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Dr. Bohlen's Blog: July 13-14th, 2010 - "Play Hard, Play Smart, Play Together"
It is my last night in Iraq and I am packing. I am so excited I have the jitters. It has been quiet and all I need is one more night of quiet to get me through. Went out to eat with everybody on our team and few of the other doctors here. It was nice. Dean and I leave in the am for Kuwait and wait for the next plane. We will be safe there and that is what I am looking for considering the last month.
I want to take this opportunity to ask everyone to say a prayer for Randy Kort. He, first and foremost, has been a friend of mine for 20 + years. He is married to one of the girls that live on the bowling alley, Barsha. He is in good condition from reports from family and I wish him the best of luck in his initial recovery. I obviously hope to be home to help take care of him in over a week but he was in great hands in Lincoln. Randy has been a wonderful person to talk to about everything and anything throughout my life. Barsha and him have been very good to me and I want him to know how much I appreciate him and his family. He is a great leader for the Adams Central School District and works his butt off. Always has and always will.
I have signed off every blog with this phrase. I will explain each one and what it means to me. A little background first. I coached with Ken Rhodus at Hastings College for 3 years. I found my voice and stuck the passion I had playing the game into coaching the game and school. This is what I think helped me learn how to speak in front of people and become comfortable with taking charge of situations. I coached the JV teams fro the last 2 years and often wanted to inspire them to play hard. I often gave the same speeches to the varsity before games. I thought of all different things to say and motivate them. If you ask them, they probably thought I was really stupid, but I felt like I needed something to focus and challenge myself when I played. I wanted them to do the same. Basketball is so much about preparation and mental aspects. You have to practice the skills over and over again but you have to be smart.
I had 3 things that I wanted them to realize about playing the game and it has so much to do about living life. The first thing I talked about with them is 110%. We covered this in a previous blog. You can never give 100%. It is not possible. You would be perfect. We know that but if we settle we wont get to a 100%. We have to keep striving for that by giving 10% more then what we think we are capable of. That will get us closer and closer to the 100%. This is as in life as it is in basketball. The 2nd thing is basketball is 3:1 as mental is to physical. Your mental game is 3 times more important then your physical part. On the court you have to prepare yourself for all kinds of situations. Plus as you prepare in practice you have to mentally challenge yourself not only to be physically ready but mentally ready. A coach has to help you do that. But you the player and person have to be ready. This is life as in basketball. The last thing is you have to care about your teammates and yourself. You have to want to work hard for the players on the floor and give your effort - 110% physically and 3:1 mentally. In life, you have to care about your family, friends, and coworkers to be successful. All of this comes from one thing and that is your heart. Your heart has to lead you down these paths to want to succeed. It comes from there. Let it show in these 3 aspects and whether you win or lose you have given your very best effort and left it all out on the floor. Let your heart lead you in your life and challenge yourself with these 3 aspects and you will have given your very best effort.
The topic and the phrase that I end with comes from the very last thing we said to each other before we took the floor to play basketball. I brought this into the blog b/c this was some of the best days of my life. I had great friends and memories from that time. Ken Rhodus and Jim Smith were great friends and leaders to me. They helped me grow up and gave me a chance to be a part of something. It gave me confidence and I appreciate them for that.
Play Hard - This is obvious isn't it. You take the court you play the hardest that you can and leave it all out there without regrets. You give that 110% and make every chance you have worth it. That is what I want to do in my life. It isn't always that way every day in my personal life but some days it is. I go to the operating room it has to be that way. No regrets, no let downs, it has to be perfect effort and concentration. Just like agreement #4 - do your best everyday. I ask you to play everyday of your life the hardest that you can. Give your best effort at work and in your relationships. Nurture, affirm, and set limits for your kids but love them with all your heart. Play the hardest you can in your kids lives. No regrets and don't leave a day without telling them you love them.
Play Smart - 3:1 is mental is to physical. Play the game of basketball with your brain. Study your opponent but most of all prepare yourself to win. Every practice should challenge you to learn to play better. Every day in your life play smart. Think about what you want to accomplish and do it for the day. It doesn't have to be life changing events everyday. It could be that you want to be impeccable with your word more today then yesterday. You may concentrate and affirming your kids better today. You may realize that you are not in a perfect place today and you have to be smart enough not to take it out on the other people in your life. You have to think and learn and push yourself. Do the best that you can for the day. Start something new or finish something that is not good for you. Think your day through and be successful with your actions. Be smart and you will be successful. Play your day with significant mental toughness. Add that to playing hard and your effort will be great.
Play Together - You go out onto the floor and you must care about each other. You have to give it up on the defensive end every time down b/c you are not caring about your teammates if you do not. You have to set a pick to get your teammate open for the shot. You have to get the rebound on the defensive end to start the play down the court. Playing together like an orchestra you will make great music. Your heart will show through and your teammates will see that and play for you. Your best effort will provide the basis for playing together. This is what you need to focus on in your life. I have said it before and I will leave Iraq telling you again. Care about each other. Play together in your daily lives. Work, home, or parenting. You have to come together with what you say and do. Don't take everything personal. Don't assume everything. Try to calm yourself down and keep true to your word and do the best that you can. Show your heart to those around you. Be tolerant. Don't gossip. Build somebody up today. The team that you have be stronger and better. That team could be your family or your work. If you play together you will succeed.
Play hard, smart, and together. Use the four agreements to put these in play and I think you and I can be better. I needed this time to remind me of this. To slow down and remember all of what I have had. To appreciate those in my life and what God's blessing have given me. I am not perfect and will never be. I will continue to make mistakes but hopefully some good habits have been laid down in Iraq. I am here for a reason. I do what I do for a reason. I know that God has a plan for me but it is hard to let go. I want to play hard, smart, and together for everyone that I come into contact with in my life.
The one part that I didn't put at the end of the phrase that we always said is this. But most of all Play for the Lord. I didn't give to you at the beginning b/c a part of me doesn't want to scare you away or think I was better then you. But that is a part of me that is assuming things about what you may or may not think about what I say. Broke agreement #3 didn't I. I don't want to do that today. We have to play or live the best that we can. Do the best that we can for God.
I will be home in about 7-10 days. I will sign on and share some pictures when I hit Georgia hopefully next Monday or Tuesday. I will then say goodbye when I come home to Nebraska.
I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for being here. I don't know how many of you have been on this journey but I appreciate it if you took the time to think about me or pray about me. It is awesome. I want to thank Julie Tork and KHAS agian for giving me this opportunity. It has been a great thing for me. It has been a lot of fun and has made my days go faster. There is often times that I would spend an hour or two at the least writing these things. It has been a blast. I am not sure where the money stood or if any came in for the shaven head but I will check when I get home. I will still do it at home if it comes to my attention that it was close or worked. Hopefully will let you know with my final sign in. I am fond of my hair though. Anything that was donated will go to the respective clubs. Take care and have a great rest of the week. Mine is b/c I am coming home.
But most of all, Play for the Lord
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