“Intelligence is the ability to learn from your mistakes. Wisdom is the ability to learn from the mistakes of others.” – Anonymous
High school seniors, upon completing their football (or every other sport) career often use their social media platforms to post a farewell message that reflects on their experiences and memories. While we as coaches feel that students look to us for wisdom and guidance, it is often their peers who have the greatest impact and influence.
Regardless of how many posts there are, I have isolated three important themes (“wisdom”), that if taken seriously, can clarify what really is–and is not–important in your high school career.
- They wouldn’t pick other teammates
Every player at one point or another wishes they had “that one guy” in their conference who could put their team over the edge. But at the end of the day, players truly care for their teammates, regardless of their ability. They are thankful for all of the great stories and time spent together.
Wisdom: Embrace, love and lead the teammates you have
- Records and Stats are rarely mentioned
I cannot recall a player who discussed his class’ record or his personal statistics. They may have been a selfish player, but when it is all said and done, they turned their attention outward. It is funny how it can take a player so long to realize that their stats will soon be forgotten and the way they treated their teammates is their only true legacy.
Wisdom: If it didn’t matter in the end, don’t make it important from the beginning
- They’d do it all again
Football is not for everyone. It is a demanding sport that requires a multitude of abilities and complete trust in the other 10 players who are on the field with you. More players end their careers with losing records, than winning records. Few have phenomenal high school coaches and just about everyone who plays wishes they could have had the ball in their hands more (including the OL). However, when it is all said and done, they would return and do it all over again if they could.
Wisdom: The PROCESS is what makes it special, not the outcome.
Regardless of what year, or even which sport, you’ll be in following this season, please take take these three pieces of wisdom from your peers seriously and apply them. You’ll be glad you did!