Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Power of Money -- Yes or No?

“Give me this, give me that, and then I can make it happen.” The lack of money is usually one’s biggest complaint, yet should be much lower on the complaint list. Money cannot buy great results! It’s nice to have, yet often causes unnecessary issues. A person’s intelligence, their knowledge of the subject and subjects, along with their motivations decide results! With the right knowledge and being extremely motivated, great things can happen. A continuance of not doing things in this manner yields the same, less than desirable products year in and year out. One’s goals should be the highest possible attainable in your overall business…not just your company’s top end. How you implement this into the overall picture is key. This is where an extreme knowledge and a thorough understanding play its role. This is what many don’t get and therefore have a difficult time.

Remember -- and I said this in an earlier blog – the present is where you should be judged if you have had any appropriate time or results. Appropriate time means consistency at an improving level.

Page 37 of Coaching Wrestling Successfully, published by Human Kinetics, tells a good rule of thumb. It fact, I’ll include it here:

The Bump Elliott Rule:
Right after I came to coach at the University of Iowa, I had a meeting with Bump Elliott, who was the Athletic Director. I’ll never forget what Bump said to me: “Don’t ask for the moon. Strive to get there, sure, but do it wisely through continuing to build upon what you already have. As you build, come see me, and we’ll see how I can help you out.” I now call that bit of wisdom the Bump Elliott Rule, and it serves a good reminder to keep things in perspective. Gradual, solid growth is better than any quick fix.

My only request that first year was new wrestling mats for the athletes. The old mats were in bad shape and unsafe, hindering their training. Just this simple change motivated the wrestlers, who didn’t expect anyone cared enough to ask for or get better equipment for them.

The next year, after winning the school’s first conference championship in 12 seasons, I requested minor improvements to the locker room. The old, beat up, closed lockers were replaced with new, open locker areas; the revamped shower area had new wall and floor tiles and shower heads and disinfectant soap dispensers.; and a sauna was added, which offered many benefits to our overall training. All of these items enhanced the health, hygiene, and atmosphere for the athletes’ training. The benefits of the new mats and locker facilities were quickly realized. The attitude and performance of the team improved considerably, and recruiting efforts and attitudes were helped tremendously.


Anonymous Dale Johnson said...

Hi Dan,
You may not remember me, but I am your cousin Cynthia Fitzgerald's husband.
I wanted to comment on your post about money. It is funny that you should comment on this subject at this time because my Grandson Eric just started wrestling in Middle School this week. Because of lack of funds, his school doesn't have wrestling as part of their regular classes. They have an after school class manned by physical education teachers on a voluntary basis.
Unfortunately, with the budget crunches all schools seem to be suffering from, too many physical education programs are being cut. My Grandson is fortunate that his school has after school programs that offer various sports ssuch as flag football, basketball and wrestling. Not too many schools do. A mounting number of schools are only offering the minimum number of sports they can afford to. My Granddaughter Alyssa's Middle School pretty much offers soccer and sometimes softball and not much more. In their previous school, the gym served the dual purpose of also being the lunch room and auditorium, which further restricted what physical education classes were available.
In a society where we are so concerned with the health of our children, we are slowly removing opportunities for exercise.
When I was a young teen I was able to play football, basketball, both soft and hard baseball. tennis, swimming, handball and track and field. I don't know of any Middle School or High School that offers all of these sports today and we live in a middle class suburb. Inner city schools have far less than any of the schools around here. My High School, which was a Chicago public school, had state championships in about every sport you can name (including wrestling, but fortunately we didn't have to wrestle you Dan) including fairly obscure ones like archery. Today they only have 15 different atletic courses which includes bowling, golf and cheerleading. I can't name a single school that teaches archery today, let alone shop courses like foundry and aircraft mechanics, both of which were two of the dozens of different shop classes taught in my High School. Today, my former High School has three shop courses, Machine, Auto and Electric. No print shop, no foundry (even though our foundry was so advanced that the lathes that are used in the machine shop were cast in the school foundry), no aviation shop, no wood shop (where dies for the foundry were designed and built), no paint shop, etc.
So because of lack of money our children are less physically active, less mentally challenged and less able to use physical dexterity should they need to work in manufacturing jobs. This is in the top High School in Chicago. I can't begin to imagine how much worse it is in the schools that didn't have the top choice of students and equipment that my school had.
Anyway, I am excited that my Grandson has started in wrestling. He Been involved in baseball, basketball, hockey and figure skating and this is a new area for him. He is also excited that his Grandmother's cousin is an Olympic Champion. He has been a little envious of his sister, who is also a figure skater, because she had been coached by the 1972 Olympic Pairs Gold Medalist (as well as four time World and European Champion) and has skated with several Olympic stars before. In fact, she is a great spinner and was taught to spin originally by former Russian Gold medalist Ilia Kulik.
If you have some words of encouragement for Eric, it sure would help him with his enthusiasm toward wrestling. Cindy sends her love to you and the rest of the family.
PS. There are some family photos of Cindy and the Grandkids as well as others on the web page I posted.

10/13/2005 8:09 PM  
Blogger CoachHardin said...

Dan and others,
I would have to agree with the Bump elliot rule. i too have read the book, and it gives great advice. As a middle school coach, we were blessed with wrestling mats before we even started the sport. The Athletic Director at the district level saw it as a necessity to restore all mats a few years ago, which led to us starting our sport.

However, like other districts, we are facing a numbers crunch. We charge for wrestling meets, but receive very little due to low returns from the meet. We rely on basketball and the popularity from that to bolster the program.
I don't worry about the money. If I have to beg, borrow, and do whatever I have to in order to get things like new jerseys, then I will. I have a small program, but I know the money will come through. I have a growing program (4 the first year, 8 last year, at least 20 interested this year). Luckily, the athletes are finding out that wrestling a LOT better than basketball. Slowly, we'll grow and attract the crowds that basketball has, we'll have the champions, and we'll grow by leaps and bounds. luckily,I can feel it growing big this year alone!

10/16/2005 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Jason Bryant said...

Not sure how often you read the comments here, but I'm glad to see a recent post.

Your Bump Elliott Rule seems to be working with one of your former athletes, the head coach at my alma mater -- Old Dominion.

While Steve Martin wasn't near the top of any "most decorated wrestler list" at Iowa, but what he's doing at Old Dominion seems to signify this rule was instilled somewhere.

That or Stevie read your book.

To give a quick recap.
Gray Simons retired after spending 17 years at Old Dominion. I know you know Gray well, but the ODU wrestling program seemed to stagnate in his later years. Gray taught me a lot about wrestling history and helped me really understand the college wrestling world. He introduced me to many of the sport's best, but we haven't had an All-American since 1996 (Nick Hall, HWT).

Steve has come in and while it wasn't as gradual as at Iowa, some things needed immediate attention. They've been addressed and now the program is moving upward. An 11-5 record last year.

I think you can use the Bump Elliott Rule for nearly everything now that I think about it.

10/21/2005 8:37 AM  
Blogger said...

Jason -

Enjoyed hearing your stories about Steve Martin. Glad he's doing well. Love that Bump Elliott rule!


Dan Gable

10/26/2005 8:13 PM  

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