Skip Navigation

Letters from Our Chairman

 

Dear Bank of Prairie Village Community~

Spring, at least to me, has a whipsaw beginning. One day is breezy, balmy, and beautiful – the next cold rain, freezing winds, and overcast skies. We must cross our fingers the Spring blossoms and flowers survive the vagaries of early Spring’s teeter-tottering weather.

Adding to my discombobulated, early Spring whipsaw is the NCAA Basketball Tournament – also known as March Madness.

Let me explain. I grew up as a competitive swimmer. Competitive swimming is straight forward. Jump into the pool, swim as fast as possible, and see where you end up compared to the other swimmers.

Practices in that era were equally straightforward. The dominant coaching theory back then was “maximum time in the water – with as many strokes as possible.” This old school regimen resulted in a morning practice of roughly 1.5 to 2 hours before school and a second afternoon/evening practice of 2.5 to 3 hours after school.

Swimming is solitary. You are isolated in your lane by yourself and your thoughts. There is little to do but keep moving and “thinking to yourself.” This of course leads to a great deal of “brooding and sulking” at the teenage level.

Endless hours were spent thinking and analyzing the prior days conversations, homework assignments, dating issues, and whatever else occupies the minds of high school boys and college men. In short swimming could often lead to a mindset of often over-analyzing anything and everything. This becomes a foundational trait instilled in old swimmers – from which it is hard to recover.

The “March Madness Basketball Mindset” is the opposite. March Madness embodies the never-ending vagaries and whipsaw/tetter-tottering characteristics of Spring Weather. One minute a college team is up – walking on the universe’s highest and most brilliant rainbow following a Cinderella thrilling upset – and the next game the same Cinderella team finds itself shot out of the sky by a buzzer beating opponent’s 3-pointer – or a twenty point beat down.

I will confess right now I could never be a basketball coach. My brain simply does not zig zag fast enough to maintain the necessary winning mindset equilibrium needed to manage a nail biting, tournament knock out game. A quarter inch shot trajectory often makes the difference between tournament glory and season ending humiliation.

I watch in amazement as college coaches manage to bring their teams back from 20-point deficits – and then coolly, call timeout and set up a winning three-point shot play with only six seconds left. I can only imagine if coaching in that situation, they would have to immediately take me from the field house on a stretcher – emotionally spent and intellectually exhausted.

By contrast, I watch night after night as college coaches do just that. They bring their teams back from crushing deficits, win at the buzzer then coolly and calmly give a post-game interview – to picture-perfect reporters jamming microphones in their faces.

Even more impressive are the post-game interviews of the losing coaches who must be courteous, coherent, gracious, and congratulatory to the other team after just having their hearts ripped out.

How they do this without profane-laced and expletive-filled rantings just amazes me. To compare their mindset composure to mine I can only think of Rudyard Kipling eloquent compliment “You’re a better man than I am, Gunda Din.”

I must admit I have given up trying to emulate the best characteristics of the Hall of Fame College coaches. I’ve had too many years spent brooding in chorine infused lap lanes. My chorine-soaked mind precludes me from ever attaining the supple mindset necessary to even coach grade school basketball.

That said, I know one always needs an “ideal role model” to overcome personal deficits. As I cannot relate to college basketball coaches – and their supple fast-turning minds, I recently tried finding a better mindset role model to help pull myself from my over analyzing of anything and everything.

After thinking through available positive and supple mindsets to study and emulate – I realized the perfect role model happened to be begging at my feet.

I stared down at my parent’s mixed-breed rescue dog, Lucy. Lucy seldom broods and quickly adapts to all changing situations. She can go from being dead asleep, to instantly being on full Energizer Bunny mode as soon as she hears me opening a bag of chips. Lucy patiently stands frozen for minutes at a time watching me eat the chips, but springs into frenetic action when even the slightest crumb falls to the ground.

Lucy happily rushes into the Vet for an overnight stay and then happily rushes out when we come to pick her up. She can go from having the zoomies when a guest arrives, to immediately falling to a most satisfying sleep after completing her greeting. She is uncaring about the weather, so long as she is taken on a walk. Each walk begins a new adventure, and each passing driveway and yards appears to be her most desired and exotic paradise to be sniffed, explored, and conquered.

Yes, Coach K, Self, Williams, and Wright are all out of my league. But Lucy, and other such rescue dogs, will be my perfect inspiration.

Rescue doggies don’t brood and waste time about what might have been or what might or might not happen. They simply move on to the next challenge, always hopeful the next wrinkle sound of a potato chip bag might bring a treat, or a hand in the closet might produce a leash and walk. Such doggies sleep soundly thinking of the future rabbits and squirrels they will chase, and of future family gatherings where meat scraps might rain down from the kids’ table.

As we go into the full of this Spring Season, let’s put the brooding months of winter behind us, and adopt the rescue dog’s mindset that every day will be a new, blessed adventure!

Yours in our fine community and the wonders of the Spring Season – regardless of how busted your March Madness Brackets may be.

 

View Past Newsletters

Dan Bolen ~ Chairman

Bank of Prairie Village

913~707~3369 Cell

Dan.Bolen@BankofPrairieVillage.com

“The Bank of Prairie Village ~ Home of Blue Lion Banking”~ cited March 2020 and~ again in April 2021 & April 2022 by the Kansas City Business Journal as one of the “Safest Banks in Kansas City for Your Money.”

Small Batch Banking ~ Once Client at a Time.

Back to Top