Set of 3

Don't whine

Don't complain

Don't blame others

     This was one of John Wooden's sets of 3 that he was given by his father. Wooden's dad told him to try as best he could to live by this set when he was faced with adversity. Wooden was an amazing coach for many reasons but this set of 3 he molded his everyday dealing around is definitely a big part of why he and his athletes enjoyed such success.

     What if we chose to look at every negative circumstance and apply these 3 simple statements? Do you even see this as something that is possible for you to do? Let's dive into what applying these statements means for us. This might hurt a little but pain is always necessary in order to experience growth.

     Look around and you will quickly notice that most athletes do not apply this set of 3. How many times have you or a teammate of yours looked back on a performance and began to list all of the reasons why you were not successful? Is it OK to do this? Here is where my professional opinion might differ from most. I do not feel it is OK to ignore any of the set of 3.

     First let's address those athletes that choose to complain or whine. This habit shows a mindset that feels helpless and unable to navigate through any kind of adversity. If you are a whiner or a complainer then you are essentially saying that your situation is what it is and you have no say in changing it. Notice that I labeled whining and complaining a habit. Habits can be changed. 

     Now let's discuss the practice of blaming others. Most athletes agree that whining and complaining is not beneficial to performance, but blaming others is justified at times. The question that I would ask to get to the heart of this matter is, when is it OK to blame others? I am not a fan of athletes blaming referees for their lack of success. I am not saying that the referee did not make a mistake or two at some point in the competition, but please do not overlook the mistakes you and your team may have made as well. 

     The example above is why I have the stance that blaming others is never OK. The habit of blaming others detracts attention away from you and what you could have done differently to arrive at a different result. Many times blaming others focuses attention on something over which you had no control. In other words, you are wasting time getting worked up over something that is not going to make you or your team any better. 

     Let's land the plane by discussing what applying this set of 3 looks like. After a performance you will now have the mindset of introspection on things that you had control over. There will be no time wasted and you can get right down to work on improving in order to be successful in your next performance.