Good relationships build teams and teams build good relationships. That holds true in sports, business, friendship, and marriage.
During our Spring practices, our players have become better blockers, tacklers, runners, passers, and receivers; but more importantly, they have come together as a team. Our staff has fostered a collaborative team setting and allowed the transfer of skills from more experienced players to less experienced ones. The teamwork we have been intentionally cultivating allows everyone involved to help each other, and the more they help each other the stronger their bonds become.
The goal is that these relationships will allow them to lean on each other and pick each other up during a high school football season 6 months from now. Our teams are most successful when they understand their interdependence, commitment, and selflessness yield strength, resilience, and momentum far greater than the sum of its parts. As coaches, we see these characteristics reflected in short-term successes on Friday nights in the fall. But if we are truly successful in our mission of returning to our communities someone who is a little better than they were when we got them, these relationships and the support for fellow teammates will last far beyond football seasons and high school years.
This past weekend, 45 years after we were teammates, dozens of us traveled hundreds of miles to help one of our “brothers” in a time of need. Having shared smaller adversities then, and fought through the inevitable adult life challenges later, we find ourselves stronger than might have ever expected. Now, as we realized then, we are always stronger together, than we could ever be by ourselves alone. When one has a load too heavy to bear, we rally together to take the strain, ease some of the pain, and help illuminate the way ahead.
I’m in awe of the bonds we formed as young men, and even prouder these bonds forged on playing fields so long ago, find ways to answer the call across miles and decades. 45 years from now, I will no longer be on this Earth; but I hope to look down from heaven to see those I’ve coached… young men like those Hilltoppers who came together here last week, gather for each other in times of need just as my teammates, my friends, my brothers have done and will continue to do.
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at email@example.com and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!