No Wins, Not Quite
This High School football team didn’t win a single game this year. Not one.
But you’d never know it looking at the faces of the kids and everyone else I saw at the season-ending banquet on Saturday.
I didn’t get to see many Varsity games this year with the kickoff times being mostly held at 4pm on Friday nights. But I know that what had to be tough games to watch, would likely carry over into a somewhat depressed pall cast over the season ending banquet. How could there not be, having gone this year without a single win and having just one win last year.
But what I saw was a room full of cheering parents, proud young men and a half a dozen coaches who spoke of their players as if they were their very own kids.
I saw a Head Coach who talked glowingly and positively about every player from Freshman to Senior as they were introduced. It wasn’t what you think; time flew. He found something unique and great to say about each. He found affirmative things to say about their work ethic, their progress, their spirit, their unselfish willingness to help each other and refreshingly for many, their outstanding grades.
My son didn’t play a down this year having suffered a pre –season injury requiring surgery but he had his name called and was acknowledged for his commitment to supporting the team throughout the year. He wore not only a tie (that was as required for all players) but a broad smile shaking the hands of coaches and teammates as he walked onto the floor.
There was continued talk of overcoming more injuries and obstacles, of learning new positions and new offenses, of learning a new culture and of responsibility and accountability. There was talk about the honorable values and the unique contributions of team captions, assistant coaches and supporters all around.
There was talk of shunning the individual accomplishment and focusing on bonding as a team, in a concerted effort with a common focus. There was talk about reaching out to each other and encouraging each other to work together not just during football season but all year round. And finally, there was talk that in the end of all this important stuff, one of many great results, (but not nearly the only one), will be some games to be won.
It’s trite of course, but these games are not the lead story – at least for the gatherings of these young men who yearn to push a ball across a goal line just a bit more than their competitor. My guess is that if there were two seasons of winning records already under his belt, this Head Coach would have talked about the same things.
I sat there thinking how wonderful these presentations and speeches were and asked myself how different are they than what the gatherings of families, groups or even companies in good times or in bad should be hearing? These messages are the ones that we and not just our sons benefit from. These messages are at the root of what is valuable, at the root of what drives achievement across a wide swath of life.
Thanks for the pep talk Coach. Thanks for the shot in the arm of prioritization and principles. Better luck next year in that win / loss thing but regardless, there’s no doubt you’ll truly win.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.