Follow Your Shot

We are coming off a loss in the 7A State Football Championship, one that some are calling “The Most Improbable Finish” in state history. We were 26 seconds away from winning and had a 9 point lead… 26 seconds later we became an ESPN SportsCenter story, with the toughest sports loss you could imagine. The emotional high to the extreme emotional low is really hard to explain, and words would not do it justice. Analytics of the game say there was less than a 1% chance that those events could occur. No, I am not going to walk you through the entire scenario and open up that wound. Google will allow you to read all about it. This article is not to rehash the game, but to emphasize a moment with our team, weeks after the event. A simple one that I hope will mean something to you…

Weeks later, when we started the offseason program with our returning players, we had a basketball competition to close out the day. We love team activities and have our team split up into leadership/accountability teams. They compete all offseason for points in various areas of player and team development. When we finished, I gave the team this message:

“Men, if you have ever played team basketball, when you shoot… What does your coach tell you to do? Follow Your Shot… When you play pick up ball or one on one, the guys that Follow The Shot, are the best players. You always hate playing the guy that shoots and then chases down his own rebound before you can get the ball. His relentless spirit simply out hustles you the entire game. If you are playing “Make It Take It”, then you have no chance of winning, you will never get the ball back. Everybody notices what somebody does after they miss a shot. Do they drag down the court? Do they pass up on the shot the next time they are open? Or do they chase down the ball and shoot until they make it? A few weeks ago, we took a “Big Shot” in the State Championship Game… We thought the ball had gone through the net and then it came back out. None of us can put into words the disappointment we felt that night. However, the reality now is that people are looking at how we will respond. Are we going to be a team that chases the ball down or are we going to be a team that drags down the court? Are we going to Follow The Shot? You need to understand that if we remain relentless, even in disappointment, we will eventually get the “Big Shot” again. If we drag down the court in disappointment, we will never get a chance to shoot again. If we let it affect our confidence, then we will pass up on future opportunities. Everyday we have a choice… To be relentless in what you want, to chase your dreams, to put in the work… Because, I promise you, if we choose a relentless attitude… The “Big Shot” will come again… Everyday… Follow Your Shot

Life is a continuous journey of ups, downs, hills, valleys, triumphs, and disappointments. Sports has always been a great way to practice life before we actually live it. We have all faced great disappointments of some type. We often experience disappointment when seeking personal goals and life long dreams. I am a believer that the only way to not experience failure, is to choose to be average. But even in the choice of average, you experience the disappointment of regret. We all have a “Big Shot” we want to take; a dream, a job, a relationship, a health change, a family problem solved, or a specific accomplishment. More than likely, we will have to “Follow Our Shot” and shoot several times to make it a reality. Many of us have “Shot Big” and missed… And have decided to give up on our dream… The pain or embarrassment was so great, that we do not want to experience it again… The miss has affected our confidence and now we pass up opportunities… We too need to understand that we have a choice… A choice to be relentless in what you want, to chase your dreams, to put in the work… To be relentless in the face of disappointment… Just because we missed, doesn’t mean the opportunity is meant for someone else. “Follow Your Shot“, chase it down, try again, do not let the enemy win… Because, I promise you, if we choose a relentless attitude… The “Big Shot” will come again…

When I was a young assistant, I had a great goal of being a Head Coach. I started prowling the job boards and applied to every Head Coaching job that came available. I wanted so badly for someone to just give me a chance to interview. I applied for 2 years before I even got a phone call about an application… That first call, finally gave me that “Big Shot”, that interview I wanted. However, the interview was a bust and I realized quickly that I had no clue how to be a Head Coach. It was a big time miss, an “Air Ball” in basketball terms, and I needed to get better. I ended up interviewing 8 times before I was ever offered a Head Coaching job. I remember how insignificant, unqualified, embarrassed, and ridiculous I felt after each rejection. I think about what I may be doing now, if I would have given up at any point. If I would have chosen not be relentless for my goal in the face of disappointment. I would definitely not be in the position I am in, influencing others, and now chasing bigger dreams. Our faith in the Lord, teaches us that he promises a great purpose for our lives. We may have been hoping and praying for a result that went the wrong way. However, when we have these life misses, we feel that the miss is a broken promise. This is not the truth, we first have to make a promise in our hearts. The promise that we will not give up and we will chase down our purpose. The only broken promise that becomes reality, is the one we break to ourselves. Nothing is ever wasted, and if God doesn’t give you what you want in the moment, he is preparing you for want he wants for you in the future. God has taken my disappointment and changed it to experience, wisdom, compassion, empathy, strength, ability to help others, and a greater internal fire. We each have a choice to “Follow Our Shot“… We have an “All Net Purpose” if we do not give up…

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." -Galatians 6:9

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