Sunday, August 9, 2015

You Actually Earn It

There are all sorts of “spots” up for grabs at this time of year. We can think of two in particular that define the concept of “earning” your way moving forward. The first is application and acceptance into a college of your choice. The second is application and acceptance into the training group of your choice.
The fall season is one of change. Summer has given us what it has in the pool. Spring has given us what it has in terms of scholastic pursuits. Now the fall is upon us and we are sorting out our options, our spots if you will.
And in our mind this is where the concept of “earning it” comes into play.
If you are a senior this fall you are most likely in the application process for college. The colleges you are applying to want to know what you have done thus far academically as well as extracurricular (swimming accomplishments). They look at your transcripts and test scores and using those along with the subjective references of letters from community leaders (and swim coaches) who sing your praises determine if you are “worthy” of admission to their school. It is a somewhat arrogant posture we think but nonetheless it is the process as it stands today.
Let’s say you have a 3.75 GPA and test scores to match. The college says you need to have 4.0 and test scores to match. Therefore, you fall short and are not admitted. You are disappointed but rally with the familiar cry, “But if you give me a slot I’ll show you that I deserve it by raising my grades to the standard you want”. They say, sorry but no go.
In the pool let’s say you want to move into a group that is more demanding on the training side. You have the same 3.75 swimming GPA and promise to bring it up to the required 4.0 standard if you are given the chance. A program based upon sound principles will not let that happen. The coach will say, “Show me by earning the right to be in the next more demanding group.” If you are fortunate the coach will have a set of requirements that outline the expectations so you will know what is necessary to move.
Again, you need to have the attitude that “I will earn my spot” and if I do then I will get it. It doesn’t happen the other way around…”Give me the spot and I will earn it”.
If you get a job and they say be at the front door at 6:00AM ready to go and you show up at 6:02 not quite ready then you will be asked to leave. Standards that are clearly defined help each of us know what is expected and how to “Earn” a spot.
It is a fine life lesson…earning our way gives us complete control over our future. Who would want it any other way?

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