Finding momentum in the fall.

Welp. It’s October. 

Somehow, we’re already here. But it seems like just a few days ago summer was beginning. Ringing in with the cries of eternal freedom that triumphantly announce every summer. At the time, I thought about freedom.

“I’m going to set out to do everything I’ve always wanted to do! I’ll write a book. I’ll go golfing and rock climbing. I’ll finally REST.”

Of course, each year October rolls around and here we are. My freshmen just played in their first fall scrimmage and I have done nothing.

“I wrote zero books. I think I golfed and rock climbed… maybe once. I did not rest. Sweet.”

Now I find myself at the crossroads of being thrilled beyond all comparison for another year with my Sailfish family and somehow feeling like I spent most of the summer just watching kids play lacrosse in the blazing heat.

Maybe you find yourself feeling those same things. Feeling that the past several months have passed all too quickly. That somehow time escaped without the desired results. 

How do we move forward? Is there a way to wrestle back control and meet this new season with renewed momentum?

It’s time to take control back. For me, I’ve found this progress begins with action in two areas…

Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from a piece published today for the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association and their official blog, Behind The Whistle.

You can read more of my article at the official IWLCA website.


Thanks for reading! 

Creating Future Wins is my blog about life, leadership, and lacrosse. My heart is to create a mixture of writing that you can’t find anywhere else and I’d love for you to be a part of this journey. Hit that subscribe button and of course, if you value what I’m doing here, I’d love for you to subscribe to my premium content.

Let me know your thoughts. Email me or @ me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).

Creating a culture of celebration.

What does it mean to create a culture of celebration?

I think it looks like showing up.

On Friday, I celebrated my 31st birthday, but I didn’t do it alone. Throughout the day, I received loving messages, high fives, and—best of all—a surprise party to cap the night.

The pathway to honor is paved through attendance. When you are present for someone, you ascribe a high level of value to that person. Honor is the willing desire to see those you care about.

Showing up ascribes value.

As I walked to my birthday dinner with four of my closest friends, I felt a high level of honor and connection. ‘These are my closest friends, the ones who are willing to show up for me.’ And, if it were just that group of five, it would’ve been enough. Of course, it turned into a masterfully-crafted, surprise party of epic proportions, led by Kelsey. I was stunned, honored, and celebrated all in one fell swoop.

It’s my belief that celebration best flows out of a love-built, honor-strengthened connection. Honor will always manifest by way of celebration. In this case, a culture of honor and a culture of celebration are synonymous.

What is a culture of celebration?

It’s the purposeful honor of an individual (or a collection of individuals), with consistency. And I think it looks like showing up.


The Little Win*

If celebration is borne from honor and honor borne from “showing up,” then creating a culture of celebration begins with even the smallest form of buy-in. Something to try:

  1. Identify one person in your life.

  2. Send them a quick text and remind them of your favorite thing about them.

  3. Ask them to play chess, grab a latte, or eat a bucket of chicken.

Buy-in begins with the relational pursuit of one person.

Who are you celebrating today?

*The Little Win is a call-to-action that helps us become the best version of ourselves.


Thanks for reading! 

Creating Future Wins is my blog about life, leadership, and lacrosse. My heart is to create a mixture of writing that you can’t find anywhere else and I’d love for you to be a part of this journey. Hit that subscribe button and of course, if you value what I’m doing here, I’d love for you to subscribe to my premium content.

Let me know your thoughts. Email me or @ me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).

Have you ever lost your wallet?

The story of losing my wallet but gaining clarity.

We are all predisposed to judgement.

In every moment, your brain makes subtle decisions on what is good and what is not. What is safe and what is dangerous. What moves you closer to the future you desire and what pulls you in the direction of an eventual Netflix purgatory.

For me, this was no clearer than the other day, when I lost my wallet.

It was the birthday of one of my loyal subscribers, Kelsey. In an effort to love her well, I lost my wallet between 5:50 am and 6:30 am. Without the slightest clue what happened, it escaped my possession (I assumed I left it at home). After all, how could one lose their wallet before daybreak?

It wasn’t until later that night when I realized it wasn’t at home either.

Of course, I also had eight missed calls from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. The wallet was found and given to the local fire station, who gave it to the ole sheriff.


Before I finish the story, let’s run it back to my belief that we’re predisposed to judgement. Have you ever lost your wallet?

I have.

Once.

(Well, now twice.)

I was a college sophomore and it was 2007. I dropped it in a Publix parking lot. It turned up a few cities over, stripped of cash and tattered beyond repair. A lesson learned on looking after what’s valuable.

Perhaps you’ve felt that same feeling – the pit in your stomach when you lose something important. The second pit when it comes back worse than you left it.

It stinks.

Would you blame me if I felt that same feeling again?

A few hundred dollars in cash. At least $100 in gift cards. Valuable personal information, not limited to my IDs, credit cards, and the like. All gone.

Except it wasn’t.


The next day, I drove 45 minutes to the sheriff’s office to pick up my wallet. It was perfectly intact, with not a single dollar missing.

Pardon?

I thought this was a joke. Surely, their inventory of my wallet had been wrong. Whoever found it must’ve taken a little finder’s fee for themselves. After all, twenty dollars or a Nike gift card goes a long way for a good deed.

And yet, my belief that wallets never come home in one piece was shattered on that day. Because it did.

Are you like me? Do you believe that wallets always come back lighter for the occasion? Perhaps you think that only good people get good things or that people can hear you when you yell on the freeway.

Consider this a learning occasion.

Our daily judgements are ripe to be broken. Whatever you’re thinking, take stock. Maybe it isn’t as much of a sure thing as you might believe.

I know I’m taking this train of thinking over to my coaching ability. If my expectations on the practice field are only set because I believe them to be, I’m probably wrong. And if they’re wrong, what am I missing out on? More reps, more skill-building, or greater results? The very nature of going with the mental status quo may be hindering me from creating future wins. That’s sobering.

So let’s do it. Let’s break agreement with daily assumptions and see what great new things come to the forefront. It’s not natural and it takes work, but if you think unnatural things, maybe you’ll see greater than natural results.


Thanks for reading!

Creating Future Wins is my blog about life, leadership, and lacrosse. My heart is to create a mixture of writing that you can’t find anywhere else and I’d love for you to be a part of this journey. Hit that subscribe button and of course, if you value what I’m doing here, I’d love for you to subscribe to my premium content.

Let me know your thoughts. Email me or @ me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).

Expectations for punching a door.

And my examination of how we react to pain.

Last week, I had to catch an early flight from Baltimore to Boston in order to connect to my final destination and sit on the sidelines of what seems like my 84th recruiting tournament of the summer.

The morning began like any other of the type. Five hours of sleep. Check. Unruly alarm. Check. Unnecessary, but oh-so-necessary shower. Check.

My no-sleep, foggy-brained attempt to get ready was in full force, when upon attempting to exit the shower, I forgot how to use my hands. See, typically hands grab things to open them, but not at 6:00 am. No, this grabbing of the door handle was gracefully uncoordinated and turned into a punch.

“Ouch!” I said.

Wait.

What?

That didn’t hurt.

Despite the small (yet mighty) force required to push open the door, I managed to catch the handle squarely with my knuckles. It didn’t hurt at all and yet I ouched like I had been shot.

It took roughly four seconds for me to process what had happened and it got me thinking – what results are a function of how I’ve been conditioned to react?

After punching the door, my brain skipped from survey mode to reaction mode. Instead of assessing the damage and providing a reaction – all in a fraction of a second, of course – I did the opposite. Because things like punching a door are supposed to hurt, you say “ouch” and shake your hand.

So I did, even though that wasn’t an accurate response.

From there, it was an easy jump. If expectations have conditioned my results in the shower, there’s no doubt they’ve conditioned my results as a person.

If I believe that certain actions always cause pain, I will naturally withdraw and seek self-protection. It doesn’t matter if this is physically punching a door or running from any other type of perceived pain. It’s badddd.

Perceived pain is just that – perceived. It’s not a guarantee. Without launching yourself into whatever scenario you’re scared to confront, you’ll never know whether the idea of pain was placed there by your own mind to hinder your ability to achieve.

I see perceived pain often in my own life. It usually manifests when I’m trying something I’ve never done before. In those moments, it’s easier to think about what could go wrong instead of the glory of success.

I remember the first time I ever spoke at a coaching convention. Despite my natural charisma, I was nervous.

What if I misspeak?

What if my slides don’t load?

Are the older coaches going to see me as too young?

Will my peers see me as unfit for the stage and a total fraud?

The idea of failure and rejection was paralyzing because it was, as with all on-stage experiences, unknown. Of course, my visions of success were low-balled and unrealistic, too.

As it turns out, my fear-based thinking evaporated that morning as the truth of my passion came to the surface and on the stage, it was no different. Afterward, I was relieved to speak with coaches who did not criticize me, but instead congratulated me on a great presentation.

(Side-note: You can knock something out of the park and still have the fear of what-ifs lingering in the back of your mind. That was the natural conditioning of my expectations in a negative way. It is a daily process to disassociate myself with those thoughts.)


Have you conditioned yourself to avoid your next opportunity?

Allow me to encourage you: Take the interview. Start the gym membership. Pursue reconciliation with the person. Buy the online training from a ‘thought leader’ (lol).

Don’t let fear-based, knee-jerk reactions keep you from the bleeding edge of what achievement should look like.

I’ve never been skydiving, but I can imagine the fear that comes with such an event. “What if the parachute doesn’t open? What if I die?”

There’s nothing inherently wrong with living that way. Hundreds, probably thousands of people decide to take the airplane back down to earth instead of a screaming free fall. Life is kind of like that. You can spend every waking moment second-guessing your next step and whether you’re assuaged your fears enough.

Or – on an act of faith, you can simply jump.


Thanks for reading!

Creating Future Wins is my blog about life, leadership, and lacrosse. My heart is to create a mixture of writing that you can’t find anywhere else and I’d love for you to be a part of this journey. Hit that subscribe button and of course, if you value what I’m doing here, I’d love for you to subscribe to my premium content.

Let me know your thoughts. Email me or @ me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).

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