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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Getting Back to the Basics

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As a college football coach you will definitely sacrifice a great deal in this profession.  Oftentimes, there may be a game to prepare for or a major recruit on the radar that we are diligently seeking to secure to our team.  Currently, it is recruiting season. At any given time I may be responsible for the recruitment of over 50 players.  I have to constantly be in contact with them all in hopes that we will be able to sign them to a scholarship in February and become part of our team.  With the recruitment of 50 players very rarely do I have time for myself or to enjoy time off uninterrupted.  So there are many sacrifices that one must be ready to deal with when deciding to take on the job of coaching. No matter the level, the demands are great in this profession.

Like all things in life, you have consequences and rewards.  I have found that the rewards of coaching are superb!   I get to coach a sport that I absolutely love and am passionate about while simultaneously working with young people, in which I witness their growth and maturity firsthand.

Then there are the consequences of being a coach, especially on the college and professional level.  I rarely get to see my family and friends.   I am generally tasked with taking trips to various areas across the country.  Quite frankly, for a while now I have been many miles away from those near and dear to me. I often miss out on moments in life that just can’t get be relived.

Just like coaching, there are many other careers that require great amounts of time and energy in which major sacrifices have to be made on a continual basis.   On the path to success we can easily get caught up and become distracted from the things that we tend to value most in life.  I can’t help it or deny it.  I’m a dream chaser!  But there are times when chasing dreams, I have experienced a plethora of feelings of loneliness, isolation, and sometimes shear unhappiness. In this case one must make the decision to what I call “get back to the basics”.  Success is great and it certainly has its wonderful rewards.  But if we neglect to live a life that excludes our loved ones in the pursuit of success, then it may be time for a moment of self-evaluation.  Hopefully this week’s blog will begin the process of that evaluation. So without further ado, I would like explore how to get back to enjoying those meaningful moments with the ones that we love and cherish the most.

I was once involved in a relationship with a young lady that was very accomplished at a very young age.  For the sake of anonymity, I will call her Lauren.  Lauren was a store manager for one of the largest bridal retail stores in the country at the age of 31.  She was definitely doing well for herself.  She lived in a nice apartment in an upscale neighborhood, drove a nice car, always dressed to impress, and was compensated very well for doing her duties as a store manager.  Outside looking in, she had the appearance of being at the top of her profession in the retail industry.  At first glance, this would be an opportunity to die for, but I had an up close and personal view of the dissatisfaction and emptiness that she encountered while working in this position.  Lauren’s job dictated so much of her life during this time.  She could never enjoy her days off.  Someone was always calling from the store giving her updates about what was going on throughout the day and bad news was almost always inevitable and the focal point of the update.  We all know that Black Friday connotes the kickoff of the holiday shopping season and is the busiest time of the year.  Well in contrast, in the wedding industry, Lauren’s kickoff was known as “Bridal Christmas,” which was our busiest time of the year and this happened immediately after New Year’s Day.  I say “our” because I feel as if I lived through just as much, if not all of the bridal drama as Lauren during this time.  You couldn’t imagine the endless number of stories that I could share with you that I heard over the years of Bridal Christmas.   I am sure I could create another blog for all the bridal nightmare stories that were relayed to me over the three year span of our relationship.

Lauren’s professional life was so overwhelming that trying to maintain some type of social life for herself was almost impossible.  She always enjoyed going to church on Sunday morning but even that took a backseat.  She either worked on Sunday’s or was too tired from work the previous night to get up and enjoy something that used to be so fulfilling.  Miraculously, one day Lauren decided to no longer allow her job to dictate her life. She put together a plan of action which included enrolling into graduate school to get her Master’s degree in Business Administration. Lauren consciously made a decision to get back to the basics of life. Two years later she graduated with her MBA and she now enjoys a life of uninterrupted weekends and  a wonderful position in the banking industry that provides a great deal of work –life balance.  Although she isn’t where she would ultimately like to be in her career, having her life back and within her control again to enjoy the time with family and friends is more than enough for her.

Do you find Sunday fellowship with your parents, weekend cookouts with co-workers, or even birthday celebrations with loved ones are now taking a backseat and are no longer life’s greatest pleasures for you?  Is time spent with friends like a distant memory since starting your new job? Has your new position caused you to spend less time with your children?  If you are going to be successful, then sacrifices must be made, but to what extent will you continue to make these sacrifices?  Only you can answer these questions and make the needed changes of getting back to the basics.  Like the majority of the decisions that you will make in your life, you have the power to change the outcome if you truly desire to change them.  Like Lauren, you have the power to decide, create an action plan, implement, and most of all enjoy the fruits of your decisions!  Success is great and we should all be in hot pursuit of our ultimate and best life, but with all things, we should set limitations on how much we are willing to give up to obtain the level of success we seek desperately.

It is the basics of life that serve as the foundation of our souls.   Life is nothing without the basics such as; love, peace, family, great health, balance, and unprecedented memories with family and friends.  The universe doesn’t want you to correlate success with giving up the basics of our hearts.   Real success will always offer you the chance and opportunities to enjoy the things that are held dear in our lives.  Always keep in mind that there is a thin line between financial gain and success.  In the realm of financial gain, life will continue to always dictate every move and monopolize your time; hence a diminishing value in the “basics of life.”

I encourage you to stop and smell the roses while they are still blooming.  Time goes by fast and if you never stop to enjoy the products of our success then much of the work that you have done is truly in vain.  I’m not only speaking to you, but also to myself.  As I vow to get back to the basics in my own life, hopefully you will join me in doing the same.  Let’s get back to the fellowship on our days of worship, spending more time with the friends and family, and most of all investing in our own interest.  We should never be too busy to take care of ourselves or enjoy the precious time with our loved ones.  You will be happy that you did and you will be a different person because of it. Let’s get back to the basics!

Written By Coach  Aaron DeBerry


A Word of Thanks to my “Get in the huddle” Followers

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Dear my “Get in the Huddle” followers,


I would like to take this time to say thank you for following my “Get in the Huddle” blog.  It has truly been amazing at the responses that I have gotten in reaction to the material that I have posted so far.  This has been a unique process of writing and sharing my personal thoughts in such a public nature, but if my experiences has the ability to help others grow, then I certainly don’t mind being an instrument in which growth and maturity can occur.  Please feel free to share the material with as many people as you can.  Whether it be through facebook, twitter, bulletin boards, or a regular email forward, let others know the good news of motivation and inspiration through “Get in the Huddle”.  Also, feel free to comment and give feedback on each weekly post as well.  Once again, thank you so much and I really look forward to bringing more inspiration in the upcoming weekly post.


Coach Aaron DeBerry

Show me your Friends and I will Show you your Future

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In my first year of college I had a well renowned coach that was very much respected in the coaching profession.  He had spent a considerable amount of time coaching in the NFL before he came to coach at Liberty University, where I attended college.  Coach Sam Rutigliano was his name, and coach spoke with great wisdom about football and everyday life.  Coach Sam is what he called him and coach always had very wonderful and profound sayings that he would use to illustrate his points.  I can remember this saying just like it was yesterday.  In this particular instance he was talking about the conversations he would have with his own children as they were growing up and maturing as young adults.  He was talking to them about how critical their decisions in choosing good friends was such a vital part in their individual success as adults and he was now sharing the same conversation with us as his players.  Coach Sam made this statement 13 years ago and it has always stuck with me through the years.  The saying that he made that day was “show me your friends and I will show you your future”.  The older I have become the more I began to understand the true meaning of that statement.   Having strong, driven, and trustworthy friends on your side is a great asset to have in achieving your goals.  On the contrast weak, unreliable, and non-motivated friends are liabilities that keep you from attaining those same goals.  Very rare do we sit and think about our friends and how they either help or hurt our opportunities of accomplishing the great things that we envision for our lives.  In this week’s blog we will explore the two and how they relate to your greatness, and sometimes our failures.

In my older years as an adult I started to understand that our friends should play a major role in our success.  If real true success is what you are after, then it is important that your friendships represent your journey.  The road to success is a hard and tough road to travel but it can be even tougher without the appropriate guide to help us along the way.  Great friends help and support our journey with the ability to pass on helpful advice or a helpful favors that will better position you in achieving your goals.  Too many times I have involved myself with friendships that were totally one sided.  I like helping people, especially the ones that I call my good friends.  If I am in the position to help someone then I most definitely try to do my part in the friendship.  At times I got myself in trouble when I would humbly ask a favor and in return I would get nothing but excuses and flat out lies about why my favor couldn’t be accommodated.  Small favors like , asking a friend of mine to make a phone call on my behalf to a well known coach in the business or an introduction to a major decision maker at a university would seem like harmless favors to me but I guess I was wrong.  I’ve been hurt by that routine more than a few times and it made me adjust my outlook on how I choose my friends.

I had to become more honest with myself.  I came to the conclusion that not many of friends shared the same ambition as I do when it came to their own success.  That was indeed a problem and probably the reasoning for why my favors had gone unfulfilled.  They didn’t value their own success so it was silly of me to think that they would value mine and it was up to me to address the issue.  Not all friendship are meant to last.  Things change and people indeed grow, but at times we continually attempt to hold on to people that are no longer suitable for the direction in which we are attempting to travel in life.  I came to a point in which I had let go and move on from friendships that were no longer compatible to my ambitions and drive for success.  I found myself in positions where I was doing mostly all the helping and assisting in my friendships and it was time to reevaluate my role in those friendships.  Friendships are no different from any other partnership that you enter.  Everyone has a role to play in a partnership and the only way a partnership can grow is if everyone play their individual part in it.

It may sound harsh but I don’t hide from my current change in my personality towards finding and keeping key friendships that represent my success.  I didn’t like what I saw in some of my friends, so I sought out a way of correcting my situation.  I made a decision to move on from some old friendships to make room for my new ones.  Currently, when I seek out new friendships, I must see something in that individual that either reminds me of myself or that individual has an attribute that I would like to learn from.  I’m not ashamed nor afraid to ask anyone for assistance.  We all need mentors and sometime the only way to find one is to seek them out.  Well accomplished individuals don’t just fall in your lap.  Like mostly everything else that you will attain, you must seek out mentors that are willing to share with you their experiences that have afforded them the success that you now seek.  Not everyone is willing though.  I’ve been rejected several times in my quest to find a good mentor and that’s fine with me.  It doesn’t discourage me from continuing to seek out assistance in my quest to success.  It only takes one person to see something in you that could serve as the right assistance that you may need.  With the right people in place as an adviser and with the right opportunities you could possibly accomplish goals and dreams that you have only dreamed of.  And that’s my motivation to continue to seek out those that are where I would like to be in the future.

There is nothing wrong with growth but your friends should represent that same growth.  I’m talking through experience when it comes to this particular subject.  Very recently I had to make some decisions on some of my friends that I cared for deeply.  It was a hard and tough decision to make and I still hurt from my decision at times but my decision represents the value in which I place my success.  If it served as a distraction, then I had to let go and not look back.  The tougher the challenge that you face, the more discipline and focused you must be to meet your challenge.  An insufficient friendship is something at the least that I care to focus on as I battle my challenges.  Strong friendships place you in the right frame of mind to accomplish the unimaginable.  We should find incredible strength, inspiration, and the courage to carry on from our friends.  So, as I encourage you to make better decisions about the friendships you entertain, I also encourage you to be that friend that other ambitious individuals could learn from as well.

Written by Coach Aaron DeBerry