Preparation Equals Success

This  timeless chronicle from the Bible is continuously brought up  in the world of sports .  evidently every time a so called “underdog”  defeats a team they weren’t supposed to defeat, coaches, players and commentators love to refer back to good ole’ David.  Every spring , sports fans have been treated to an NCAA hoops Tournament that has been filled with numerous upsets.  Football, has these types of games as well.  Look no further than Boise State (although they are winning their way out of the underdog claim), TCU and even the New Orleans Saints in this year’s Super Bowl, and the New York Giants versus the dominating New England Patriots in 2008.  Yes, as a matter of fact I am saying that the Giants were actually more like David  than Goliath .  Confusing, I know, but let’s face it, they were the underdog.  How is it possible that these lesser teams pull off these upsets ?  In nearly every case, the talent grade is not equal, more often than not the facilities are not on the same level , the coaches’ salaries are not comparable , yet these superior teams lose .  What’s the common theme?  Preparation and spirit.  Teams that are prepared and play with effort and heart, instead of fear, are able to accomplish great things. 

Although our goal is to focus on football and not religion, a lot can be taken from this Bible story.  David went into the fight in the same way that, as a teacher , you should aim to enter into a game .  David knew his opponent better than his opponent knew himself.  He knew Goliath’s strengths and his weaknesses.  As coaches , we need to go into every game and identify the strengths and weaknesses of that which we are trying to accomplish .  The challenge then becomes how to use a team’s strengths against them and thus expose, and take advantage of, their weaknesses.

The underdog is not always a team.  From one coach to another or a former player to a current player, I caution you to NOT get too hung up on the talent.  The same rule mentioned earlier applies to individuals.  Preparation + Heart (effort) = Success!  Over and over  I see coaches getting hung up on the “numbers game” of the game.  Who can jump the highest, run the fastest, we all know the drill.  Although these statistics DO make a difference, they mean very little without the two pieces of the “Success Formula”.

The lesson of the story is this;

Leaders give kids a chance, they may surprise you.  Don’t lock in on the PLAYERS you think look good, because you may be ignoring the player on your team that will make YOU look good.

Children , don’t give up!  I am speaking from experience as a former walk-on that was able to play at a Division I school, in a BCS Conference .  Always work to improve on getting stronger and faster , but also play  with heart and preparing  to achieve your goal  .  Work everyday to outwork your opponent  whether that is the person ahead of you on the office project , or the team you are lining up against come game day .

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