Driving home this afternoon, I was listening to University of Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham on his radio show discussing the game against (then) #1 ranked USC on Saturday. The Huskies came close in a 3-point loss that went down to the final seconds. He was describing his words to his team prior to the game. One of his statements made me stop and think.

He told his team that they didn’t have to play a perfect game to win. He reminded them that they would make mistakes during the game, but to never drop your head because of them…to keep fighting on and overcome those mistakes. The part that stuck with me was not dropping your head.

It reminded me of my days coaching high school basketball. How many times I remember kids making mistakes on the court and dropping their head in disgust, hurt, or sadness. How much harder is it to bounce back when you’re looking straight down?

The same can be said about life, too. Business, sports, and personal lives all give us plenty of opportunities to make mistakes. Some mistakes are made with all the right information and effort…it’s that “hindsight is 20/20” stuff. Some mistakes you wonder, “What was I thinking?” But in all cases, I encourage you to take Coach Willingham’s advice and keep your head up. We all make mistakes. If we are smart, we always learn from them, too.

Keep your head up. Go into your “game” knowing you will make mistakes. Resolve to learn from them and keep battling. Remember that you can’t get where you want to go if you’re looking straight down.

Dan

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