Passion. Do You Have It?
As you all know, because I have not allowed you to forget, the North Carolina Tarheels are the 2017 NCAA National Champions! Most of you are going to stop reading right here because you have heard enough about basketball in the last month than you care to hear in your entire life. I beg you not to! This rant is about much more than a game of basketball and the North Carolina Tarheels. It’s about something called passion.
Some of you, in fact most of you, could care less about basketball. You wonder how in the world I can be so excited about one team trying to put a ball in a hoop more times than the other team. And when you put it like that, I can see where you are coming from. But, as an avid spectator of the game, coach of the game, and player of the game, this game is my passion.
This game they call basketball has created a passion inside of me, that is unexplainable unless you have experienced this same feeling. The word passion is defined as “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling.” You may wonder, how can one be so “passionate” about a game? My response to you is, “it’s not the game itself that generates this passion, it’s the hard work, the dreams, the goals, the lessons, that occur because of the game.”
As a player, basketball taught me life lessons, lessons that are far more important than a game, lessons that I continue to use today, lessons that have helped mold me into the individual that I am today. It allowed me to bond with individuals I wouldn’t otherwise bond. It taught me how to work with others and be a team player. It taught me how to be accountable, not only to myself, but to my teammates and my coaches. It taught me how to perform under pressure. It taught me the feeling of success when all of your hard work pays off. It taught me how to be humble when I succeed, and when I fail. Most importantly, it taught me how to rise up and be resilient in those moments of failure.
Believe it or not, my passion for this sport continues to grow. The very same sport that has had a huge impact on my life, I now get to share with young girls. I have the opportunity to guide them in both their successes and their failures. I get to teach these girls the very same lessons I learned 15 years ago. Most importantly I get to experience their journey. I get to watch them grow and transform into strong, confident young women ready to go out and be successful women in our community.
So, for me when I watch the North Carolina Tarheels win a National Championship, or watch Morgan William hit a buzzer beater to beat the Uconn Huskies 111 game win streak and send them into the Women’s National Championship, it is about so much more than watching a game. It’s about seeing young adults of all levels accomplish things they never thought imaginable. As a coach and a player you experience and observe the entire journey, which includes the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. You know they have struggled and failed, and you have watched them respond to those failures by spending countless hours in the gym practicing and preparing for the moment they have been waiting for their entire life. The moment everyone else told them was “impossible”. These “moments,” whether they be national titles, or rival games are the “moments” I live to see!
During the month of March, I get to watch these athletes live these “moments.” Many of these athletes are playing in games they’ve been working toward their entire lives. Many of them have only dreamt of making the NCAA tournament. Many of them have been told making the Sweet 16 or the Final Four was “impossible”. Most of them have only imagined beating a team like Uconn on a buzzer beater in overtime! But here they are, living in this “moment” that was once only a dream. And every time I get to watch “their dream,” “their unimaginable,” “their impossible,” another chill runs up my spine, butterflies soar through my stomach and a couple tears run down my cheeks!
NOTHING beats the feeling and the emotion of that moment. It’s a feeling that is indescribable. Thinking about these moments gives me the goose bumps, it creates a tingly feeling inside of me and makes me want to cry all at the same time. It is truly a feeling that is unexplainable. A feeling that I hope everyone get’s to experience in their life. A feeling that ignites a fire in you. A feeling that is so incredible, you can’t get enough of it. If you have experienced this, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t, it is my challenge to you to find it, to feel it. I truly believe no one should go through life without experiencing that “thing” that ignites this fire, this powerful feeling and emotion, this passion inside of you. Once you experience it, you won’t get enough of it and you will finally understand why I can’t get enough.