Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rest Day Read September 30, 2010

Rest Day Read (SR-50)
The Arena of Compete: Tickets, Please.
a Coach Hays Rant
"May I see your ticket, please?"
"What ticket is that, fine sir?"
"Your ticket to the Arena of Compete, of course."
Now that's the ticket I am talking about!  The ticket to the Arena of Compete.  The ticket to the big show, the big stage, the place where you get the chance to shine.
By this point of the season, everyone, regardless of sport, has probably played a few games.  You probably know whether you possess a ticket or not.  You probably have a pretty good idea who is holding the tickets on your team or on your opponent's team.  You probably know who belongs and who does not. 
Wins alone are not the ultimate indicator of possessing a ticket for the Arena of Compete.  Even a broken clock is right twice a day, so maybe one can squeeze out a win here or there, regardless of ability.  What matters is the ability to compete when times get tough.  The ability to compete when it is all on the line.  The ability to compete when the opponent or situation becomes daunting and overwhelming.
How much to buy yourself a ticket?  Sorry, you can't buy one.  Cash is not good at the Arena of Compete.  You can't buy your way in with money, by association or by appointment.  There are no gift memberships.  Nothing is given freely, all must be earned!  Earned by blood, sweat and tears. Earned through hours of toil and labor.  Forged through continual preparation and through the Fail Cycle (pushing, failing and conquering...pushing, failing and conquering...)
No ticket? No problem.  You can still enter through the back door without a ticket.  Intertwined into the Area of Compete is the Field of Fraud.  Sure enough, don't do the work, just show up.  Wear the right uniform, say the right things, look the part and you can get onto the field.  Realize, though, that you and your weaknesses will be exposed in front of God and everyone.  There is no place to hide on the Field of Fraud. It will be glaring.  It will be obvious you did not earn a ticket.  You will lack the confidence and the swagger of those who did.  You will be a fraud and everyone will know it. 
The Arena of Compete can be a brutal, unforgiving place for the unprepared.  Do the work.  Earn your way, earn your ticket into the Arena of Compete.
Hard Work is the Currency.
Hard Work is the Magic.

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