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From the AD: Vertical vs Horizontal

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From the Desk of the AD

VERTICAL VS. HORIZONTAL  IDENTIFICATION

So most of you think that I have lost my mind? Not yet, because I feel as though I am still acting on the vertical side of things. I know when I become horizontal then it is time to look into a new direction….

When I was 10 years old, I got to attend the Jerry West Basketball Camp. During this summer, he gave a talk that stayed with me through my whole career. He stated that “if you ever stop trying to become better at what you are doing, then find something new to do.” Little did I realize that he was talking about becoming horizontal in my career?  Obviously, by the meaning of the words, one can realize how we identify athletes as well as people. Yes, the vertical athlete is one that becomes very successful and is usually one of the better players on the team. They never settle for less than something to make them improve. They are always striving to be the best.  Most of the time, there is a correlation in life as well. This is why you see many companies that hire successful athletes in leadership roles. The “horizontal person” identified is not bad, but they settle on things just being good enough and they are the ones that just keep things status quo. A large number of people feel as though this is a good life to live and therefore avoid many pit falls by being this way. They can become successful, but usually only for a short period of time because they settle on their successes instead of now wanting to make them better.

Not too long ago, I heard a very successful coach at a very successful program say that he cautions his athletes about setting goals. His reasoning was, by setting goals; one tends to feel accomplishment and will settle for reaching their goals. Instead, they should reach their goals and reassess to set even higher ones. This is where most people meet their cross roads in athletics and in life, thus determining the rest of their future. If we were to assess your way of life, which way would it be identified, Vertical or Horizontal? Obviously in athletics, we are trying to teach young people to maintain a vertical way of life with whatever they do. One of the many reasons why we continue to need educational based athletics in our schools. Have a great week Warrior Nation, be proud and be loud…

GO WAYNE!

Jay Minton
Athletic Director
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