Back during my coaching days, I had the pleasure to hear Thad Matta, then the head men’s coach at Ohio State University, speak. I don’t remember much of the Xs and Os of his talk, but one phrase he said during his opening remarks stuck with me.
He said that one of his core philosophies for himself and his team was: “I don’t do bad days.”
If you watch a lot of football, you’ll often hear announcers praise quarterbacks for having a ‘great short-term memory’. This phrase is usually used after a quarterback throws an interception, then follows it up shortly thereafter with a drive to lead his team to score. It’s one of the most important capabilities of the quarterback: to be able to focus on the current play and current series, instead of dwelling on what just happened, or what could happen.
Another phrase that was used a lot for the teams I coached was: “Next play”. Regardless of whether the previous play was good, bad, or ugly, focus on the next possession. Focusing on doing your job well one play at a time and one day at a time ultimately leads to a lot of great days, great weeks, and great year.
It’s around 8:15 in the morning as I write this, and so far I’ve spilled a water bottle all over my gym bag and my wife’s purse, spilled that same water bottle (once I refilled it) all over the gym floor, and walked outside in the rain with my rain jacket in my arms instead of on me. I’ve decided that none of these snafus will ruin my day. Instead, it’s just a bad moment in a great day.
No bad days, only bad moments.