KEEP ON KEEPING ON – What do we do now?


Accomplishments are the result of small, incremental steps. Remember that there is a race to run during every off-season; it is just run at a different pace.

And here’s what I know…

During the summer many of us don’t feel like we can take another step. Coaches and parents want to re-charge, and students tend to fall into two camps. Some are already prepping briefs and drafting speeches for the fall, but others insist on taking a break from speech, debate , and any sort of formal communication altogether. Understandable.

But on a good day, here’s what you know…

Small, incremental steps forward – even when no one is looking, when there is no visible opponent helping you to keep up your pace – this unseen part of the race can make a good runner become a great one. So use these next couple of months to inch along.

Reading is a great way to begin. Start with many of the books and articles referenced here on previous blog entries and on the resource links of this website. Share some of your favorite ideas in a comment below. Attend a camp, workshop, or league training session to learn something new and reinforce what you already know.

For years, this Earl Nightingale quotation has inspired me. In fact, it has motivated me to live and learn differently ever since I first read it. Mr. Nightingale was one of the 12 surviving Marines who had been on the USS Arizona during the attack at Pearl Harbor. He went on to become a renowned 20th century radio host, a motivational speaker, and eventually an inductee into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame. He said,

“One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.”

A few strategic steps during the post-season can make all the difference. So keep quietly training, a little each day.

Refuel. Refill. Reload.