June 2021 - 8

IRON SHARPENS IRON
difficult beyond
COMPREHENSION
By Ken Mannie, columnist
Times are certainly tough. How about that for the
understatement of the year? With a pandemic, racial
tensions and social injustice in the headlines for months
on end, it seems as though the whole world is sitting on a
proverbial powder keg.
Focusing on daily responsibilities and duties can
be difficult - many times, they can seem to be difficult
beyond comprehension. It's as if you have to wake up
every morning with a fist-fight mentality to merely get
through the day. It really boils down to the fact that life
does not offer us any guarantees. And it really doesn't
matter how much or little you have to begin with, but
it certainly matters what you do with what you have. If
nothing else, you at least have the day - and you'll need to
come to the realization that it is yours to use as you wish.
A truly " use it or lose it " proposition.
A little self-reflection can go a long way. Call it what you
want, but in essence, it is a self-showdown ... a reckoning
with yourself. Reevaluate your goals, be as clear as
possible on what is really important to you, understand
that it will not be easy, be willing to make some sacrifices
(and investments) along the way. And when things get
really tough, try to put a smile on your face, be grateful
for the challenges, and do everything in your power to
push through it.
Hey, great things may be just around the corner!
You're a coach ... make the most of it on a minute-tominute
basis! If you haven't done so already, you need
to come to the realization that you should be passionate
about what you do. Most of all, passionate about making
a difference in the lives of others - and most importantly,
those kids who stand before you daily. Before you can
inspire, however, you must become inspired. Before you
can motivate, you must be motivated. And motivation
should be in your DNA, it should not be something that
you have to search for and muster up every day. It should
come naturally. What if it doesn't for some reason? That's
OK ... like anything else, keep working on it, and it will
eventually come around. Don't quit on motivation - it has
a way of growing and nurturing with time.
Remember this through all of the hardships, negative
news, and seemingly endless tough times we seem to
be going through: You are involved in something, i.e.,
coaching, that has a tremendous impact on more people
than you will ever know. It transcends the young athletes
you work with to a vast extent. It shoots up and trickles
8 JUNE 2021
down to people you may never personally meet, but who
certainly have heard about you and all that you bring to
the table in terms of positivity and improving lives simply
with your presence.
So, what have we established thus far? Well, before
you can effectively challenge others, you must challenge
yourself. And then, do what it takes to meet that
challenge. Every single day, attempt to push yourself
beyond what is normally your comfort zone. Get out
of that comfortable, familiar place, and look with
anticipation to something that brings meaning and
purpose to everyone's life.
Difficult beyond comprehension? It all depends on how
you look at it. Keep others in mind, and it gets a lot easier.
I once heard the phrase " get out of yourself, and into the
team (others). "
And don't be concerned if every effort and attempt isn't
a slam dunk. After all, things are going to fall short every
now and then for a variety of unforeseen and unalterable
reasons. However, you can take this to the bank - no
effort is wasted when you put everything into it.
Is there a better place and time than now to put those
words into effect?
Stay strong, stay in the fight, and keep making an
impact on young people!
Ken Mannie is the former head strength and conditioning
coach for Michigan State University. He worked in the
position for 25 years, and following his 45-year tenure,
Mannie retired in March 2020.

June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2021

June 2021 - 1
June 2021 - 2
June 2021 - 3
June 2021 - 4
June 2021 - 5
June 2021 - 6
June 2021 - 7
June 2021 - 8
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