Friday, November 5, 2010

Slaying The Dragon

"There is a saying among some athletes that after you have stared long enough into the dragon's eyes, there is nothing left to do but slay the dragon. For each of us, that dragon is the thing closest to the center of our lives. It is our core, our ambition, and our joy." - Michael Johnson, Slaying the Dragon

One of my best athletes played her last high school match last night. Well before the match was decided I knew what I needed to know about her and the effort she was going to put out there. There is a consistency to this effort common to all of the better athletes I have been fortunate enough to work with and that consistency can teach us all a lot. In victory or defeat these athletes are prepared for the challenge and have committed themselves to doing their best.

It would be beautiful if all of my hardest working athletes were rewarded with great success and victory to complete their playing careers. Yet the value of who they have become, at their core, has helped them develop something longer lasting and far more powerful. Trophies and medal ceremonies are for spectators. Real character is the championship.

"Even in the best race there will always be a slight stumble, a shudder, a hitch, always room for a hundredth of a second improvement. That is the great thing about being a human being. You can always go just a little bit faster." - Michael Johnson, Slaying the Dragon

Here's to continuing your chase in college, Hayden.