David and Goliath in Chiropractic today!

Having your kids participate on sports teams can be exhilarating or a constant source of stress (like when you watch parents kiss up to the coach or when the coach shows favoritism, etc.). A lot of parents air their opinions and complaints all over the internet because of this stress. I recently heard about a parent who decided he wanted his kid to have a more positive experience.

 The coach of an area 10-year-old intramural basketball team was not playing all the kids on the team. He was playing his best players solely to win (and to stroke his own ego) and not developing the kids' spirits and teaching life lessons. Some of the parents complained online and offline and the coach just dug his heels in. One of the parents, who is a former professional basketball player, offered to start a new team for the boys who were not getting a chance to play. At the time, the only opening for the kids to play in was a league playing against 14-year-old boys. His philosophy for his team was all the kids will get playing time and he wanted them to form a tribe with a supportive, cooperative, underdog mindset that says we may not always win, but we are going to give it everything we have! 

 As DCs we get asked to compromise our integrity in all so many ways. It’s so easy to look the other way when you see things that aren’t right. It takes courage to stand out and be different. It takes courage to take a stand when it comes to health: doing what’s best for the patient and putting people over profit. Patients ask us to cave when it comes to things like recommendations, fees, co-pays, and deductibles. Our communities ask us to accept their designation of what we as DCs should be all about: adult, short-term care for aches and pain only.  

 In most situations there are three groups of people and this applies to DCs, too. In the example above, some of the parents on the basketball team were okay with the way things were. Some just complained but offered no solutions. Then there was one parent who said this just isn’t right and I’m going to do something about it!

 Playing against the odds may not appeal to people who want things to be easy or to be handed to them. This is a form of entitlement. They would rather have someone else do it for them. Yet there is another group of ambitious people that are attracted to a familiar truth that says, "things worth having are worth putting in the effort for."

These kids developed the mindset of being UNDERDOGS! No, not with a chip on their shoulders; rather a CAN DO attitude that many adults never develop. They were taught not to give up in the face of being outmanned or not being the favorites or the most popular, etc. Everywhere they play, they get cheered on by both teams because of their determination, grit and never-say-die attitude. They may not win many games, but the thrill of being united by a common battle cry is something that will prepare each and every one of these kids for the next chapters in their lives.

It's so easy for DCs to play on the team that already has established rules and regulations and to not challenge them, no matter how wrong they are. Just put your heads down and endure the pain and suffering of being a small version of who you really could be. There are so many DCs that continually endure practices that don’t reflect their true talents and abilities. It’s not a lack of clinical expertise; it’s a mindset that’s lacking.

With a mindset of being an UNDERDOG, you are not part of medicine, hospitals or the disease model. Their buildings are taller than yours, their pockets are deeper than yours, their social power is heads and shoulders over a DC's and their political clout is David and Goliath-like.

It’s okay to be the underdog!  It’s an orientation that allows every day in your life to be an adventure.

If you want to march in a different direction and not fight against medicine and disease, there is nothing stopping you except yourself.

When we went to Chiropractic school, most of us felt like underdogs and we were more vociferous and bold in our words and actions. We took on all people even though they didn’t agree with our beliefs or admired our conviction. But then something happened: we graduated, had families and settled into a quiet desperation. We lost our underdog mindsets. We gave away our power to the majority (medicine and disease mentality) and we agreed to sit on the bench and keep our mouths shut as we watched others play.

TNR is reserved for DCs ready to reclaim their practices and their lives! One of the most glorious sights is a person getting off the bench and saying, "'put me in coach, I’m ready to play!"