Through many experiences teaching, coaching, serving on committees, fundraising, supervising projects and organizing events, I've come across many individuals who've had the desire to participate, the want to be a part of the team, activity, event or project, and the excitement of being part of any of those groups or activities. Being a person responsible in any of those situations, you'd feel overjoyed having individuals who want to be part of the ''action,'' so to speak. Sometimes though, something tends to happen between signing up to be a part of something and the actual ''something.''
At times, individuals add new activities to already overflowing agendas and find themselves having to ''shortchange'' one thing because there are just too many other things going on in their lives. Now, it's wonderful that people want to do so many things, but each event, project, team, or activity situation needs to be given the proper attention and the preparation necessary to make it successful. Legendary college basketball coach John Wooden once said to his team, and later to workshop audiences, ''The will to prepare to win is more important than the will to win.'' (This was echoed often by another legendary coach, Bobby Knight.)
I realize this may seem to apply only to sports, but contrarily, it applies to any and all endeavors undertaken by someone. It could involve concerts, plays, fundraisers, sporting events and teams, and most importantly, life. Everything needs to be properly prepared for to make it successful. Proper preparation isn't possible if someone spreads themselves so thin they can't give one thing the attention it deserves because they're involved with so many conflicting schedules. It's a domino effect on the rest of the group and frustrating to people in charge of other groups that might get ''shortchanged'' by only having half or three-quarters of the group together trying to get ready for performances or games. Throw in other situations in a person's life (family, social life, etc.), and the will to make the commitment is probably sincere, but the actual commitment is usually determined on if it is convenient to be there.
There are many ''life'' sayings I've used in my years of working with teams, projects and events. One is ''Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.'' Another is ''Repetition breeds habit.'' A participant needs to be in attendance every day to practice what will be done in games or on stages, or in concerts, parades or recitals. They need to prepare for what they'll do on game, play, concert or parade days, and they need to do it as perfectly as they can at practice so hopefully they'll do it successfully when the real thing happens. That transitions into the second saying that ''repetition breeds habit.'' If you do things repeatedly at less than full effort, that will become the habit and you just can't just turn it on when it comes to ''crunch'' time.
I've had talented athletes and players who've played other sports who haven't always given 100 percent at my practices. I've gone to some coaches of the other sports they played and asked how they got them to give full effort at practices. Sometimes I was told that those athletes were allowed to ''slide'' at practices because they'd show up at game time and give it their all. What does that say to the players who aren't as talented but give the hundred percent at practices, and whose attendance is higher than that of those engaged in so many other activities which force them to ''rob Peter to pay Paul?'' Shouldn't we be accountable to those members of the team too?
We live in a time when we want our children to do as much as possible, to have every opportunity to be involved in games, plays, concerts, recitals, pageants and trips (often times all of these), but many also want them to be excused from practices for one thing so they can do another. I realize there are some valid reasons to miss a practice, but if it's not possible to give the activity chosen by the individual 100 percent (or close to it) with regard to preparation (minus valid reasons for missing like sickness, family emergency, etc.), maybe we need to teach children that they have to make choices. Isn't that a valid life skill to teach? Commitment requires sacrifice; convenience does not.
I've always enjoyed sports and special projects in classrooms, schools and community. I've always known there have to be expectations regarding rehearsals and practices. I've also known there would be much debate regarding those expectations, but we always tried to ask the participants (and families) to put themselves in an employment situation, that if they were working, their employer or supervisor would expect them to be there, be on time, give 100 percent and be a ''team person'' for the good of the company. The same idea holds true for sports, music, theater, etc. We'd try and let the participants know that the activity is not life and death, but that living up to expectations is a good, necessary habit to learn so they'll be better prepared for employment, marriage, possible parenthood, possible military service or anything else that might be a part of their future.
Being able to do multiple activities is great, but not always possible and be successful. Sometimes less is more.