There is no shortcut to success, because the only thing I can really add to preparation is hard work. Years ago I wrote about the constant mental toil that churns inside weekly. The post is old, so I had to republish it (should be re-published on Sept 1, 2022)That never changes.
And so, before long... not only has a decade gone by, before you can take a breath... it becomes 3 decades!
When I realized that our 50 year celebration was coming, I knew it was time to see if we could archive a few stories and memories. The frustration is that we will leave more out than we can document. And I do hope those that get left out of the process will be gracious!
Even this post will be just a taste of what the experience has meant to me. As we come into another game this year, I have become more acutely aware that there is a very common theme to the teams I have been able to go to battle with... and that is IT TAKES A TEAM!
And each week, as we did another podcast- it became obvious- these guys bought into TEAM concepts!
I think all teams are products of growth. A team cannot be made in a moment; it must be developed over a period of time. The fundamental ingredients to becoming a team are love and trust. To the degree that our players and coaches can learn to love each other and trust each other will be the depth of our power as a team.
Ultimately a team is characterized by self-sacrifice and a unity of purpose. Selfishness, bitterness, cynicism, apathy, and isolation are team killers. To develop love and trust requires communication, honesty, forgiveness, tolerance, and effort. A great step to love and trust is learning to suffer together. I can point to important moments when our football teams experienced major moves in developing the team spirit that we so eagerly wait for each season and it usually follows very difficult struggles or failures. Under pressure, we learn who we can rely on. There is very little pretending in times of pain.
In the early 1980’s, the University of Miami won a National Championship while Harvard University lost every game that season. Sports Illustrated did a story on where the players were 10 years later and found that a large percentage of the Miami team had gone to prison or experienced other unnecessary hardships while the Harvard players were enjoying unprecedented success in life. Who really won that year? Time shows us the obvious answer.
The same is true at ANY school. What will we gain if we win the state championship but forfeit our soul?
#1 We are committed to very high standards of ethics, work, and morality.
#2 Violations of standards will bring consequences.
#3 Great athletes without character will have a hard time getting honor.
Parents can be a HUGE help here. Great parents demand the same standards out of their children and seek to model those standards at home. If a son is punished for disobedience or dishonesty or immorality- back that punishment with harsh consequences of your own, and hold to them.
If your son is tempted to quit because of high standards of work or effort- DO NOT LET HIM DO IT. Never let a son quit out of fear or dislike of work.
Let me say again, we do not believe we have to sacrifice wins now to win in life. We have seen that we can do both. In fact, by holding to high standards, we are better now AND we have seen that the program is producing great students, quality leaders, good husbands and fathers, and great community servants.
We do not win them all- but we believe time is demonstrating God’s blessings on the effort.
Christianity is ALSO a team sport. Our need for the team is based on our enemy being the best one on one player in the history of the world. Our Savior beat Satan in the contest in the wilderness, but no one else has survived the encounter. We need each other to make it in this world of danger and pitfalls.
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