Rude Awakenings

by Dave Hanks



        The gifted high school athlete
			is in a situation unique.
	His ego is on display
			for any recruiter to "tweak".

	They will "wine and dine" him,
			and his parents as well.
	His past and future glories
			they labor hard to tell.

	He feels so extra-ordinary,
			from all they have to say.
	But little does he know,
			that there's going to come a day -

	When that gigantic bubble,
			laid on him from the first;
	Has about run its course.
			It is just about to burst!

	'Cause when they finally "land him" 
			(when they get him there) -
	He becomes "their game"
			and anything is fair.

	Life will suddenly change.
			It will take on a different "feel".
	Coaches are now ranting, and cussing!
			"Is that now part of the deal?"

	He is no longer grandiose,
			no longer the favored "son".
	Amid all the many bodies,
			he is just another one.
	
	And in life a lesson,
			now hits him "stark and plain",
	That any inner, glowing comfort
			can quickly become a pain.
	
	Human nature is so freakish.
			animalistic to see.
	Because they will only love you:
			“For what you do for me!"

chewp

#75:Running Interference

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Learning for Life

by Dave Hanks

Some experiences in life stand above others as attitude shapers and lifestyle modifiers. My college athletic education was one of those. In fact, to compare it to the classroom would be unfair. It’s value to me stood “head and shoulders” above the academic learning I experienced. While the college curriculum was mind expanding, much of that type of learning came later while on the job. But participation in sports was a tremendous course in human nature and relationships.

All levels of individuals facilitated this learning process. Starting with the President of the University, who was an SOB, I learned that positions of authority are not necessarily staffed by people with high levels of integrity and that you had better recognize it. Two of the coaches fit that same category while others were somewhat more human. Added to that mix was the vastly divergent personalities of teammates and opponents, and rival school anti-Mormon attitudes. This later attitude, though well camouflaged, at times “leaked” from the head coach who was a Baptist. He never felt comfortable at BYU and it’s a wonder that he was ever hired. I’m convinced that LaVell Edwards great success was first “rooted” in the fact that he had a total understanding of the “Mormon psyche”.

From all the applied pressures, the rantings, the cussings, and in some cases coaches who provided the opposite extreme; I learned much about what does and what doesn’t motivate. Another lesson was how valueless lip-service is and how important is a quiet resolve. You learn that the truly dependable are few while the majority are not. I confess to having become a cynic when it comes to human palaver. Talk is not only worthless, at times it’s downright disgusting. Other things learned were: self discipline, a drive for perfection in all areas, and the experience of physical exertion that the average “Joe” has no concept of. However, mental/emotional aspects outrank the physical – the physical aspect is so closely matched betweenteams that only a slight edge turns out to be a huge difference.

Teamwork, competition, work ethic, getting yourself up when knocked down, etc. are recognized as values worth learning. One thing that is never mentioned is compassion. Compassion for the “other guy” because my success results in his failure. I have sat in losing dressing rooms as both a player and a coach and I guarantee that it is a miserable experience. This realization has made me less critical of how someone else performs a task. Knowing how it feels in the other locker room, I have never rejoiced in the victory but only rejoiced in the escaping from defeat.

There are those who think athletics should be de-emphasized or even done away with. How naive! Extra curricular events are every bit as valuable as the classroom and that is not to demean that area of one’s education. School sports can be a tremendous unifier, especially for LDS church members who may not have much in common otherwise. I am not the typical sports fiend, but I am deeply grateful for the enriching and life expanding gift that my athletic experience bestowed upon me!

Getting out of your Comfort Zone

by Dave Hanks

All folks, in any organization, have different skills from the others in their group. The group functions best if everyone is in their comfort zone and by combining all the various skills the organization will make great strides. As a former coach – if I had gotten everyone out of their comfort zone, I would have, also, gotten them out of the win column.

As a college football lineman, I have, in some games, played as much as 55 minutes. I played both ways – offense, defense, and on kickoffs. On offense I did very well because I was in my comfort zone. One former running back teammate said: “I liked to run the ball behind Hanks because there was always a hole”.

On defense I never reached my potential because they kept me out of my comfort zone. In one game, against undefeated Wyoming, they put me in my comfort zone. I had a terrific game and practically shut down their offense on my own. However, the coaches were not smart enough to learn to adjust, and take advantage of what could have won a couple of more games for them. They seem to think that screaming, swearing, and even slapping me across the head should be enough to get what they desired out of me. I grew to detest the coaches and even looked forward to the end of football.

My wrestling coach wasn’t too familiar with wrestling, but he did treat me like a human and let me function in the best way I could. As a result I had great success in what, as a result, became my favorite sport.

So all this talk about getting oneself out of one’s comfort zone, to me, is a lot of phony B.S.!!!

Wrestlers going at it

What greed gets you

Greed is an insidious thing. Never being satisfied with what you have, even though it may be much, will eventually lead to disaster. “Those who seek greener pastures on the other side of the fence, usually end up with a pile of horse manure” is an old saying with much truth to it. When is more and more and more actually enough ?

A good example is from a football game played recently. TCU was projected to win the Mountain West Conference title. They were also listed in the top 25 and projected as a possible BCS contender. They also led the highly ranked University of Texas for a good share of that game.

In their next game against the lower rated Air Force Academy, they were given stiff competition. However, they held the lead 17 to 10 with 49 seconds left in the game. They also had a first down on the Air Force 22 yard line. All they had to do was run out the clock to secure the win. But they wanted more. They tried to score a TD by throwing a pass to the end zone. It was intercepted and the Falcons got the ball on the 20 yard line. Three plays later it was 4th and one on the 29. TCU, expecting a sneak, bunched up the center of the line. But Air Force ran an option and pitched outside. The pitch recipient went the distance for the score and tied the game. In the overtime, TCU’s field goal bounced off the upright and Air Force made theirs to win the game 20 to 17.

Was that just dumb coaching on TCU’s part or the desire to win by a larger margin?

That seems to be what greed does for you. It will come back to bite you.

A Learning for Life

Some experiences in life stand above others as attitude shapers and lifestyle modifiers. My college athletic education was one of those. In fact, to compare it to the classroom would be unfair. Its value to me stood “head and shoulders” above the academic learning I experienced. While the college curriculum was mind expanding, much of that type of learning came later while on the job. But participation in sports was a tremendous course in human nature and relationships.

All levels of individuals facilitated this learning process. Starting with the President of the University, who was an SOB, I learned that positions of authority are not necessarily staffed by people with high levels of integrity and that you had better recognize it. Two of the coaches fit that same category while others were somewhat more human. Added to that mix was the vastly divergent personalities of teammates and opponents, and rival school anti-Mormon attitudes. This later attitude, though well camouflaged, at times “leaked” from the head coach who was a Baptist. He never felt comfortable at BYU and it’s a wonder that he was ever hired. I’m convinced that LaVell Edwards’s great success was first “rooted” in the fact that he had a total understanding of the “Mormon psyche”.

From all the applied pressures, the ranting, the cussing, and in some cases coaches who provided the opposite extreme; I learned much about what does and what doesn’t motivate. Another lesson was how valueless lip-service is and how important is a quiet resolve. You learn that the truly dependable are few while the majority is not. I confess to having become a cynic when it comes to human palaver. Talk is not only worthless; at times it’s downright disgusting. Other things learned were: self-discipline, a drive for perfection in all areas, and the experience of physical exertion that the average “Joe” has no concept of. However, mental/emotional aspects outrank the physical – the physical aspect is so closely matched between teams that only a slight edge turns out to be a huge difference.

Teamwork, competition, work ethic, getting yourself up when knocked down, etc. are recognized as values worth learning. One thing that is never mentioned is compassion – compassion for the “other guy” because my success results in his failure. I have sat in losing dressing rooms, as both a player and a coach, and I guarantee that it is a miserable experience. This realization has made me less critical of how someone else performs a task. Knowing how it feels in the other locker room, I have never rejoiced in the victory but only felt relief in the escape from defeat.

There are those who think athletics should be de-emphasized or even done away with. How naive! Extra curricular events are every bit as valuable as the classroom and that is not to demean that area of one’s education. School sports can be a tremendous unifier, especially for students and alumni who may not have much in common otherwise. I am not the typical sports fiend, but I am deeply grateful for the enriching and life expanding gift that my athletic experience bestowed upon me!

Making the Stop

Kiss Butt – Chew Ass

By Dave Hanks

The gifted high school athlete – is in a situation unique.

His ego is on display – for any recruiter to “tweak”.

They will “wine and dine” him, – and his parents as well.

His past and future glories – they labor hard to tell.

He feels so extra-ordinary, – from all they have to say.

But little does he know, – that there’s going to come a day –

When that gigantic bubble, – laid on him from the first;

Has about run its course. – It is just about to burst!

‘Cause when they finally “land him” – (when they get him there)

He becomes “their game” – and anything is fair.

Life will suddenly change. – It will take on a different “feel”.

Coaches are now ranting, and cussing! – Is that now part of the deal?”

He is no longer grandiose, – no longer the favored “son”.

Amid all the many bodies, – he is just another one.

And in life a lesson, now hits him “stark and plain”, –

That any inner, glowing comfort – can quickly become a pain.

Human nature is so freakish. – animalistic to see.

Because they will only love you: – “For what you do for me!”

“Kiss your buttT” while trying to sign you, – is acceptable (nothing is too
“Crass” ).

But when they eventually get you,

“Look out! They’re going to “CHEW YOUR ASS”!

What Greed Gets You

Greed is an insidious thing. Never being satisfied with what you have, even though it may be much, will eventually lead to disaster. “Those who seek greener pastures on the other side of the fence, usually end up with a pile of horse manure” is an old saying with much truth to it. When is more and more and more actually enough ?

A good example is from a football game played recently. TCU was projected to win the Mountain West Conference title. They were also listed in the top 25 and projected as a possible BCS contender. They also led the highly ranked University of Texas for a good share of that game.

In their next game against the lower rated Air Force Academy, they were given stiff competition. However, they held the lead 17 to 10 with 49 seconds left in the game. They also had a first down on the Air Force 22 yard line. All they had to do was run out the clock to secure the win. But they wanted more. They tried to score a TD by throwing a pass to the end zone. It was intercepted and the Falcons got the ball on the 20 yard line. Three plays later it was 4th and one on the 29. TCU, expecting a sneak, bunched up the center of the line. But Air Force ran an option and pitched outside. The pitch recipient went the distance for the score and tied the game. In the overtime, TCU’s field goal bounced off the upright and Air Force made theirs to win the game 20 to 17.

Was that just dumb coaching on TCU’s part or the desire to win by a larger margin?

That seems to be what greed does for you. It will come back to bite you,

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