I had the pleasure last night of saying a few words to the Mahwah (NJ) High School Football Team at their Rings Ceremony. They recently won a State Championship. Essentially, here were my thoughts:
Champions…As you celebrate, there are 3 things you must TAKE from that experience:
- Take Notes
One of biggest mistakes winners make is failing to learn what it took to be successful. They do the work and enjoy the ride, but they don’t usually keep track of what it took to reach their goal. Write down the recipe. Don’t just win, learn the lessons from winning so that you can replicate it in other aspects of your life. There’s so much I learned playing – and winning – competitive sports that have benefitted me throughout my adult life. Make sure you capture those lessons now.
- Take Aim
Now is not the time to get comfortable. After achieving a big goal like a state championship, what do you do for an encore? Set your aim at an even higher goal. If repeating as champions is the goal, be aware that it’s going to be harder to accomplish that goal a second time because you are no longer the hunters – you are now the hunted. Everyone is aiming to take you down. What got you here won’t get you there.
- Take Responsibility
With success comes increased visibility. Champions are placed on pedestals. Folks see you as a model of success and may choose to pattern their behavior after yours. Though unsolicited, this high visibility puts you in a position of tremendous influence and power. Please be responsible with that power. As you are out and about – proudly wearing your championship rings – please understand that all eyes are on you. You don’t just represent yourself. You represent your family, your team, your school, your entire community. Handle that influence responsibly.