Life & Sports: Opinion, Reaction & Control

This week’s blog is less about a problem and more about a few solutions.  Basing our opinion off of our own experiences. Being thoughtful about reality.  Controlling what you can control and forfeiting desire to control the things which we cannot control.


I really believe that we should base our opinion off of our own experiences.  It’s really the only way to know and be true to how we really feel about something.  If we are taking someone else’s opinion or someone else’s experience, then we assume that the noun (person, place, or thing) in question is one way and they have never and will never have variation.  Not to mention that we can be taking in an opinion that is being seen through either rose-colored or fogged up glasses.

I watch myself and us humans and I see that too often we don’t think.  We just naturally react. I am a fan of reaction, yet only when we’ve spent the time to mindfully train the way in which we’d like to react.  Doesn’t matter whether it is life or relationships or sports. We should work more thoughtfully to be how we want to be and be who we want to be.  There’s none of this, “Well, that’s just the way I am” stuff. If we want to be “that way” that we are, okay, cool. If we don’t think that that is the best way for us to be, then work thoughtfully to adjust.

Control what we can control and forfeit desire to control the things we cannot.  The first part has importance. Perhaps the second part is almost as important. Frustration roots from not reaching expectation.  Us not reaching our own expectation or another noun not reaching our expectation… If we were to remove results-based expectation and invite the concept of mindful choice or thoughtful practice, and base our satisfaction on that, I believe we’d improve.

If you “aren’t a sports person” perhaps take a chance and keep reading; or drop a comment, close the blog up here, and I will catch ya next time.  If you “are a sports person or are going to take the chance, I will share with you why I bring this stuff up and type it up today.


I coach… as you can see on the top of the site up there… It is one of the things that I do.  I enjoy progression. I enjoy progression of others equally and many times more than I enjoy my own.  All the while I know that my own is most crucial to me adding value to a noun. I coach humans in life and business and athletes and groups of all kinds.  I teach them to maximize potential. The big bonus for me is that I get to learn a bunch in the process of teaching.

I had stepped away from coaching youth volleyball teams.  If I am going to do it, I want to feel like there is a mutual desire to build this (almost figurative) thing together and really BECOME (could add lots of words here, but going to stay with become).  I wasn’t having that mutual feeling anymore and the exterior variables were taking away from the potential maximization. I had said that if I were to return to it, there was only one group in the short term who I would be interested in working with.  This past Wednesday, it came together out of the blue and I was asked and decided to accept working with that team. The team is fun. They are talented. They have things they do better than anyone else. They have things to improve. I am now a part of that “they.”  

It is easy to get the spark notes on a situation.  Let me jump in the gym and see what so-and-so has to say about this team or this person or this coach.  However, that would be irresponsible. Basing our opinion off of our own experiences is crucial. Even if the sample size is only two or three days.  It is crucial. In life, we really ARE WHO WE ARE WITH (maybe that’s the next blog). To create bias with a positive or negative connotation on my team based on another person’s opinion is irresponsible.  For them to create bias on me because of another person’s opinion is irresponsible.

In sports, as it is in life, it can be challenging to have our brain in control when things get moving quickly. This group who I am working with got CRANKED mentally this past Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.  They digested and soaked in info and worked to apply it. While never perfect. I hypothesized that they began to understand the first layer of pursuing perfection, while realizing that perfection is not likely to ever come.  It really can be the attention to detail and the mental work ethic that can give us grace. Today’s social media and “it has to be politically correct” society may not tell us that… however, I believe it can be so; perhaps SHOULD be so, if I were to be so bold.

Forfeiting desire to control what we cannot is the staple of great sports teams.  They have less variation in their play, because they are unconcerned with the things that can cause variation… A referee can cause variation.  A group of fans/a crowd can cause variation. An opponent playing outstanding, the lights going out, an injury, the score being whatever it currently is can cause variation.  Forfeit the desire to be in control of those things and we will find progress. If we find progress, we can find maximization.

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I base many things on a 100 scale of thought. If my group went out today and could average scoring on 56 out of 100 tough plays, I would ask them to pursue scoring on 100 out of 100 tough plays by the end of the day… yet teach them that when they leave and the number is “only” up to 59 out of 100 plays, to be content and to come back to pursue 100/100 the next day.  Yet, if we were to be at 56/100 and we pursue 57 or 58 or 59/100, then we MAY get to that 59, or we may “only” get to 57, or we may actually drop to a 55 or 54.

There is no group that I like more than my own.  I am their (the team) biggest fan. And there are many groups that I have taken my learning from.  Groups I’ve played with. A few groups I have played against. Groups I have coached or trained. As well as groups who I have coached against.  If you are looking for a new read, consider making it this: and you will have a good example of what I mean.


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Chris P Austin

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Every Monday join us here for a new blog post. It's for adults. It's for kids. It's for any ethnicity, any age, any sexuality... as long as you want to be getting better. Check out all that Chris P Austin Coaching has to offer at and on social media at @ChrisPAustin. Public speaking events, books, videos, blogs, and more!