2018-09-06 / Sports

FOLLOWING SPORTS RELIGIOUSLY

By Mike Wilson
Sports Reporter


Mike Wilson Mike Wilson “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” Ecclesiastes 7:8.

Every student athlete, every coach, knows that you need to begin the season with the end in sight. If not, the training camps, long practices and endless repetition of plays and movements to gain consistency, have no meaning and serve no purpose. Whether the goal is to improve on last year’s record, improve your time or the place where you finished, there needs to be goals. Steven Covey, the self-improvement guru said, “When you aim at nothing that is what you will hit.” Sports - as in life - requires goals and working to meet those goals in order to succeed.

Team goals only work if everyone is on the same page. Teams fail when someone puts themselves above the team and their selfishness causes them to try to put their own accomplishments above everyone else. In the classic football movie “Remember the Titans,” there is a season where the team has been in training camp and the team is falling apart and the character Jullian is talking to his counterpart and he says, “I’m supposed to wear myself out for the team, no, I’m going to look out for myself and get what’s mine.” Fortunately, things turned around and they did begin to play as a team.

In a recent post-game interview with EPBP Lakers football coach Steve VerBurg, he talked about how winning the first game of the season, against Hudson, was the entire focus of their summer and fall practices. With that game and win behind them, they needed to focus on the next game against Reese and continue to take them one game at a time.

The Lakers played as a team, they reached their goals and each part of the team did their part. In their most recent game against Reese, Coach VerBurg’s Lakers had six different players rush the ball for at least 44 yards and five different players scored touchdowns. That is what teamwork looks like, each person executing and doing that which is necessary to help the team reach its goals and win the game.

In contrast, this past week there was a local team who lost a starter for the game because that player chose to put himself above the team and violated team and school rules by vaping at school and was not able to play. His team lost the game and because they were shorthanded called up a junior varsity player to take his spot. The JV player was hurt in that game.

Had the starter not violated the rules and played in the game - would the outcome been different? There is no way to say for sure. However, the point is that by putting himself above the team he put his team at a disadvantage.

In the end - all of the practice, all of the preparation, all of the sacrifice, will be worth it and a team will reach its goals. Will they win every game? Maybe, maybe not, but one thing is for sure, when individuals place themselves above the team - nobody wins.

Just something to think about.

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