Dean Hood, Head Football Coach at Eastern Kentucky University, told me a story once that really struck me ... a story that I think every coach and every parent should share with their kids ... better than share ... physically demonstrate with this simple experiment that creates a pretty instant visual ...
Dean tells this story to his players every year. We have "adopted" it in our coaches manual as well.
When Coach Hood was the defensive coordinator at Wake Forrest Alphonso Smith was one of his cornerbacks. In 2009 he was drafted in the 2nd round (37th pick) by the Denver Broncos ... he now plays for the Detroit Lions.
On draft day, Alphonso called Coach Hood ... "Coach, tell me the story of the carrot and the tea bag again. I'm feeling the boiling water here at the draft coach ... the league and all ... I know the story, I just want to hear you tell it again."
We all remember a good story.
CARROT OR TEA BAG
Take two boiling pots of water.
Into one drop a carrot and then into the other drop a tea bag.
The carrot goes in straight and sturdy; it has been well raised. But over time, after it hits the heat and pressure of the boiling water, it becomes soft and pliable and will bend in any direction you choose to bend it. Or it just becomes mush.
The tea bag is totally different from the carrot. When it hits the water it almost immediately changes the water. By adding heat and pressure, the tea bag changes the environment into something much better.
The boiling water represents the environment we are placed in ...
Do we let the environment change us in a negative way? (Carrot)
Do we change the environment around us in a positive way? (Tea Bag)
So I ask you:
Which do you want to be? A Carrot or a Tea Bag?
Being a Tea Bag takes sacrifice. The tea bag must “give of itself” in order to change the water.