Inside the 20

Remember that fear-inducing, thrilling game played by kids and fun adults across the nation aptly entitled the “Trust Fall”? Often times this game is employed at summer camps, work retreats, team practices or among friends on the playground. While the group or location involved in this game greatly varies, the purpose of the exercise perpetually remains the same: to feel unwavering trust between yourself and your team. Enough trust that you’re willing to potentially fall on your butt to prove your reliance on your group. You might be nervous, you might second-guess your decision, but it is imperative to believe in the strong relationship developed between friends, teammates and coaches.

Trust doesn’t come automatically to a team. Trust is gained and earned over time; and it is necessary to have in order to become successful. It is slightly easier to place faith in your teammates because you are out on the field with them constantly, learning their style of play, knowing how they will respond under pressure and performing alongside them in the good times and the bad. In contrast, trusting your coach might take more time; nevertheless, the relationship between you and your coach can never falter. A coach is there to do exactly what their name implies: to coach you, to instruct you, to teach you what you don’t already know and to give you advice that you need.

It might seem counterintuitive to listen to someone on the sidelines when you yourself are on the field in the heart of the game. You might think to yourself that you know best because you’re the one who is actually playing after all! However, your coach has earned their position as the leader of your team because they’ve been there before, they’ve already experienced what works and what doesn’t. They’ve cultivated their skill and knowledge over numerous years of first hand experience and only want the best result for you and your team.

It’s not unusual to disagree with a decision your coach makes—and that’s fine, you don’t always have to be in complete agreement with one another, but you do have to trust one another. Sometimes trusting unconditionally can be tough; especially if you’ve done it once before and happened to have fallen. You will make mistakes during your playing career as will your coach. That is an undeniable truth. Yet mistakes won’t break you, you won’t stay on the ground. Rather you will get back up and be more aware of potential possibilities.

A coach doesn’t join a team to watch their players fail. They want to become successful as much as those on the field and they have the knowledge and experience to make it happen. It would be impossible to enter a trust fall thinking there isn’t a chance you might fall, but you can believe that with your coach behind you, that risk is nearly nonexistent.

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