Have you ever felt it?
The feeling of pure joy.
The roar from the crowd. Teammates rush the court. The smiles, the tears, the group hugs. The dances, the cheers, the celebration.
Let’s just let that word sink in.
Championship seasons are filled with story lines of triumph and failure. Heroes, giant killers, and unexpected surprises.
It’s the moments you live for as a competitive athlete, and sometimes the moments you wish you had the chance to do over again. And for some teams who make it to the big dance it's just about the experience, the championships is their championship.
I believe there are 3 things that make a championship team that goes beyond skill, talent, and preparation, though all important aspects to creating a winning culture.
Unwavering belief in being a champion.
Yes, belief in being a champion, not becoming a champion. That's rooted in an unwavering belief in yourself, and every single person that's part of your team. The odds may be stacked against you, but you never doubt it. And that belief never falters no matter how hard the challenge, and no matter how hard the push back.
It no longer becomes a question of can you handle the pressure, rather it becomes a question of how much can THEY handle when you apply the pressure. Belief is a powerful tool when used right.
"If not me, who? If not now, when?"
With that belief comes a quiet determination that is full of support from starters to bench players, to the coaching staff, trainers, and even the fans. Everyone is communicating about roles, taking responsibility for their actions and letting others know that it's okay if you make a mistake because, 'I have your back'.
When the pressure is on here is where the cracks start to show. But support those around you at all times, and have faith that together you can go farther.
My coach told me about this clip. Now, I'm not much of a football fan, but it's Tom Brady and Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots mic'd up during the Super Bowl and the talk they used to spark that unbelievable comeback and it's totally awesome.
They made one hell of a story.
Championship teams realize that it takes a village to win and that no one player can do it on their own. Every single member of that team has a part to play. "If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together".
Championship players realize that sometimes on that particular day they aren't meant to be the star and that is OKAY. They are able to step back and support those who get the job done without any love lost.
Everyone is All In.
Every time I think back to those final points in those Championship games I get shivers. Each point so carefully etched out in my memory waiting to be brought back to my conscious mind for a moment of happiness.
Club Provincials/Nationals are right around the corner leaving the story lines open for new champions to be crowned.
Good luck to all of the teams, and athletes participating - this is your chance to shine. Good luck to all of the parents making it through a weekend of watching stressful matches. Good luck to all of the coaches in leading your teams to victory.
May the 4th be with you.