Because sometime, you’re gonna lose at something~
I pounded the integrity drum loudly, lately. Scandals in college and NFL took center stage. Players behaving more like thugs then men of honor—much less, those guys in question outta be more thankful than a pig in sunshine, blessed with talent and health to play beyond high school is a privilege!
Programs crumble brick by brick, because various accusations surface like sharks searching for their next meal. Cheating violations continue plaguing programs, which then leads to sanctions. Even worse, programs covering for coaches that should have been banned from being around any boys at any time. Black eyes of all kinds brought-on from top executives down to water boys have tinged our most beloved game of football. Is it any wonder why I am so passionate to keep the sport pure as possible?
Football in its purest sense is about teamwork, discipline, self-sacrifice, hard work, and sportsmanship. By definition, the game is supposed to teach a boy how to become a man. However, the reverse is oftentimes too true. Football can also morph a man back into an immature, juvenile boy who makes bad choices. That my friends, is sad!
Sad or not, the good news is, we can champion winners! Now, the above paragraph does not mention any scoreboard stats. No win columns or digit markers. Maybe a win is simply showing up. Maybe a win is gauged by ones character. Maybe a win is baking cookies and sharing them with a neighbor. Maybe a win has more to do with what is on the inside of a person than what is recorded for all to see and admire.
I believe at the core of every person lays a barometer, the measure of ones thoughts and actions. Often egocentricity is at the heart of ones infractions. Oh, that ego fella is one bad boy! Pride runs a close second. Certainly most sports, football or otherwise, could never teach or coach selfishness, their scoreboards would most surely reflect losses. When did our culture become so self-centered? Yet, we see it time after time, and especially in sports. What’s up with that? I guess because the media picks up on almost every move a team makes and the players who make wrong choices. The juicier the better.
Here’s an interesting story. One reflecting the purest sense of what it means to be an unselfish coach. For the record, I haven’t the foggiest clue about the game of lacrosse, but I can spot a guy that we can all learn from who possesses exceptional standards. This man holds more moral heart than anyone I’ve met or read about in recent years. His loyalties, honesty, honor, and by golly, his integrity reaches new heights. Or, maybe I should say, are at his core.
Mike Pressler redefined a win. His integrity tools put him back on top and he continues to turn down zillions of bucks to stay right where he is. How many coaches across this great land of ours can say that?? It all goes back to doing the right thing even when no one else is.
I hope Coach Pressler’s story spreads new hope to all coaches who may have to take a good look inside. Checking the ego-dip-stick may open old wounds, but better to make some character adjustments and tap your gauge now, instead of waiting for when your own feet hit the fire. I hope all those involved with sports will take a deep heart-check and redefine their own wins. I sure am.
Look, no one wins every time. However, what you do or don’t do, and how you react to certain situations should be a predetermined decision in your life. It’s what you do during the feet-fires that set the true winners apart. I may need a good foot-washin’ myself.
Redefining a win isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it involves the smallest of things, checking the ego-dip-stick occasionally, and making appropriate adjustments. We can all Champion Winners right where we are. Embrace the small stuff, God is watching. We really do reap what we sow.