Getting Better Today Since 1996
written by Stewart Briggs – Managing Director
Have you seen the words “Get Better Today” painted on our walls at Acceleration?
You may have wondered what it was all about.
This meaningful expression came from a challenging situation. I was given the task to train a team of softball athletes who were having a losing season. The culture of the team was becoming toxic and they were losing heart. My little nugget of creativity and enthusiasm turned the distressed players into a strong, unified team.
My Family Calls Me an Avocado
My family often laughs at me because I think in black and white. Unlike the ogre Shrek who is like an onion with many layers, they say I am more like an avocado. A hard exterior with one layer and a tough nut inside. I have to laugh at myself too, because I am not a naturally creative person. Perhaps one may say I’m a really focused person who only thinks about getting results but I can get a little creative when faced with a challenging situation. The phrase ‘Get Better Today!’ came from such a situation.
At BGSU, Women’s Softball Was Priority #1
In 1996, I had the pleasure to take up the role of Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, USA. One of my first responsibilities was to overhaul how we were training the women’s teams and athletes. Women’s Softball was a high priority sport for me and we had a long standing coach who had been successful in the past but the present squad was struggling to win.
My first job was to change their strength and conditioning program. With some fresh ideas, I changed the weights program to be more specific to their sport and its players. I also added outdoor speed, agility and power sessions aimed to make an immediate impact on their performance.
After a short time, they were gaining some changes in their strength and speed but not in their attitudes or confidence. I would ask them each session, “How are you today?” Mostly, I got the same, sad answers like, “Yeah, I am sore,” or “Not great…coach is riding me cause I can’t strike out batters,” and “Not a good day, just could not hit the ball.”
It Was Time to Get Creative
I needed something to change things up. Therefore, I had to be creative to get these women excited and motivated in the gym and on the field. Instead of directing their focus on game results or individual skills, I decided to focus on the process of working each day. So, every session began with me yelling, “Let’s Get Better TODAY!” This phrase put the focus on the moment. I challenged them to beat their previous sprint time, to work on perfecting their technique, to lifting more weight, so on and so forth. And you know what? It worked.
The phrase caught on. The players started chanting ‘Get Better Today!’ in the gym and whenever they were together. It motivated them. It united them as a team. And, they all got better.
This idea of ‘Get Better Today’ has continued into its 3rd decade with Acceleration. We have it on our walls and our coaches and athletes embrace it in their own ways. It also works because ‘Get Better Today’ can be used in many aspects of life.
Little Reminders or Simple Phrases
Honestly, I still chant it to myself when I don’t feel like working hard for the infinite pursuit of excellence. We all need little reminders or simple phrases like this to help us through the tough times.
It works for this avocado, and I hope it works for you too!
We’re here to help you or your kids in the pursuit of excellence. Not only for today but for the future.