….then because of you, they will love the game too

If I may beg your indulgence a bit, I have a love story of sorts to share.

Again.

It was inspired in part by “anonymous”.  Born out over a life time of loving “the game”.

And rekindled by seeing my high school teammates  this past weekend.

If you love the game:

“Then life truly began when the season started.”  

Team dinners are the best sit down meal of the week.

Hudl is your preferred form of social media.

Bruises are your favorite fall colors

Wearing white  is still permissible after Labor Day.

Tape has become your socks

You accessorize with ice packs and ace bandages

Eye black brings out your cheekbones

And the creaky appendages and the hitch in your giddy-up  later in life remain your source of pride and joy.

If you love the game:

Having the opportunity to practice the day after a game is as big a deal as playing under the lights on Friday nights.

You regard scout team as the ideal way to contribute; a golden opportunity to make the team maximize its potential and achieve its goals.

And  a  role on special teams can be your ticket to change the course of a game , a season or your career – through superlative effort and will.

If you love the game:

Then no matter what – A or B – JV or reserve – starter or finish out the rout player – your mindset is “just get me on that field. “

Being wedded to a position will never supplant being bonded to a unit or the team.

Whether hurting, braced, casted or recently repaired, being at practice, meetings and games  is better than missing a single moment of the season.

Then the  number that comes after the division is never more important than playing on in college.

If you love the game:

You can embrace the blessings, needs and challenges of being a member of a large, multi-generational, extended family

You will learn to depend upon the friends you found in the weight room, during speed and agility, at morning misery, during two a days, and with your back to the goal line.

You will find hey are here for you now – and most likely will be later on in life.

If you love the game:

You will stop an errant “brother”, diffuse a bad situation, console a friend in need, and raise another up – even if you are down.

Then the unconditional investment of  your time and talents to others is your SOP.

You recognize that the getting is entirely contingent on  the giving.

You reserve the biggest smiles for the accolades and attention your team and teammates are granted.

Humility is worn as a badge of honor.

You understand that you are but one in a long line of fine athletes that came before – and will most certainly follow – you.

11012359_10153260251846843_8892838362730821288_o

If you love the game:

Honor all of this for what it truly is; a rare and fleeting privilege

Lean in to the  challenge of this magnitude. To work harder than you ever have at something, and then, work even harder than that is an extraordinary opportunity.  One that needs to be accepted with genuine and lasting gratitude

Let go.  Giving up all of you for something bigger is a life-changing event.

Commit to relentless effort, stellar character and extraordinary leadership regardless of your role.  It  is the best way to honor that big family.

If you love the game:

Trust that all of them will honor the sacrifices you make on their behalf in kind.

Respect everyone for each has something in them like no other.  And that can make this team like no other – before or after.

Affirm and prove their genuine worth to you in your thoughts, words and deeds.

Be accountable.

To the ones with the whistles, you will call  “Coach”.

But more so, learn to answer  to your partner in the weight room.  To those sharing morning misery and the one next to you on the bus.

Own up to your teammates doing up downs.  Your unit when you huddle.   And that guy next to you right here, right now.

If you love the game:

You will make it about all of them by leaving all of you on that field.

Because if you can love the game this much, then because of you, they will love the game too.

Thanks for the inspiration “Anonymous”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s