Picking up the Trash

Heard a really cool story this week. One of my son’s best friends’ cousin is lacrosse player in another state. He is a rising senior, and while quite talented, wasn’t on a lot of D1 radars for lacrosse. Then, after a few fabulous outings at some national lacrosse tournaments, the interest level started quickly rising.

Not that unique of a story at this point, athlete does well and gets some opportunities.

But what happened next is where this story gets really interesting.

This young man got a call from the head coach of one of the top college powerhouse lacrosse programs, some would argue THE top program.

The coach requested the young man and his parents come that weekend for a visit and meeting. They did.

And this story is what still gives me goosebumps: The coach began the meeting with this:

“We saw you play last weekend and were impressed. So we came down to the field after your last game and looked for you. We found your teammates. They were hanging out, taking off their pads, having a good time. But we couldn’t find you. We looked and looked, but to no avail. Then finally we saw you. You were over in the team tent. Picking up trash, cups, and cleaning up. In that moment you went from an average recruiting target of ours, to THE top target. You see, lacrosse is a sport generally consumed with young men who are entitled, selfish, and uncoachable. But what we have found is that recruiting players who will pick up the trash helps us build a culture that wins championships.”

Gives you goosebumps, right?

And as a sidenote – can you guess what 2 books this coach recommended as summer reading for this young man?

Not surprising at all – Legacy by James Kerr, and The Hard Hat by Jon Gordon.

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6 thoughts on “Picking up the Trash
  1. Ben Edwards

    Neat story! We attended a college coaches panel at a recent soccer showcase event and heard several stories of the coaching staff attending player games and the details they paid attention to.

    Most of their stories were about good players who were about to be signed and had coaches come to one last game before pulling the trigger. The players (who didn’t know the coaches were watching) did something that raised a red flag, all character related, and lost the chance at a scholarship.

    Nice to hear the opposite story, of a player showing character when they didn’t know they were being observed and being rewarded for it.

  2. Scott Rosberg

    Great post and story, Craig! Love that the kid was doing that, and really love that the coaches are focused on it, making decisions on it, and letting people know that is what they are making their decisions on. You can be sure I will be showing this to my son – basketball player, not lacrosse – but the sport isn’t important in this story. This is important behavior in ALL sports. Thanks for sharing!


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