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March Madness & MTXE

We are now in the midst of March Madness. I love the Men's and Women's College Basketball Championship Tournaments. It's one of my favorite times of the year and a perfect occasion for my first blog post.

Wichita State University is located an hour south of where I grew up. Their mascot is the Shockers. You might have noticed them lately because their basketball program has become prominent in recent years behind the efforts of their current coach, Gregg Marshall. Although they just bowed out of this year's tournament, Wichita State's Play Angry style of play can be inspiring and fun to watch.

(A quick aside --- just in case you were wondering what a Shocker is, the WSU mascot comes from the process of "shocking" wheat. As you probably know, wheat is a very important crop in Kansas. Before farm machinery automated the process, harvesting wheat involved cutting it and then gathering it into bundles that look a lot like the current Wichita State mascot.)

Before Gregg Marshall, there was another period of success in Wichita State history that is memorable for me. When I was a child, a new coach came to WSU -- Gene Smithson. He quickly found success. The program was often nationally ranked in the early 1980s.

Coach Smithson had a slogan that he used to motivate his players: MTXE. It stood for Mental Toughness, Extra Effort (please pardon the spelling mistake on “Xtra”!). He wasn't shy about promoting it. He put it on the team's practice jerseys and would speak about it often on his weekly TV show that was broadcast in the area.

It's not necessarily a breakthrough concept, but it can certainly be difficult to implement. I like the simplicity of the acronym and the way it rolls off the tongue. Although not easy to put in place, it can be applied to many parts of our lives. I like to think about how it can be important to what we do as court reporters.

Anyone who has worked as a court reporter for a full day of depositions or court proceedings knows that mental toughness is a must-have in order to succeed in this business. Other participants (attorneys, deponents, et al) may get breaks during the day, but the court reporter must be "always on". The level of mental toughness required in this profession would certainly be admired by Coach Smithson. Every good court reporter that I know brings an extremely high level of mental toughness to work every day.

As for the back half of MTXE, extra effort is something that we take great pride in at Harpeth Court Reporters. Giving extra effort is a key element of how any individual or organization can set themselves apart from the competition. In basketball, it might be diving for a loose ball or taking a charge at a crucial time of the game. For Harpeth, we display our extra effort in a variety of ways. No matter what the situation, we dig deep to ensure the litigation process goes flawlessly for all our clients. Our clients can always expect experienced & professional reporters, friendly communication available 24/7, and accurate transcripts delivered quickly. MTXE at its best!

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