Sunday, February 3, 2008

Its Super Bowl Sunday

For as long as I can remember I've been slightly (okay, really) competitive. I love sports and the adrenaline rush associated with playing, watching or coaching them. The desire to win and the process your body and mind goes through to accomplish it. Appropriately for today, I'm reading Vince Lombardi's biography, When Pride Still Mattered, by David Maraniss. I picked it up in Thailand for no real reason except that I recognized the author as being the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the book, First in His Class (about Bill Clinton). I didn't even know who Vince Lombardi was. Halfway through the 500 page story of football, history and a man whose passion for winning is contagious, I'm in love with the book.

"Repetition, confidence and passion. The trinity of Lombardi's football success was established that Sunday afternoon. In the locker room beforehand, the players were overtaken by a sensation they had not felt in a long time. Something was transforming in them; as they put on their Packers uniforms Lombardi worked the room. Moving from locker to locker, he looked into their eyes making sure they were ready. Then he gathered them around him for a pregame speech and his will to win took on a physical manifestation. His body seemed to pulsate as he spoke, his words closing a circle of pride and emotion. Now go through that door and bring back a victory! Lombardi told his Packers, and with those words Bill "Bubba" Forester, a veteran linebacker, jumped up in a frenzied roar and banged his arm on metal locker, his worst injury of the year, but not enough to stop him from leading his band of brothers, consumed by their mission, on a rampage out of the dressing room and into the darkening gloom and mist of the City Stadium"

Watching the U13 volleyball girls play yesterday I couldn't help myself from screaming. "Snap your wrist!" "Use your approach!" "Shake it off, don't react on the court!" "You are the libero. You are the leader. You either take the ball, or tell someone else to." Adrenaline. They are 13! But its still fun to win. More fun than losing.

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