I had the most incredible experience this past month. As many of you know, two years ago, I followed my passion and agreed to coach my son’s Varsity lacrosse team. I had coached Ryan and his friends for many years at the youth level, but I knew it would be a completely different experience at the high school level. In fact, it was a decision that did not come easy and almost didn’t happen. When the Athletic Director asked me if I would consider coaching, my first thought was- “Really, me?” I already had a pretty busy “day job” that I loved and required my full attention. I had never coached at the high school level, and it seemed like a big step from my previous coaching days. And truthfully, I was a little intimidated and concerned that I didn’t have the experience or knowledge to give the boys what they needed to be successful. The easy thing would have been to say “no thank you, I have too much on my plate” but I love the sport, I love to compete and mostly importantly I love these boys, now young men. So instead I decided to go for it and figured out a plan to balance these new responsibilities.
I quickly learned that the X’s and O’s and strategy of the game were important but not nearly as important as getting these boys to believe in themselves and play as a team. One of my favorite expressions in business is that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” In other words, a strong culture will outperform a good strategy all day long. I firmly believe this and it is something that we have embraced at OneDigital. In my opinion, it’s the same on the lacrosse field or in any sport and within any team. It’s amazing what a group of young men can do when they are having fun, believe in themselves, believe in each other and know that their teammates “have their back” no matter what happens.
Last year, we made it all the way to the championship game and lost to an undefeated rival. This year, my boys worked hard, overcame some obstacles and once again made it to the championship game. AND, once again, they faced the same rival that had now gone undefeated for two years! I think you know the awesome ending to this story… my team with my son playing his last game as a senior, won the state championship. It’s hard to put into words the feeling when the clock hit 0:00 and I watched these young men embrace as they realized they had fulfilled their dream. Amazing, exhilarant, sheer joy!!
The lesson I’d like to share here is that you can’t be a champion if you don’t first make a decision to get into the game. I think back to that impactful decision I made 2 years ago, knowing that I almost didn’t take that chance. Whether it’s at work or at home, if you want something bad enough, it’s not enough to just dream about it, you have to go for it! Every story you've ever connected with, every leader you've ever admired, everything that you've ever accomplished is the result of taking action. You have a choice. And, more than likely, you’ve got a supportive team around you who want you to succeed and be a champion as well.
Remember this quote from famous hockey player Wayne Gretzky- "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." So take a shot, follow your dream, get in the game and BE a champion!