Leadership #11, Don't Look at the Scoreboard - Bottom of the Ninth #149

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Bottom of the 9th - Don't Look at the Scoreboard

"Don't Look at the Scoreboard" John Wooden's Leadership Lesson #11 by Keith Wahl

John Wooden wrote 12 Leadership Lessons that enhance our understandings of leadership and success. These 12 lessons will be the focus of Bottom of the Ninth for 12 weeks.

Is that a beautiful view or what? That's where I work every day - at Valor Christian High School and on the baseball field. After tryouts last week, retreats this past weekend, I took this picture this week after our second exceptional practice together as a program.

The interesting part of the view? I took it while standing right next to the scoreboard. We haven't played a game yet, and the work we've done feels like some of the best we've ever done. What's the key to keeping that perspective? Wooden's lesson - don't look at the scoreboard.

In a world that only seems to measure success by wins and losses, as well as state titles, this is terribly difficult. Players, parents, peers, and the press are going to judge a coach by their record based on the scoreboard. The fact of the matter is this temptation is one rooted in instant gratification. The scoreboard is simply a monitor for short-term results. A scoreboard is worthless when measuring long-term impact.

We are called as Christian men and women to focus on bringing a greater kingdom to this world - "thy kingdom come." We must break the habit of watching the scoreboard and using it to compare ourselves to everyone else. We must define our dreams, get to work and do little things well every day, and enjoy the process. When we do this for a period of time, we'll be amazed at our progress. We'll have the opportunity to live out Paul's words in his first letter to the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (ESV) - “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.â€

For this season of life, this is my goal. To not gauge our progress based on the scoreboard, but to run an eternal race. This is the self-control that I will seek and we will strive towards the imperishable wreath of guiding all of our players towards Jesus Christ.

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