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Being on time…

Sunrise at Park ave in Arches National Park. The large tower in the distance in the center is part of the Court House Towers formation.

Back when I used to coach basketball in Nova Scotia, my friend Glyn and I would expect the players we were coaching to be on time. He had been the head coach of the team for several years when we teamed up.

We were coaching the midget program, so kids that were 13-16 years old and along with basketball skills we were trying to pass along some life lessons as well.

We had an interesting mix of players. We coached in one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in town but actively sought out kids from rougher areas to bring them onto our teams. On many occasions, Glyn found funding for kids that couldn’t afford to play to have them on our team. On more than one occasion I had to encourage kids not to steal cars to drive to basketball practice…

Contrast that with some of the most fortunate kids in town. It didn’t matter though, once practice started everyone was the same.

We had two practices a week and at least one game on the weekend. All of this time coaching was volunteer. Glyn coached the team for 11 years, and I was involved with the Martyrs program for 5 years.

That adds up to a lot of time spent coaching kids. We had a pretty good record too. While coaching at the Martyrs Glyn won 3 provincial championships in 5 years of which I was there for 2 of them

One thing that didn’t make us happy was when kids were late for practice.

We only had a brief window of time at the gym we trained at. It was in a church and we usually just had an hour of court time.

Usually, we had about 1.5 hours worth of stuff we wanted to cover, so every minute was important. Plays, skills and drills, end of game scenarios, there was a lot to cover.

When players showed up late, it affected the amount of time that we had in practice.

If you showed up late, it usually had a negative consequence, and honestly, we didn’t care much if it was your Mom’s fault. Often we’d let that slide the first time and tell them it was their responsibility to get to practice on time, not their Mom’s.

They didn’t have to rely on their parents to drive them there. They could walk, run, bike, take the bus, it didn’t matter to us that much how they got to practice, just that they were on time.

When someone did show up late, we’d stop practice and penalise everyone for the amount of time the person was late. If it was 5 minutes, it was 5 sets of suicides or 25 burpees a minute that the person was late. The critical point was that there were consequences to being late and the rest of the team would suffer if you were. It made kids accountable, and they rarely showed up late, especially after the first occurrence of the year…

Eventually, they started showing up early because they didn’t want to let their teammates down.

It would probably be considered some form of group punishment that is outlawed by helicopter parents these days…

Fast forward to boot camp and another 7 years spent in the Canadian Forces. No one cares why you are late.

I remember being told at the Military College “That sounds like a personal problem to me…” Ha, it was true. I was on crutches and was late cause I had misjudged the amount of time it would take me to crutch across campus to get to where I was going…

Now, being a Realtor, driving around from home to home with different groups of people has a lot of variables that can complicate remaining on schedule throughout the day.

Sometimes clients are late, or they really like one home and want to spend more time in it than usual, or maybe there’s an accident and traffic is worse than anticipated…There are numerous reasons why a day in real estate can go sideways, but after 7 years I’ve figured out how to plan for unexpected delays better.

The habit of being prompt and punctual has been ingrained in me.

Consistently being on time is a product of proper planning, personal discipline, and respect for other people’s time.

To this day I hate not being on time. On the rare occasions that I show up late, I work hard to ensure it will not happen again.

Making a plan with someone to show up at a certain time is like a promise.

It’s your word to be where you declared you would be.

These days I don’t plan to be on time, just like the kids I used to coach, I plan to be early.

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