I’ve won quite a few things. I’ve placed first. I have trophies, awards, and ribbons. But the only time I won a championship was 14 years ago. Back then I played fullback for McDougle Middle School. And we were pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. I was in seventh grade and played behind this pretty big eighth grader but I was just excited to be playing for a great team and getting to see the field when we were winning (we never lost a game so I always got in). Whether I was starting or not, I played like a champion every week because I knew that, if the starter got hurt, I was next up. And we were not going to lose because I wasn’t ready for my opportunity when it came.
You know what? I never started. I scored. I did well when I got in. But I wasn’t the starter that entire year. But the next year, I had the opportunity to go to a newly built school. And, at that school, I lettered and started in two varsity sports. I attribute a lot of that confidence and preparation to the year that I was playing under the best so that I could be the best. And, yeah, I didn’t win a championship at the new school. But I knew I had the ability to do so with the right team around me.
Today I pulled my McDougle Football tee shirt out by chance. I didn’t expect to. It was just sitting there and my hand fell on it. I looked at the back and, at the bottom, it says “Play like a champion today.” If you play like a champion every day, when you finally have the opportunity to prove that you’re worthy of a championship, you’ll be a champion.