Bucket Theory, part 7 of 10

Created for coaches. Applicable to all…

–Coach D.

Step 7: WE, not me.

Football is not an individual’s sport. It’s not one player who brings forth a championship. It’s not just one lucky guy who cradles the ball, running the field to victory. Just as in life, others help guide your route—and still others stand in the way, diverting your path.

This is what life is comprised of, isn’t it?

Football is a team sport. It’s a team mentality. An environment of ‘WE, not ME.’ And there are so many lessons to carry forward from this simple, basic, and yet profound three-word phrase.

It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s not about any one individual. It’s about the group; the collective effort. The mentality, drive, and discipline of the whole. THAT is what a championship environment is made of.

Of celebrating wins TOGETHER, as well as enduring the sting of loss. Of improving. Of tenacity. Of growing—you guessed it, together.

Conversely, to attain ‘we, not me,’ it takes the focus and discipline of each individual giving his or her all. To be his or her own best self. To exude qualities of personal excellence, leadership, encouragement, discipline and drive. To be your best, to encourage others to push beyond zones of comfort—and to race forward into challenging territory. How else do we know how far we can excel, if we don’t lace ‘em up and go for it with a best effort?

And when each individual exerts his or her best, there’s an energy that electrifies. We can’t help but to feed off the vibe and energy of a committed group. Particularly of a group committed to excellence. To be in such an environment is something most yearn to find. So build your team of excellence comprised of driven individuals. Those who push themselves—and yet also encourage others to exert best efforts—together, consistently striving on a common quest of individual excellence.

This is how we become our best.

So, while we may hear the phrase ‘There’s no I in team,’ I challenge us all to instead embrace the mantra my coaches and I strive to live by: “It’s not about me, it’s about WE.”

Because together? That’s how WE become champions. On the field. In the boardroom. In the classroom. At home. In life.