The bottom-line complete and total truth about competitive sports is this: If you work your butt off and don’t complain, wine or take a play/drill off; if you give everything you have physically and are mentally invested with passion and love for what you’re doing……you will be rewarded and you will be successful. That is the ultimate truth about sports, what you get out of sports is 100% equal to the work you put into it.
Now I know some people would argue semantics about sports being political, coaches not always holding up their end of the bargain etc, etc, etc….and believe me, being a former college basketball player, I know very well that there are subtle nuances behind the scene when it comes to competing at a high level. BUT, the truth is that you can always do more.
You can always work harder, YOU can always look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Did I do EVERYTHING I could to be the BEST I could’ve possibly been?” Only you can answer that question truthfully, but more often than not if you really did go 100% all day EVERY day, then coaches recognize it and will stand up for you and respond positively to you. You get out what you put in.
Two stories have surfaced in the last week about college football players who exemplify exactly what I am talking about.
Josh Anderson – Notre Dame Walk-On Running Back
Josh was awarded a scholarship last week by head coach Brian Kelly, for his hard work and representation of what Notre Dame football is all about. Coach Kelly did it in dramatic fashion as well, he asked Josh to model the new “Shamrock Series” uniforms for the team in a meeting. Josh had no idea what would happen as he stood in front of the entire team:
Coach Kelly addressed the media after the meeting:
“[Anderson is] a senior for us that has done everything we’ve asked over the last five years. He’s taken more hits than any one of our backs. He’s a scout-team player. He’s done everything. He’s a great student. Well-respected by all of his teammates and we had an available scholarship and as a senior he deserved it so I brought him out to announce the Under Armour uniforms and I had him instead of the big mannequin, I had him dressed in the Under Armour uniform. He didn’t know he was getting a scholarship. So the guys were pretty charged up. He had the Under Armour — I said: You know, this is a great model. Matter of fact, he’s such a great model — I said, Josh, take your helmet off — he models everything that I think is right about a Notre Dame football player. At that time I announced he was gonna get a scholarship, and the guys were excited. It was a good moment.”
Nick Lacy – NC State Walk-On Corner Back
Nick was awarded a scholarship this weekend in a team meeting, much like Josh Anderson did in his Notre Dame team meeting. BUT in Nick’s case, he wasn’t told he’d be up there to model a uniform. Nick knew nothing about what was going to happen, he was brought up by his Corner Back coach because he deserved to be recognized as a player who “outworks everyone in this room”. The 5’7″, 181-pound corner back stood quietly, smiling and trying to NOT be embarrassed as his coach showered him with praise. Then he dropped the bomb on him:
Coach Barlow noted that Nick “makes a big time sacrifice” as a walk-on student/athlete paying his own way. Is there anything better than seeing Nick’s face light up when Coach Barlow says, “But you know what? He ain’t gotta do it with his own money any more!”
These are the moments that college sports are all about, there’s a lot of negative moments reported about the NCAA and collegiate scandals all the time so it’s very refreshing to see stories like these two young men doing it the right way and being rewarded correctly. We need more of these stories.