Thoughts regarding sports and mentoring.
Caution: Severe Tennessee Titan, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Cubs, and Scott Stallings bias.

Disappointing

October 7th, 2014 | Comments Off on Disappointing

University of Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp delivers a quote that reveals the ugly landscape in competitive collegiate sports.

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Just two Saturdays ago, University of Georgia head coach Mark Richt delivered this wise observation following an exciting win over the University of Tennessee.

Well said, Coach.

Sadly, the battle of mutual respect between players appears lost with examples like this and this. The next front appears to be coaches, after this emotionally-powered blast from University of Florida head coach Will Muschamp on Saturday just moments after Florida defeated Tennessee 10-9 in Neyland Stadium.

First off, it is worth mentioning that Muschamp is on the coaching hot seat and this win could go a long way in helping him keep his job through the end of the season.

Also, sometimes it seems baiting by media and the fans that consume it, to ram a microphone in the face of a player or coach immediately following a mentally and emotionally taxing marathon of physical competition.

Finally, as consumers of competitive collegiate sports, it is important to be honest with ourselves. If we expect collegiate sports to be about character, education, teamwork, and the molding of young minds, then we need to begin behaving as though values matter more than recruiting classes, wins, and championships.

Coaches and athletic directors are paid by you and I (with our cable subscriptions, tickets, and sports apparel) to win games and championships. Everything else is a peripheral luxury that we blindly hope happens, while fearfully suspecting it is not.

We cannot have it both ways.
We must choose one over the other.
That is how values work.

Just ask University of Texas football fans about their season.

Does Coach Muschamp deserve a pass for his disrespectful and immature snipe?

Not at all, but maybe the blame for a man like Will Muschamp being given an opportunity to influence so many and be heard on national television does not reside in Gainesville, but somewhere a bit closer to home.

Encouraging coaches and players to give and earn respect is what The Lead Block is all about. To find out more about how you can become a part, click HERE.

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Drop Back and Taunt

October 10th, 2011 | 6 comments

College football is about passion, pageantry, and apparently, a TD-erasing penalty.

The NCAA usually only registers on my radar for doling out hypocritical probations to universities and disgustingly greedy alterations to the college football landscape.

But on Saturday, they impressed this critical college sports fan with a new rule.

During a fake punt in the LSU vs. Florida game, Brad Wing (LSU punter), was stripped of a long TD-run following a brief taunt directed at Gator defenders in pursuit.

Watch the play for yourself.

That’s right, sports fan. Taunting during a live play can now cost your favorite team.

According to Section 2 of the NCAA Rule Book,
Article 1: Unsportsmanlike Conduct (Celebration)

“If the penalty occurs before the play is dead it is ruled a live ball foul and the penalty is enforced from the spot of the foul where the player’s feet are at the beginning of the act…”

Taunting is one of the ugliest displays of pride from an athlete.

Although it is a somewhat sad statement that this rule need be enforced, much less canonized, I applaud the NCAA for attempting to curb a destructive and disrespectful practice that spread from the NFL all the way down to Pop Warner football.

Honoring your opponent is key to establishing mutual respect.

Is there anything better than watching two players get after it, share a violent collision, and then pick each other up after the play is over? Honor is inspiring to behold on the field and in life. And encouraging honor should be a priority.

I admit, that although I would prefer the NCAA reward honor rather than punish taunting, at least they are trying something.

Bad sportsmanship just got more expensive. Funny, it was already overrated.

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Win or Lose

September 12th, 2011 | 2 comments

Which is harder to handle?  Winning or losing?

My first taste of competitive sports came on the baseball diamond in a local tee-ball league.  Our team was good.  By the fourth season, my teammates and I had collected 3 city championships (2 of which included undefeated seasons).

The next season my father decided to move me to a different league.  In this league, our team was bad.  So bad, that in 3 years together our team won only 5 games
(2 of which by forfeit because the other teams did not show up).

One of the forfeits was especially amusing.

Even though the other team had not shown up, the umpire required us to field 9 players and throw a pitch to make the forfeit official.  Our starting pitcher then proceeded to throw the pitch over the backstop and into the parking lot.

“I can’t count that. Throw one to the catcher, this time.”

Even with certain victory clinched, our team needed 2 tries to win.

Looking back on my sports career, I have played on championship baseball, basketball, and football teams.  And I have played on teams that could lose to the Bad News Bears (prior to their pivotal redemptive moment and winning montage).

But, which is harder to handle? Winning or losing?

One of the greatest challenges a champion can face is themselves after success.

Do you really have to be on time to every practice?
Do you really have to be at every workout?
Do you really have to go hard, every play?
Do you really have to prepare for lesser opponents?

Winning can tempt players with pride, apathy, selfishness, and entitlement.

Practices give you the confidence of a champion.
Workouts give you the strength of a champion.
Hustling gives you the opportunities to become a champion.
And respecting an opponent gives you the right to be a champion.

Winning with humility, hustle, and heart is the only way to avoid losing habits.

Losing is obviously challenging.

Why bother listening to a coach when the team keeps losing?
Why bother playing hard when everyone else on the team is the problem?
Why bother finishing hard when the season is over?
Why bother playing fair when the game is over?

Losing can tempt with disrespect, irresponsibility, surrender, and revenge.

Respecting your coaches builds respect for you amongst the decision-makers.
Handling your responsibility builds respect for you amongst teammates.
Finishing strong builds respect for you in your community.
Playing fair builds respect from your opponents.

Losing with humility, hustle, and heart is the only way to build winning habits.

As someone who has tasted sweet victory (Florida Gators fan) and bitter defeat (Chicago Cubs fan), I can write this with complete conviction…

Competitive sports are not about winning and losing, but instead about how you handle winning and losing while they are still being determined.  Go, fight, win!

This month, Lead Block athletes will be challenged to handle winning and losing. Become a part of this mentoring community and click ABOUT to find out more.

 

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The Thing About Tim Tebow

August 15th, 2011 | 1 comment

Clearly defined values identify a person, their calling, and their destiny.  Whether you agree with them or not, Tim Tebow’s values are apparent for all to critique.

The interesting thing about Tebow is the effect his public display of his values has had on the American sports scene.

“In the 2009 BCS Championship Game, [Tebow] wore John 3:16 on his eye paint, and as a result, 92 million people searched “John 3:16″ on Google during or shortly after the game.” – Courtesy of Wikipedia and ESPN

“Before the 2008 season even started, Tebow had his name pulled from consideration for the Playboy Preseason All-American team because it conflicted with his Christian beliefs.” – Courtesy of USA Today

Faith is a value for Tim Tebow.

“Controversy surrounded Tebow’s decision to appear in an ad funded by the socially conservative organization Focus on the Family [alongside his mother] that was broadcast during Super Bowl XLIV on CBS.” – Courtesy of Radaronline.com 

“He’s given yet another example of his superhuman powers. The most popular player in SEC history is saving himself for marriage. Unbelievable.” – Clay Travis (AOLnews)

Family is a value for Tim Tebow.

“He would repeat as Player of the Year in his senior season.  One of his highlights as a high school athlete was finishing a game on a broken leg.” – Courtesy of ESPN

“On December 8, 2007, Tebow was awarded the Heisman Trophy… He was the first underclassman to have ever won the Heisman Trophy.” – Courtesy of ESPN

Winning is a value for Tim Tebow.

Tebow’s values have identified him, his calling, and will continue to impact his destiny.  Whether on the football field or off, it is clear that there is something we can all stand to learn from this controversial NFL quarterback.

Know your values and pursue them unashamedly.

Every week this month, Lead Block athletes will be challenged to define their values.  Become a part of this mentoring community and click ABOUT to find out more.

 

 

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Best Red – Sure Bet

July 22nd, 2011 | Comments Off on Best Red – Sure Bet

Every Friday, Best Red will be the best sports articles (or videos) I found this week.

1. Arian Foster signs CBA
Courtesy of Arian Foster (@ArianFoster) and Twitter

The former University of Tennessee and current Houston Texan running back posted this last night on his twitter feed.  Apparently, the NFL Lockout is still on…

2. NCAA12 Gator Chomp
Courtesy of YouTube and EA Sports

I may be a closet Florida Gator fan (in post-Tebow depression), but this is still a hilarious spot by EA promoting one of their perennial, powerhouse video games.

3. Sure Bet
Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports and Jay Busbee

If I were taking a sure bet on someone making a clutch shot, the last person on the planet I would bet against would be #23.  Besides, who heckles Michael Jordan?

 

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