What I learned from a high school football team

What I learned from a high school football team

January 09, 2020

My youngest son, Max, is a junior in high school and this year played for his school’s football team. I’ve learned a lot from this “winning” squad. And no, it’s not how to win: it’s how to persevere.

 

So like most Hollywood stories play out, Max’s team has won a big championship. Nevertheless, this group of teens, parents and their coaching staff have quietly and steadily earned the first CIF Division III conference title in 24 years and only the second time in the history of the school.

 

Why quietly? 

Because they received very little press for their incredible wins but most importantly, their incredible losses. You see, they lost almost as often as they’ve won and that’s what the record keepers and media have been referencing. However, they lost to some of the toughest teams- far more superior in ability. They have been technically losing (what the score board reads) but statistically dominating in the sense that this quiet force had been holding the other clubs to low-scoring games and at the same time getting better and stronger with each challenge. The “quietly” statement also refers to the group of parents (mostly moms, but some dads) who tacitly organized, memorized and summized all the details and operations that needed to happen in order for a successful football program to operate. In a sentence: they were and are the silent campaign operators who gave enormously yet received hardly.

 

So while these football players had been both winning and losing they collectively flew under the radar press-wise. They were overlooked to teams with greater numbers yet far inferior in determination.

 

Why steadily? 

These boys were tough enough to lose and somehow still remained positive. Each and every member of the group including coaches and parents refused to give up. Week after week these football players and coaches kept getting up early to practice, staying after school to lift weights, and go the extra mile with little to no “real” accolades. Over time, they steadily raised their frequency, built an endurance, fine tuned the art of excelling and now (finally) have won their city’s respect. 

 

How this relates to me:

I’ve grown up with the concept that I am (and will be) happy when things are going well. You know, in a sense, when I’m winning. I’ve just recently applied the idea that I can choose to be happy -successful, thriving, etc.... no matter how “things” are going -win or lose. In fact, if I adopt the same philosophy as Max’s team, his coaching staff and the devoted parents, I too can quietly and steadily make my climb to the top—whatever I chose that to be. I’ve been slowly adopting this approach and right before my eyes, my son and his athletic gang have been demonstrating the very thing I hope to achieve. 

 

I’ve learned a lot from this football program and I’m thankful to be in the presence of true champions. 



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