Aug. 1, 2012
By: Kurt Esser, Senior Associate AD-External Operations, University of New Mexico
When I am out for a run I love that time when the pain goes away and I quit thinking about the daily tasks. I enjoy those moments throughout the day when the creative juices are flowing or I am problem solving at a very high level. I appreciate when I go to watch Lobo teams practice and they are training at their peak.
All of these moments are what most people consider “the Zone.” A very cliché term for when things are just clicking. We reach these moments because these tasks have been done numerous times…“we practiced” (in an Alan Iverson voice)…and we can do these things well.
So how do we get better? Get out of your comfort zone!
We are holding phone interviews for Alpine ski coach candidates this week, and my thoughts between calls were “wow, skiing is really a new topic for me!” I listened more than I talked and tried to really understand the differences between the candidates. And I have not been afraid to ask “the dumb question.”
Getting out of a comfort zone was one reason I started my videoblog called “Over the Hump”. I was and am inspired by many individuals, many are peers such as Tracie Hitz (@TracieHitz), who has really pushed me in this endeavor and Amber Lilyestrom (@AmberLilyestrom) who is my fitness hero (#SBFit). Both are writing great blogs to get out of their zone as well, please check them out.
But I am also challenged by other “new” friends, followers and colleagues who have sent notes of thanks or questions about the topics that I am discussing weekly. One of these individuals is Danielle Mayeaux (@DMayeaux18) who is just breaking into our profession. Her twitter bio includes the phrase “overcoming the uncomfortable in life and creating more.” I think that is an outstanding attitude. I hope that as I move through the year, my career and my life, I will continue to put myself into uncomfortable situations, get better in those areas…and then move on to the next uncomfortable challenge.
I encourage each of you to make efforts to get out of your comfort zone this school year. As you are facing that “crushing” feeling that August always brings, map out and plan what else you will get involved with this year. A coaching search, campus committees or helping with fund-raising are great ways to get in uncomfortable situations!
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About NACMA: NACMA is the first organization of its kind to provide educational and networking opportunities; enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics; and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of athletics marketing administrators. For more information about NACMA, please visit www.nacma.com. NACMA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 48th year. For more information on NACDA and the 13 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.