I am convinced that some of the most unsung heroes in our schools are our coaches. They not only teach students inside of classrooms; they teach them outside of classrooms.
Those same coaches take the blame when teams do not win or compete as they are expected to. They deflect credit when teams win.
But they always talk about “team.” They use collective pronouns – “we,” “us,” “our.”
And they motivate preparing students not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and in many cases spiritually.
There was a specific day almost two years ago. Our girls soccer team was displaced from their home field in a state semifinal game in the state playoffs. Weather canceled two previous scheduled games and field conditions dictated that we go play on a neutral field fifty miles away against a very good team on a different turf.
So what does a good coach do? Finds a way to motivate players and keep players focused on the task at hand. That coach finds the obstacles, removes them, and then tells the players to execute. Gets them time on a different surface. Keeps them focused when delays occur. Puts the team in situations where they can learn and prosper.
Sometimes that coach gets a guest speaker to help motivate them.
So in steps this football coach, a colloquial master who understands that words placed at the right time can be heard for a long time afterwards.
He tells the ladies that it’s about “111.” They went on to win.
The same goes for you.
Think about it. 111.
It’s 111 miles from here to Raleigh. Raleigh is the final goal. It’s where one plays for the state championship in a season that started a little over 111 days ago.
And look around at your team. There will be 11 girls in uniform: 5 get to be on the court at one time and the others ready to go in.
If you take care of the business at hand one game at a time and listen to your coach, then you get to travel that 111 miles to play for a ring. No need to be on the home court. The court you will play on has same dimensions as the last one you played on and two goals ten feet high.
You just got to put the ball in the hoop more times.
Miles from Clemmons to Raleigh = 111
Players working as one team = 11 working as 1. Fuse them together and get 1-1-1.
One team. One goal, One more game. 1.1.1.
In that crowd on Saturday will be parents, friends, cheerleaders, students, teachers, and other coaches to support you.
There will surely be more than 111 of them. A multiple of 111.
They will driven 111 miles to see you.
And driven 111 more if needed.
One team playing for one school in our one section of Forsyth County.
And you’re already winners.