Locker Rooms, Lawns, and Shopping Carts

By September 15, 2017 No Comments
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Kind of an odd title right? What do these three things have in common? Do they have anything in common? What if I told they all were reflections of who we are; that they serve as indicators?

While thinking about these objects I was reminded of a story I once heard about a boy named Buddy. Buddy was a nice boy, but man was he spoiled rotten. He came from an extremely wealthy family and had more toys than you can ever imagine. Whenever he wanted something, Buddy’s family bought it for him.

Buddy never really grasped the value of money, how much things cost, or how fortunate he truly was. One day, one of his nice rich uncles bought Buddy a horse. Buddy loved to ride the horse and was always on it. Even though he loved riding the horse, he treated it very badly. The horse began to get weak and sick, and for the first time Buddy showed genuine concern for something other than himself. His family said they’d buy him a new horse, but he said no.

For the first time, Buddy began to realize just how important it was to take care of the things he’d been given.

The truth is we’ve all been given something. How we take care of it determines if we’ll get more and what the quality will be in the future.

It’s all mindset.

It’s also called stewardship.

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Never be too big to do the small things that need to be done

I once read a story about Coach K at Duke and how much of a point he makes it that every coach, player, and manager understand the importance of taking care of Duke’s locker room; home and away. Coach K teaches his program the value of taking care of what is theirs, and how it is a reflection of the people they are.

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The famous New Zealand rugby club, The All Blacks go by a saying, “Sweep the Sheds.” The players sweep and clean up their locker room after every practice and game.


Because no one looks after The All Blacks, The All Blacks look after themselves.

How clean and tidy a locker room is a direct reflection of what type of people inhabit it. It’s also a good indicator what type of culture they have, if they’re winners or not, and who they’ll become in the future.


“Successful leaders balance pride with humility: absolute pride in performance; total humility before the magnitude of the task.”

This next example will probably strike a nerve with some, but honestly…it should! I want your honest response here. What do you think of when you see a home that looks uncared for?

Maybe it has broken windows.

Maybe it hasn’t been painted or washed in years.

Maybe it looks abandoned.

Or maybe the grass hasn’t been cut in weeks.

If you’re being honest, you probably don’t have a favorable view of the owner, right? Our homes are our most valuable possessions, but why do so many not care about it’s appearance.

Now, I’m not saying every house or lawn has to be immaculate, (Ours is far from it) but I believe people should take pride in their homes appearance. If you came to my house and there were grass clippings all over my driveway, sidewalk, and in the street in front of my house what would you think?

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We are all stewards of our belongings. If we don’t take care of what we have now, we can never expect to get any more. And it’s 100% fine if someone doesn’t want better or bigger, but at least have pride in what you own.

Something I tell my athletes is you can’t expect to have a larger role if you don’t star in the role you currently have. If a coach can’t trust you to do the job you have now, how can you expect them to trust you with a bigger role on the team.

If we’re not good stewards with what God has entrusted to us now, how can we expect to ever be given more here on earth or in heaven? It’d be foolish of him to give us more when we can’t take care of what we have. It’s even more foolish for us to expect him to do so.

Have you ever been to the grocery story or your local Target? Good, so then you’ve seen shopping carts scattered around the parking lot. Little things make a big difference. If one is not willing to walk the extra five feet to put the cart in the corral, how can they be trusted to carry out an important job?

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It doesn’t matter is it’s the locker room, a lawn, or a shopping cart; how we handle them matters. It says a lot about who we are. It says a lot about our ambition.

No matter where we are in life we all share a common responsibility. Our responsibility is to take care of what we have and make it better.

When it all comes down to it, I want to hear these words at the end of my life:

“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Check out our YouTube show for great content to help empower others to live a life of purpose.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.