February 3, 2014
Tough loss and a hug
After a really tough loss ended a deep playoff run, our team had our post-game chat. And then something really memorable happened.
Sure, we encouraged the kids in the post-game wrap up. We celebrated all the things we did well. We broke out one last time in our team chant.
And then something unexpected happened.
One of our players, who was young, small, and not a star on the team- came up and hugged me and started crying a little (I’m sure he would never admit it.) Then he took a few steps, and came back and hugged me again.
Wow was that powerful. Instantaneously that small gesture had make me forget about the toughest loss of my coaching career.
When the whistle blew to end the game, I had countless doubts running through my head. Did we prepare the team the proper way? Should I have called a different play? What went wrong?
But that hug erased all the doubts and questions. As a team and as coaches – we had stuck to our mission, worked endlessly to be great, and done it the right way. Were we perfect? No. But that young man told me, without using any words, that the road to greatness is awesome and this was truly a season and experience he loved.