"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."
It’s half time of the Patriot League championship game and the score is tied. If we lose this game, the season is over. These are the moments where you truly discover what you can give to the sport and to your team. The dynamic changes from the desire to play well personally to the desire to do everything you possibly can to win – you will do anything for your team.
Nearly everyone grows up playing organized team sports. Looking back on those times can tell us a lot about human nature. Remember those soccer games where all the little kids swarm around the ball? Painful to watch but really shows us the intention of each child is to get the ball for him or herself. There is no concept of 'playing as a team' at this age. After years of practice and learning the tactics of the game, you finally understand and demonstrate the concept of teamwork, but does that innate desire to selfishly want it for yourself ever go away fully?
Lack of teamwork and unity can be the one thing that holds a team back from becoming great. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to tap into that vulnerability - knowing you depend on others for your own and your team’s success. Some people are born with the instinct to assist and others to score. Playing defense is definitely an easy setting to be selfless because the foundation of defense is trust. Offensively, the internal struggle to be selfless is intensified. When there are records to break and points to gain from scoring, it becomes difficult for some to focus on the big picture. To be honest, I don’t even know why people want points. What even is a point and what do you do with it? Can you redeem them for a cookie or something? Instead of making the easy pass to ensure we score, some will do everything they can to try and score themselves. This type of behavior hinders the team and it doesn’t go unnoticed. It isn’t easy to try and change the way people think and act in these situations. It is important to create core values as a team, as something you can always refer to in difficult times. Our core values motivate us to remember the bigger picture. You can accomplish a lot more as a team than you can on your own. It is key to remember that you are a part of something bigger than just yourself.
My dad always told me I was a worker bee… I worked my butt off all over the field but didn’t necessarily have the stats to show for it. What some people don’t realize is that making those around you look good makes the team better as a whole. Building each other up and instilling confidence in each and every player makes the team flourish. I never cared about the attention that came from scoring a goal; the feeling of contributing to the process of creating that goal meant more to me. When I came to BU I held onto those values, letting others share the spotlight while I quietly contributed. I do my best to help young players develop confidence while challenging them simultaneously. My contributions may not put me in the spotlight, but I know that there are people out there who notice the small things. What I have learned over the years is to appreciate myself and celebrate small victories.
We step on the field after half time, huddle up and cheer "TOGETHER".