So many times, coaches, players, and parents are concerned about who starts a game. Who gets their name announced by the PA as “starting at **insert any position here**, and they run onto the court, in excitement of being one of the top players on the team. Since the beginning of time, “I started” is a phrase used by every athlete who believe this is a definition of achievement. This tends to be overrated. Anyone can start a game, and play while you are “feeling out the competition”. The real players, the ones who are the difference makers, are those who are known as the “closers” and finish the end of the quarters, half time, coming out after half time, and ultimately, 3 minutes left in the game when it’s crunch time, are you the player who is the go-to finisher.
No media outlet ever, starts a story or leads with, “Steve started the game and had a great 2 minutes leading the team to victory”. Rather, the final minutes, the last shot, the pass, the amazing play when it was all on the line is featured, and revered for years to come as historical and I-will-never-forget moment.
How do we react in the tough times of life, when it’s all on the line, we fail with a last second moment, or failure during crunch time with our words, or spontaneous reactive actions?
Sports provides a landscape for everyone to learn who are these type of people, and not just athletes. In the real world, when it matters most, as adults, and with no one noticing, are you the person who is doing it yourself, or teaching your children how to be that “closer” when the game/life is on the line and requiring a decision that will shape your day, month or future.