Last night,with the defending National Champions from The Ohio State University (Wrestling), we kicked off the 2015 season with BTL practice 5. The team of 47 began by writing the following three phrases.
“Come back with your shield or on it.”
“E pluribus, unum.”
“It pays to be a winner.”
After they had written these phrases I asked them to write where they came from in history, what team made them famous, and I asked them to extrapolate their learning to their team – OSU Wrestling. The majority seemed to know the first one. I heard over and over they recalled it during the movie “300.” One of the 47 knew the second and a few knew the third.
We wrapped up practice with what SEAL instructors have discovered keeps a man from ringing the bell or D.O.R. (drop on request). According to SEAL instructors the key isn’t the strength of the man physically or how well they swim, staying hydrated, or even their mental disciplines. The man, they’ve observed, that never D.O.R.’s is the man who sees the man next to him and tells his buddy to not quit, not go down, not ring the bell. The man who gets outside his own personal pain and sees a purpose in helping his mate is the man who is gonna make it. The challenge for this team of grapplers, no different than whatever team you’re on, is to find purpose/meaning beyond oneself. The broader your purpose extends the better you make those around you. I mean a selfish purpose is clearly better than none at all. Through adversity and over time, though, bigger is better when it comes to purpose. So, kinda like the ancient Spartans of old, I challenged these tough guys to care enough to shield the guy in their weight class, the guy down the depth chart, the guy above them, and a couple guys beside them. I challenged them to do the hard work, model the way, and help a brother along beside them. As they embrace this, out of many – they will become ONE.
Grappy (Head Coach) was at his best during this practice. He’s going to have to be at his best if this teams going to end this season as it ended last. Yes, it pays to be a winner but once you win one the second isn’t easier. Nope it’s not. Sustaining anything excellent will always find adversity, attack, and more sabotage than before. We’re going to practice more, not less. And, we’re going to learn to laugh at what we’ve once loathed. We’re going to get better through intense practice. Yeah, I guess it’s safe to say “the only easy day was yesterday.”