Below is the message I delivered to our spring athletes at their Varsity Sports Convocation on May 31, 2019.
In his book Inside Out Coaching, author and former NFL linemen Joe Ehrmann shares a great story with a powerful message all athletes and coaches need to hear. I hope that name sounds familiar to our young men at CBA, because it should. Joe Ehrmann was the main character in our Academy Oath summer reading book, Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx.
I’m sure you all remember…
Joe Ehrmann was a gifted athlete. While attending Syracuse University on a football scholarship, Ehrmann decided one spring to try out for the lacrosse team. He calls it one of the most transformational experiences of his athletic career, and most importantly, his life. This was mainly due to the Syracuse lacrosse head coach, legendary Coach Roy Simmons, Jr.
At halftime of one game, the Orangemen were down big. The players eagerly waited as Coach Simmons walked into the locker room to address the team.
What will he say? Is he upset? Will he try to rally us? Is he disappointed?
Coach Simmons walked in, stared at the boys for a moment, and then turned to the blackboard and began writing.
The team was confused. What the heck does 118:24 mean?
Coach then just smiled. The boys looked at each other somewhat perplexed and then began smiling as well.
Then Coach spoke.
“Psalm 118, Verse 24. This is the day the Lord has made, so rejoice and be glad in it! That’s it men. Win, lose, or draw...enjoy. Let’s get back out there and play like you love the game and love each other.”
Needless to say, Syracuse won that game.
Gentlemen, another CBA season has come to an end. Some of you are earning your Varsity letter for the first time. For many, it’s another pin to add to your jacket. For seniors, you’ve played your last days dawning CBA on your chest. Regardless if we won or lost our last game here, I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you loved the game. And I hope you loved each other.
I know you did.
That’s what makes CBA special. That’s why I love coaching here. That’s why I love teaching here. That’s why I love being your AD. Because although we love winning - and we do it often - we love each other more.
Regardless if you are coming back next year, off to play in college, or never playing a sport again, there will be many ups and downs in your future. But always come back to Psalm 118, Verse 24. Rejoice and be glad! Enjoy the ride. Love what you do and love each other. If you do that, you can never go wrong.
God Bless you men and thank you for another incredible year. It's been a privilege to watch you do what you love every day.