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Friday, April 29, 2011

The Philosophy of Lion Pride

The Lion family is known as a Pride.  It consists of 15 - 25 Lions, none more dominant than the other.  A select few of the Pride do all the hunting while they raise and protect the young and ensure the survival of the Pride.  They hunt at night as a unit and they hunt the big game - bobcats, wild boar and wildcats - in order to feed the entire Pride.  While pursuing their prey the Pride will encircle its target as a few of the younger members approach from down wind in order to drive the prey into a waiting trap.  Coincidentally, in some cases researchers have identified "Centers" and 'Wings" in Lion hunting groups.  The wings chase the prey to the centers who would then capture the prey and in turn, bring it back to the Pride allowing for a feast.  If the trap is compromised, or discipline is not maintained, the Pride does not eat.  Therefore the survival of the species can only be maintained through teamwork, strict discipline, maintaining basic shape or structure of the hunt and making a "Play" when the opportunity is there.

Sound Familiar?

The Lions just spoken about have formed a basic play and their survival depends on each member doing their job unselfishly and making plays when opportunities arise.  The survival of our Pride also depends on maintaining discipline, maintaining shape and being opportunistic.  Someone makes a play so the team can feast.  Sometimes it will be the wings chasing it to the centers, sometimes it will be the matriarch who will make a save to protect the Pride, and sometimes it will be a group chasing from down wind to create a trap.  It is the sometimes, that always needs to be an option.  But regardless of who it is, the Lion Pride survives because of hustle, discipline, focus and looking out for one another.  It survives by depending on teammates to make a play you need them to.  It survives by playing with control.  It survives by everyone playing their role, performing to their best abilities and focusing on the task at hand.  Make no mistakes about it - We Are A Lion Pride.  We are a family unit that depends on every single person.  Take on the responsibility of being a member of the Gahanna Lion Pride and revel in it.

We hunt big game and we hunt as a group...Let's go Hunting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It's always an experience when you're dealing with the unknown.  And for High School Athletics in the great State of Ohio in the Spring, much is unknown.  Namely - the weather.  From sunshine and temperatures in the 60's in March to a chance of freezing and snow in April, the spring sport athlete in Ohio must overcome a variety of obstacles.  Throw in the rain and thunderstorms and a schedule for any sport is simply a "work in progress".  There's nothing definitive when it comes to a spring sports schedule in Ohio. 

Think your pitching on Tuesday against your conference rival, well three days of torrential downpours and that game might not be played until the following Thursday.  Tapering your runs to peak for a Saturday Track Invitational and your coach may make the decision if mother nature doesn't, that you shouldn't run in 40 degree temperatures.  Getting in a groove with your tennis doubles partner, how about taking the next 4 days off since we can't get on the courts because of the elements. 

So, it doesn't matter what sport you play in the Spring, perhaps with the exception of Boys Volleyball (you have shelter and climate control) our spring sport athletes are not only expected to prepare for their competition...tentatively scheduled, they must also prepare to run, throw or hit in the most unpredictable of weather.

I guess it's what makes spring sports in Ohio the the best...or at least the most unpredictable.

Stay Dry.  Go Lions!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Inner Voice

Every athlete has an inner voice of pride.
It is the voice only athletes can hear, pushing them to the brink of exhaustion, demanding excellence and condemning failure.
Failure, understand is the driving force behind athletes.
Every athlete has experienced failure and now train so they will not experience it again.
This inner voice knows the difference between training and exercising.
Many athletes exercise stopping when they perceive a limit or when it becomes uncomfortable to continue.
But only a select few athletes have the heart and desire to train unconditionally.
Only a select few push past their physical and mental limits.
Only a select few push past pain and discomfort.
Only a select few have the courage and character to understand training makes them quicker, faster, stronger but most importantly allows them to gain a mental edge on future opponents.
So when failure laughs in my face as I try to earn the respect and repetition, it must realize.....
each time I train, I not only hear, I answer ....
the inner voice.