June 23, 2016 was a day that will forever leave a lasting impression on me. I was fortunate enough to be asked to document the Independence Varsity football team and their day with the Navy SEALS. The classroom presentation was concise and easy to follow.
(Written by Dorma Tabisz, Guest Writer and Photographer and Grandmother to Ryan and Reid Smith!)
The recurring theme was, “It pays to be a winner!” The challenge is how one becomes a winner. Finding a way to win begins with commitment. Jason, one of the SEALS, stated that there is a difference between desire and discipline. Do you desire to win or are you disciplined enough to find a way to win? Finding a way to win is a hard lifestyle but one that is incredibly rewarding. Commitment means doing what we don’t want to do when we don’t want to do it. One must show up on time and put your all out effort for your team. The team was asked, “What is this worth to you?” It is worth ignoring distractions?
Ignoring distractions means focusing on what you are doing right now. Prepare. Preparation builds trust and trust builds confidence. As a player you should be able to say, “I’ve done everything I can to prepare for this game.”
The team was instructed to:
- Never talk about each other behind each other’s backs. Trust can be broken down with one word.
- You must not have self pity. Self pity is different from being sad. You can be sad that you missed a catch. Just do not dwell on it and rise above the adversity. Release that emotion and come out stronger.
- Place the welfare of the team in every decision you make. This is the true definition of teamwork.
- Brotherhood means setting aside differences to serve a cause that’s greater than ourselves
- Ask “How will I best support my buddy?”
- Create a desire to win for each other
- Give to produce something positive
- Creating pressure in yourself is destructive. Give completely to the team relationship
- Lead by example
- Inspire others
- Accept full responsibility for failures and credit the team for successes
- If you make a mistake, forgive yourself for it (see adversity above)
- Validate each other
- Praise the process
- Rise above conflict
- Insert mental toughness
- Don’t attack a teammate’s character
- Communicate properly
- Focus on everything within your control
- Free yourself from the requirement of the outcome.
- Failure is part of the process. It’s an opportunity to make yourself better.
Talking about a teammate behind his back is an incidental failure fundamental. Justifying a bad choice is a physical failure fundamental. Take one step in the right direction. Do the next right thing.
During the four hours in the hot sun with no shade, the boys ran everywhere they went…from the locker room to the practice field…from the completion of a task to the water on the opposite side of the field. They inspired one another through it all. They repeated and completed the commands above.
They NEVER QUIT!