Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Number One

Now that we know the BCS National Championship has hailed the number-one college football team for the 2012-2013 season (Roll Tide), it's time we move on to crowning the other number-one teams. In the Division I college world, March and April will determine the championship teams in basketball, bowling, fencing, rifle shooting, skiing, gymnastics, hockey, swimming, diving, indoor track and field, and wrestling. The world of professional sports will soon give us the NFL champion, followed by the tournament for the NBA, and the NHL ... maybe.

In the world of sports, it takes a lot for a team to become number one. To do so talent must be honed by practice, players must be coached, plays must be memorized, and bodies must be kept healthy and fit. Individual egos must be held in check, and each player must step up to do that which that player does best. It takes effort and time to produce a number-one team.

Perhaps we need to approach our families the same way. If you are a dad, you are the player-coach of the team. As such you have to practice the fundamentals. These include promoting good manners, using respectful words, and displaying an eager willingness to forgiveness. You may have to apply discipline when necessary, dealing with rough edges when and where you find them. But you also have to let team members discover their own character, encouraging their individuality, as they bring strength to the team in their own way. This can be tough, as you may want to over manage, but there's team strength to be had when its members find their niche. There are also the mundane chores you have to tend to like coordinating schedules and transportation. At the very least you need to delegate these to a responsible person. You need to provide the proper equipment and maintain the best possible facilities too.

As you can see, it isn't easy.

And there's one more thing -- probably the toughest item in the bunch. As a player-coach you have to do that which you demand from the others on your team. After all, the best way to mold a number-one son or daughter is to be the model of an adult that your child can aspire to be.

This year as we celebrate team victories over the next few months, let us strive to make our home team number one as well.

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