Opportunity is NOWHERE / by James Leath

"If you could only say one thing to a group of athletes, what would you say?"

My friend Ed came to town visit and talk teaching leadership to athletic teams. After a few hours of great conversation, he sat back and said, "Alright, we have talked about a lot of stuff. But if you If you could only say one thing to a group of athletes, what would you say?"

I thought for a moment, grabbed a post-it, and wrote this down:


Ed is a smart guy and loves a challenge, so he stared at it for about a minute before finally asking, "What am I missing?" 
"What do you see?" I asked. 
"Opportunity is no where."
"Yes, that is one way to see it."
He looked at it again. 

After a few more seconds, I wrote it again, this time separating it out two ways:


As coaches, we have to be conscious of our mindset. If we believe there is no opportunity, then we will miss it when she knocks at the door. However, if we believe there is a chance, if we believe there is a possibility for an opportunity, then when that knock comes we will hear it clearly and be able to act swiftly. 

Here is a poem I found years ago that illustrates my point. It is actually two poems, with two opposite perspectives. 

Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don't try to convince me that
There's something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Even if
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don't last.
And it's not true that
It's all in the mind and heart
True happiness can be attained
Only if one's surroundings are good
It's not true that good exists
I'm sure you can agree that
The reality
My attitude
It's all beyond my control
And you'll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day

Now read it from bottom to top, the other way, and see the world from a different perspective.