Whenever the topic of just what it is that we’re supposed to do with our MASPP degree comes up there is immediate hand wringing, stress, and angst. Doc programs might not want us, private practice will be a struggle, universities and NGB’s aren’t lining up to hire master’s level performance consultants, et cetera.

I believe that there is a silver lining in this cloud.  When something is difficult, when there is no clear path to follow, when the possibility of failure is evident, there is almost always an opportunity for the person willing to fight the war of attrition.

When I started teaching and coaching skiing I had summers and winters sorted out for work. This left me looking for work every May, September, and October. One fall I signed up with a temp agency and got assigned to be a laborer on a project lining a big hole in the ground in plastic to so it could be a 5-acre pond in the middle of a soon to be built subdivision. There was a foreman and six skilled laborers from Laos who traveled the northwest lining irrigation and fire ponds from April to late October.

The Pond

On the first day the foreman announced that the company was hiring an apprentice foreman, that it paid $50K/year, and that you got the winter off. The other five temp guys were all about 19 and thought this sounded like an amazing opportunity. They immediately started busting hump and trying to impress the foreman. The work was quite hard and I’d done enough manual labor by that point in my life to know what my pace was for a day of hard labor. I kept up with the other temps, but I was definitely on the slower end of the spectrum.

By Thursday morning I was the only temp laborer to show up.  This was the last job of the season for this crew, the Laotian guys were all sick and they all wanted to be done by Friday night. We all worked really hard and got it done by nightfall on Friday. At the end of the day the Laotian guys told me that they thought I was all right, which is something I’m proud of to this day. I had already told the foreman that I wasn’t interested in the job but he made it clear that if I changed my mind I should give the company a call.

My point here is that it never ceases to amaze me how unwilling or unable people are to stick something out. This is even true when they are giving up on something that they want REALLY BADLY. I’m not saying it is going to be easy, but if we look at this as a war of attrition and know that we have the guts, smarts, and will to stick it out and be true to each of our visions that we’ll pull it off.

Have fun out there,



New York City Hardcore band H2O on the topic of making a commitment to your personal vision and sticking to it…