I referenced a couple times "Andy and I have been fortunate to play under or train with great coaches who were able to install certain attributes..." Install might not have been to most fitting word, at least not with Andy. I have a feeling he was born with the fire the displays now. I think it was always there, he just had coaches (or role models), that may have helped him find comfort level in displaying it. So it didnt need to be installed, just ignited. There isnt a thing he touches that he doesnt have the intent of making it great. Better than great.
Tonight we finished the winter training with Eastside Volleyball and this past weekend, we knew we wanted to have some things to talk to the girls about at the last workout. Again, our coaches found ways to motivate and we both still hear their voices. If there was one thing we said that help even one girl find a way through a situation, job done.
One consistent topic was work ethic. This past Sunday I saw Larry Bird talk about the difference between LeBron and Kobe. He said "If you want to have fun, play with LeBron. If you want to win, play with Kobe." The interviewer asked why. "Work ethic," was all Larry said. It's the intense, borderline obsessive drive to be the best at everything you touch. Sports, training, school, life. Shoot for the stars. I know it sounds cliche' but you have to. You cannot go into any situation thinking "Oh, well #2 would be cool." No. #1 is the only thing in mind and anything less is unacceptable. #1 is it. Train to be #1, practice to be #1, study to be #1 in your class. Go hard every moment of everyday.
I cant get into everything we talked about... we talked about alot. But tonight there were a few points that somehow came out that I hope hit home. I said "I couldnt tell if this was one of those bitter-sweet moments or not..." and its not. I'm not happy the training has ended... not at all. I love training this group, Andy does the same. But I also feel like "hey, we put in some hard work, harder than any group they'll play against... time to get some trophies!" I really feel excited now. I cant wait to watch them play! I fell like they've been through the ringer and now its time to reap the benefits of the hard work... so I'm not feeling bitter-sweet (maybe a little... i couldve talked all night tonight) and I'm not sad it ended. I'm happy it happened and pumped to watch those girls go out to their tourneys and win.
The other point I brought up to the 17-18 year old group was actually off-topic from training and volleyball. It was more of a life thing. I heard a coach mention it once maybe 10 years ago and wanted to give it my own spin. I said "Ever hear someone go on and on about 'the good ole' days? About how 'Oh everything was awesome in 1999!' and stuff like that? That sounds so loser to me." I told them yeah, these days your going through now are great and you will look back on them with fondness... but its not your highlight. These are not your 'good old days.' Every year is your highlight year. Every year is a 'good ole day.' Make sense? You will be great and better at every stage of your life! Great high school careers, great in college, great jobs, great friends and great lives. Believe in yourself with all your heart. Even when the chips look down, dig deep and believe. Remember, work hard and you can accomplish absolutely anything.
I look at them... Andy and I watch them during our downtime. I see strength and confidence that I dont see in many other places. I do not see any fear in their eyes. I see excitement and energy and enthusiasm. We asked a football team to challenge each others heart and dedication and asked "who would you go to war with?" I 'm sitting here asking myself that question in regards to these girls.... any one of them. They are tough as nails and they dont back down from a challenge. Full of heart and passion. Leaders and role models. These "kids," are amazing... barely kids really. Kids now have so much more to deal with than we did, we all know that. They have to be stronger now... the world is different. The girls that Andy and I have had to pleasure to train over the last few months... hands down amazing and I cant wait to see who they become down the road.
Parents, congratulations. You have amazing daughters.