I have always like that word.
I remember the concept from a Jr High science class - potential energy. How I saw it - something just sitting there filled with possibility! Waiting for outside forces to take over and guide it.
When I got to university it was the same thing. The truth is, whether it is our first job, our university classes, or just being out there on our own - anything is possible. The future is exciting and endless. The energy inside us is the hope and promise that - as we keep working toward something- those outside influences will shape and guide us (that may mean we bounce around for awhile). Now, we want those positive forces for our kids as the follow their own passions.
For that athlete, the path is the same. Each of us is filled with potential - we tap into it with our own desire and interests. This is informed and influenced by coaches, parents, friends and experiences.
See that net. It is nothing on its own. It needs desire and kids that love the sport. It needs coaches and parents that believe in and support all possibilities. It needs attention to and a focus on what could be and what helps get us there. Oh - and a ball. It really needs a ball! And then it is everything!
Seeing through the eyes of a youth player that is about to strike a ball in a defining situation - whether it goes over the bar or into the net depends on what happens first. In the big picture, our job is to ignore the shots that won or lost a game. Instead we must remember the potential inside each athlete in each moment (no matter where that is) and do what is right in the next "first" steps to help move that potential forward! Where they get to depends on it!