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Choice not Chance: Rules For Building a Fierce Competitor by Joanne P. McCallie

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Chapter 7

Seek Out Mentors

There Is No Substitute for Experience

Why the Scoreboard Is Irrelevant: Play the Game to Attack and Compete

Accepting the job as the head coach at Maine was the easy step. However, it wasn’t very long after making the decision that fear and doubt began to creep into my mind.

I am certain I am not the first woman (or man, for that matter), who has applied to become the boss, knows she is qualified and prepared for the job, then gets the job and wonders . . . what do I do now?

That was exactly the situation I faced as John and I packed up and moved from Auburn to Orono, Maine, in the summer of 1992.

It was reassuring to go home to a state I knew and loved, and to a place where I would be surrounded by friends and family. Support was never the issue; the question I kept asking myself was “How good of a coach can I be?” Though I was happy to know many more people, this familiarity created somewhat of a daily microscope, as well as a lot of internal pressure. I wanted to show everyone what a good job I could do for all of the people who had supported me throughout my playing career.

Empowering others through coaching is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. I believe in developing a clear program philosophy, changing the culture where necessary, and establishing consistency while promoting the concept of team power through an “all are one” commitment. I believe—admittedly, somewhat naively—that if you work your tail off and do the best you can do, great ...

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