Recently I was asked to be a guest judge at the Texas Woman’s University Holiday Intrasquad Gymnastics meet. Each team member was wearing a t-shirt that has the slogan “Crossing the Line” printed on the back. Coach Frank Kudlac, the only head coach in the illustrious history of TWU Gymnastics, is entering his 33rd and final season as leader of the Pioneers.
Kudlac, who started the TWU gymnastics team in 1978 as a club sport, has led the Pioneers to nine USA Gymnastics (USAG) Collegiate National Championships. TWU won four USAG titles in a row from 1993-1996. Since their initial title run, the Pioneers have claimed the USAG crown on four more occasions – 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2008. No other school has won more than two USAG Collegiate National Championships.
Naturally, you might wonder what the slogan “Crossing the Line” means to such a successful coach and program. The key is developing a mindset for excellence which starts on the very first day. In Gymnastics, early judging scores often sets the tone for the team for the season. People are quick to judge our work. How many new leaders are judged in the first 100 days on the job? How many interviews are blown in the first ten minutes? How many New Year’s resolutions are lost in the first thirty days?
The difference in success and failure is often found in the little things we do daily. The difference between great and just being good is often a smaller gap than you might expect.
So how do we set new goals for 2011 that will help us to finally “Cross the Line” to new levels of achievement?
1. It starts with an attitude of discipline – Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. There are 999 tips for success but none work without discipline. A rookie marathon runner only increases the distance of their runs by 10% each week until they can run 20 miles. At that point, they are ready to run a full 26.2 mile marathon race. The will to prepare in small steps will be the key to reaching your new goals in 2011.
2. The attitude to work a little harder and to develop new expectations for what is considered normal is the key. Winners focus on the new goal and remain positive in taking small steps that are moving them daily towards reaching that goal. Nothing good has ever been accomplished without hard work. Too many times, young leaders want to enjoy greater success and reputation without paying the price of lots of hours of hard work. The same methods of work will create the same results.
Most people want to try to create this change too fast by thinking that they should push themselves too hard at the beginning. This can lead to early disappointment and lost focus. (failure)
3. Lastly, seek out people who are successful and motivated. They are usually good source of positive motivation and encouragement. Frank is that kind of role model at TWU. He has built a national ranked team out of a club team that started in 1978. Who would have believed then that he would win more national championships that any other coach in NCAA II history? The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. If you are faithful in the little things – great things usually follow.
Are you ready to “cross the line” to something great in this coming year? Maybe it is changing a bad habit, weight loss, getting in shape, or becoming a better leader. Reaching your 2011 goals are closer than you think. It starts with small steps in the right direction. It starts by keeping your promises to yourself first and then to others.
See Crossing the line video at this link: http://www.givemore.com/crosstheline/