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Issue 445 - "The Difference between Happiness and Fun" (Anson Dorrance Part Fourteen)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10 Issue 445
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



The idea of having fun and being happy is a natural thought process. The idea of hard work leading to being happy is not as natural and may require some thought and real-life experience.
As the Woman's Soccer Coach at the University of North Carolina, Anson Dorrance's teams have won 22 National Championships. Coach Dorrance does a great job of getting his team members to connect hard work to happiness and to understand that real happiness requires more than just having fun. In his fantastic book, Training Soccer Champions, with Tim Nash, Coach Dorrance explains the process:
"When kids come to college, they come with a wonderful kind of idealism, and trying to be happy is at the top of their list. They have been given their freedom for the first time. And in their ambition to become happy, the typical freshman goes out the first couple nights and gets totally wasted. They are free now, and they think a part of this wonderful freedom is to go out and stretch their limits. They think this is going to make them happy. But they discover quickly that getting drunk every night doesn't make you happy. Basically, it leaves you hung over and empty, and you really don't gain much from that kind of total freedom. There are some hilarious things that occur during those periods. But, ultimately, they don't make you happy, even if every night is filled with riotous laughter.
What happens is they discover the things that genuinely satisfy them and make them happy. And the thing that makes you happy — ironically for the people who look for a quick fix — is work.
There is a difference between fun and happiness. I think the most confused freshmen and sophomores we have believe happiness is stringing together a collection of fun environments. I once read that fun is something you enjoy while it is going on, but things that make you happy are what you appreciate once the event is finished.
It is satisfying to work hard at something. It is satisfying to compete and do your best, and those are the things that ultimately come back and give you a depth of feeling and depth of character. The process itself is not always that enjoyable, but at the end of the day, the people who have worked hard feel good about what they have accomplished. There is a satisfaction there that feeds them."
Do your team members connect hard work and happiness?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



My Books and I

My books and I are good old pals:
My laughing books are gay,
Just suited for my merry moods
When I am wont to play.
Bill Nye comes down to joke with me
And, Oh, the joy he spreads.
Just like two fools we sit and laugh
And shake our merry heads.
When I am in a thoughtful mood,
With Stevenson I sit,
Who seems to know I've had enough
Of Bill Nye and his wit.
And so, more thoughtful than I am,
He talks of lofty things,
And thus an evening hour we spend
Sedate and grave as kings.
And should my soul be torn with grief
Upon my shelf I find
A little volume, torn and thumbed,
For comfort just designed.
I take my little Bible down
And read its pages o'er,
And when I part from it I find
I'm stronger than before.

Edgar Allen Guest (1881-1959)






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