and responsibility.  It takes the emphasis away from self, and instead focuses the caregiver’s attention on another being.Sept. 30, 2011 054

Just as there is a part of my heart that cares unconditionally, there is also a part of my brain that accepts the necessary life skill of learning to share.  That skill not only pertains to the way that I care for my animals, but it also bridges into every relationship in my life.  Passing that skill on to my girls is of the utmost importance to me.DSC06493

Last weekend, Karyn made her own birthday party invitations on the computer.   She proudly brought them up to show me when she was finished, and my eyes filled with tears when I read her request for birthday gifts.

Don't bring gifts

Bring donations for the local food pantry instead of gifts for the birthday girl…

She may only be nine years old today, but she already is realizing the vital importance of Learning to Share. 

What more could a Mama ask for?

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Filed under Family, General