The Principle of Little Victories

Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of spending the day listening to a man of wisdom. His name is Bill Myles. I went with Joe Lukens and Chris Willertz to discuss SportsLeader, mentoring and many other things. It was a memorable experience.

One phrase my Dad would say frequently was, "That coach forgets more about football before breakfast than others will learn their whole life." 
I felt like "the other" yesterday so I was happy to soak it in.
Coach Myles was a high school head football coach and an offensive line coach for the Universities of Nebraska and Ohio State. He coached Joe while he was at OSU.
We met him at his home and he gave us the tour. I was amazed how he would remember players names, numbers, stats, plays ... You could tell that every one of his players was important to him. He rarely spoke about championships, and there were many, but he spoke at length about his players as people.
At one point over lunch, he shared a really good nugget ... I paraphrase (and I won't do it justice)
"A mistake that many coaches make is that they forget the principle of little victories. For example ... I was watching an offensive line coach one day ... he had his players working the sled. A player goes through - You did not get low enough. Player goes back and does it again. You did not sustain ..."
"What that coach did was a huge mistake. You see he first wanted the player to get low. Well on the next try - he did get low. But he did not recognize "the little victory". He wants perfection all at once and that does not happen. Once he gets low, you praise him for that ... he then understands that portion of the skill and then you move on to sustain - or whatever."
"One little victory at a time, each one building on the other. You skip the little victories - not only will you not get the big ones, you wouldn't enjoy them as much either."
Let's ask ourselves as coaches - do we celebrate the little victories with our players?