Young Athletes: Redefining The Win

Right after college when I started off in my career, I immediately chased after money, image, and status. I kept thinking- if I just had more… I would be happier. More money, more clothes, more trips. But you see, then I got all those things, and I wasn’t. Not really. I mean, I may have been happy for a short time, but eventually that feeling wore off and I kept thinking… is this it?

Present day, I hold workshops for athletes as well as coaches. And they are all chasing the same thing: the championship. And that’s great! I don’t fault anyone for that. But I am here to share that now looking back on my athletic experience – I think there is more out there for everyone. But I’m not talking about adding extra participation trophies. I’m talking about shifting the focus on caring for others – more than yourself. This is what’s out there for athletes and coaches alike to take. It doesn’t mean you have to win it all. It means you have to trust, believe and give up your own way… to work together. And THAT is the good stuff. That’s the underlying lesson in each practice, game and win. Did you work together? Did you put your teammates ahead of yourself? Did you have fun?

It’s all about the journey. As cliche as that sounds, when I go back and talk with the teams I’ve been a part of, we always reminisce about everything that happened, OFF THE FIELD. It’s rarely “Remember that 3rd and 4th when we were down 6 points and XYZ happened.” It’s usually jokes and stories of us from practice, eating out afterwards, or things that happened in the bus on the way to a game. With every memory, we laugh harder and harder, and everyone says, “Oh man, that was FUN.”  

Listen, I’m competitive. I love championships. I love to win. But if you’re only worried about the scoreboard, it’s a hollow feeling. As a fan myself, I wanted Nebraska to win so bad this year. And when we did, I still had to take the trash out that night. So we have to reframe what the word “win” really means. Because after the win, what comes next? You got the trophy – now what? Everyone has to go home. The losers and the winners.

It might seem hypocritical in that I am trying to get people to “like” this post, or share this article… as that’s another version of money, image and status. But my goal isn’t to get the most followers and likes – I trust that this stuff reaches the people it needs to reach, and if someone doesn’t like it… oh well. That’s ok. Because this is about the journey we are on to create unity and intentional leadership in families – by empowering people to take a chance, get involved….but most of all have some fun.

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