In today's special Saturday edition of our Learning to Teach While Teaching series we discuss one of the most powerful emotions we all encounter:
Today's Topic: Passion
Passion is a very peculiar word. We’ve heard it used in many different contexts over the years. Hmmmmm…let’s see – there have been crimes of passion, we’ve seen passionate outbursts by players and coaches, maybe someone we know has passion for what they do, some have even described passion in a sexual connotation meaning a physical relationship between two people – there’s even “The Passion of the Christ” for our viewing pleasure and critique…that all said, what is the true meaning of passion?
The word passion comes from the Latin word pati which means to suffer. Latin was spoken by the early Romans and this word was used specifically when referring to the suffering of Jesus… some seven hundred or so years later the meaning began to transform into strength of feeling and ultimately what we have come to know today as love and sexual passion.
OK, now that the history lesson is over, how does this relate to teaching while teaching? I’m glad you so profoundly asked. In the current definitions of passion it is important for coaches and athletes to have passion for what they do. Having a strong sense of purpose is part of the picture. The purpose is set in the expectation set by the head coach and then carried forth by the leaders on the team. If all are on the same page, success is inevitable.
We’ve all heard stories of teams that over-achieve, or who did something great when the “odds” were stacked against them. I would argue that in spite of their lack of ability, skill or even numbers the players and coaches all had the same goals, mindset and were committed to achieve. Of course they were disciplined, focused and well prepared, but the ultimate difference came from the passion with which they played.
Let’s see… passion comes from the Latin word meaning suffer and if a player is selfless he or she then puts his or her teammates before themselves. That in itself is an act of sacrifice (coming from the Latin word meaning; to make sacred) for the whole.
At the end of the day, as coaches we want to convey to our student-athletes the importance of giving all they have for as long as they compete. Strength of purpose, selflessness and sacrifice are all ingredients of passion. If mixed in the correct amounts along with discipline, hard work, trustworthiness and respect success is eminent…this is the true breakfast of champions!