The last game of my first season with the Grayson Rams is tonight. This has been a different kind of season for me. It wasn’t packed with winning streaks, incredulous score turn-arounds, or even record breaking accomplishments. We practiced on a small oddly shaped patch of muddy grass that didn’t even fit a third of standard size game field, that I lovingly refer to as the goose outhouse. The previous years my shoes were full of turf pellets, this year it was something little ickier.
This season held no glamour, no outpouring of love from the media, no unexpected awards. We had small numbers of players, injuries, illnesses, weather, AP tests, field trips – all the usual season challenges of a spring sport.
If I was to use the standard measure of a high school season, I might look back and think we failed, or that at best, we merely got through it. But that’s not even close to the reality of Grayson Lacrosse this year. You cannot use a standard measure to define an extraordinary team of young women.
My team is an iceberg. The world may look at the surface and see a small mountain of ice peeking up through the sea, but what we are building is below the surface- a foundation so strong and so massive that all future teams that build upon it will have the opportunity to reach new heights.
A team built around one or two talented players has no foundation. When the peak melts, or when those players leave the program or get injured there is nothing left to hold that team afloat. Building from the bottom up is the only way to sustain a program and we did that this year. We don’t have one or two players who run the game, we have an entire program of players that could, at this very moment, turn around and teach this game inside out because they learned it, studied it, and they know how to sustain, adapt, and build on it.
We all want to hold up the trophy at the end, get the ring, hang the banner, but that comes from building the foundation first- it’s what we do that no one can see that actually propels us into success later. It’s the work we do in the dark that one day will shine in the light and will look like an overnight success.
How will you measure this season, what did you build, what will be left next year if your graduating class is large? How would you measure your work in the dark and what will be revealed in the light of the future?
My team is an iceberg. You better put up a lookout….