New Year’s isn’t just about resolutions (or habits), but also college football bowl games.
In what is typically a heavily commercialized celebration of “amateur” athletics, a story that stands out in its uniqueness emerged amidst the typical fanfare.
One coach taught us to live better stories by being committed.
Breaking the Cycle of Bigger and Better
Bowl season is a busy time. In addition to the football games being played, countless coaches make the switch from one team to another looking for something bigger and better.
Over the last 15 years, the University of Louisville football team has been hit hard by the disease of “bigger and better.” After finding success under two different coaches, both left for a more prestigious job that paid more.
The program seemed stuck in this cycle of blossoming success and rebuilding, at least until one coach said no to the big pay day and said yes to his team.
After winning the Big East championship in his 3rd season, Coach Charlie Strong found himself in the opportunity to chase a dream. He received an offer for bigger and better. A high profile SEC team offered him a job.
There were promises of more money. A program with a history of championships. A bigger stadium that could seat over 100,000 screaming fans.
He would have been crazy not to take the job.
In fact this is what ESPN.com had to say about his decision to stay.
The moment Charlie Strong decided he wasn’t taking his talents to Knoxville, Tenn., many people around the college football world were stunned by his decision to spurn the SEC and remain at Louisville. He’d be making more money and would have a heck of a better chance at competing for a national championship in the sport’s best conference.
The reason? He was committed to his team and to his players.
The Power of Being Committed
In an age when commitment is hard to find, examples of its power are few.
We view many things in our lives as temporary. Stepping stones. Something we tolerate while we wait for something different, something better to show up.
Cars. Our jobs. Our favorite sports team. Our marriages. Our ideas. Our stories.
When Strong chose to stay with his team, he changed the way everyone looked at the program. His decision could prove to be the catalyst to lead his team to levels of achievement never thought possible before.
- He said no to a bigger fan base, but energized his current fan base in ways never though possible.
- He said no to the possibility of high ranked recruits, but enabled his current set of players to achieve more.
- He said no to a historic program, and starting writing a new history of his own.
- He said no to big money, but he is all the richer for it.
Better than Winning the Game
When the Cardinals played the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl last Wednesday night, I sensed something bigger going on than just a game.
I sensed a team that believed in their coach. A team that believed that they could compete. A team looking into the future.
The team did something even more important for their program than win a big game.
Empowered by the commitment of their coach, they started believing in their story.
Have you experienced the power of committment?
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