In the past few workouts we have broken from our huddles with the saying, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” This past Sunday I gave a brief explanation of the meaning. To play with clear eyes is to play with a good attitude, removed from negative distractions. To play with full hearts means to give a complete effort and put your heart in to each game. We end with “can’t lose, because with a good attitude and a full effort, you have already won. After thinking about this more I wanted to give a full explanation of the saying. I wanted to share the origins of this and how I feel this saying aligns with the core of 6th Gear Sports.
My favorite television show is Friday Night Lights. It was a short lived take on a high school football team in small town Texas, based on the movie and book of the same name. While not always appropriate for younger audiences, the show touched on the lives and relationships, football and the people in the middle. The head coach, known by all in the town as Coach Taylor, ends his pre-game speech with the phrase, “Clear eyes, full hearts,” and the players finish, “Can’t lose!” When I first heard this, I have to say I was excited. It brought back that feeling right before a game, but there was also something pure about it. Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose. I looked around the internet and found the origins of this come from a speech given by head coach Gary Gaines in the movie.
In the movie, Coach Gaines stresses perfection, being perfect. At the end of the movie, his team losing with only 2 quarters left to play in the state championship game, he explains what he wants for perfection:
“To me, being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship to yourself and your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down, because you told them the truth. And that truth is that you did everything that you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment, as best you can, with clear eyes and love in your heart? With joy in your heart? If you can do that, then you’re perfect.”
To be perfect, to play with clear eyes and full hearts, you can’t lose.
Perfection is a long sought after, seldom achieved goal. This goal isn’t reached because we are reaching for the wrong definition of perfection. Instead of reaching for a perfection on the scoreboard, the win-loss column or the state line, we need to reach for the perfection that comes from inside. A perfection that comes from giving everything inside yourself, playing with a positive attitude and walking off the field knowing that you did everything you could. My previous posts share a similar testament and theme and all follow the same basic principals, but to me, I can’t talk about them enough. These sentiments are truly at the core of 6th Gear Sports, the core of my coaching philosophies and my beliefs about becoming a success, to find your perfection.
A perfect game, thrown by a pitcher is a rare feat and is celebrated, as it should be. But reaching one’s personal perfection does not have to be rare. It can be an every day achievement. At home, in the classroom, on the field, approaching each moment, each opportunity, with clear eyes and full hearts, we can achieve our personal perfection. 6th Gear Sports was founded with the idea of teaching kids to reach their best and help them find new success they never thought they could and it begins quite simply the same as it ends.
Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.
– Coach Tom