I need to talk about a great experience I had on Friday night.
As many of you know, I had the chance to do the pre-game speech before a high-school football game here in San Diego (Westview vs. Carlsbad) on Friday night. Westview is where we do a lot of our field work with our pro athletes and I have developed a pretty close relationship with the football coaches there. Huge Shout out to Mike “Woody” Woodward and the entire team and staff over there, I had a blast on Friday.
So Westview had a big game against Carlsbad and they asked me to come in and fired the kids up. And that’s what I did. It was an absolute honor!
But that’s not what I want to talk about.
I want to talk about a TRADITION that they do before EVERY GAME. And they’ve been doing it for over 10 years since their current head coach took over the reigns there.
Immediately after every pre-game speech and before charging out of the locker room and onto the field, they do something that I’ve never done before. And my-oh-my, it fired me up.
As a matter of fact, it fired me up so much that I wanted to take one of the kids helmets and uniform and suit up and play.
Here is what happens. Check out this TRADITION.
As soon as I was done talking, the drumline from the very large, popular, marching band marched into the locker room. Yes, they marched into the very small locker room. There were probably about 20 of them with drums & symbols.
Then they turned off the lights in the locker room. Every light. It was pitch black. Imagine that.
And then the drumline just went to town on the drums and the place was going nuts. It lasted about 5 minutes.
Imagine some more. Full gear. No lights. Full drumline. Loud. Friday night lights.
NOW THAT IS TRADITION.
I stormed out of that locker room and for a moment forgot that I wasn’t playing. I swear I thought about stealing a “uni” and having one more shot. It was awesome.
WOW of the week is TRADITION. Establishing traditions. Honoring traditions. Living traditions.
And this week I have a special treat for you. I have a guest presenter sharing his TRADITION.
Fitness Quest 10 strength coach Ryan Burgess was inducted this weekend into the Ocean Twp (NJ) HS Hall of Fame with his Class of 2000 football teammates. A great football school with a storied TRADITION as well.
Read below about Ryan’s experience back in NJ this weekend:
Being back in my hometown for a Friday night football game for the first time in over 10 years was an incredibly powerful experience. The sights, sounds, and even smells had one word on my mind: TRADITION.
As we walked onto the field during half time to be honored one thing jumped out to my best friend and I: a group of young kids playing touch football underneath a giant tree on the south side of our home stands. Almost 20 years ago we WERE those kids, spending our Friday nights playing some rough and tumble sandlot football while dreaming of being a part of the Big Red TRADITION, and here we were getting inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. Those impromptu games were just a small part of what it meant to be a part of the Ocean Township Football story, and it was a very special thing to see something so simple continue on to this day. The experiences from and lessons learned during those years are some of the most formidable moments of my life, so I wanted to share this with all of you to unleash the power of your own TRADITIONS.
First you must establish your TRADITIONS. In the early 1980’s a coach by the name of George Conti transformed our school. Installing the tangible TRADITIONS of Beach Practice, “the Assassins”, and singing Bulla Bulla and having Star Time after victories, Coach Conti wove the themes of discipline, preparation, and earning your victories into the fabric of Ocean Township Football. It doesn’t matter where you come from or where you are, YOU have the POWER to establish your own TRADITIONS.
Second you must honor those TRADITIONS. Many times life can knock us off course. By the end of the 1999 season, Ocean had lost some of what had made it special. In came a new coach, a young man named Scott Larkin, who played for Conti and honored those lost TRADITIONS by reinstituting them. By taking this action we were able to reestablish ourselves as a team and a community, paving the way to a Division and State Championship in the 2000 season. Whatever TRADITIONS you establish, you must take consistent action in honoring them.
Finally, you must LIVE your traditions. Being part of a team, dreaming big, and putting in the work to tackle those ambitions are all parts of my identity now, traits I can trace back to the Big Red spirit. If you want to truly honor your TRADITIONS, you must live them out on a daily basis.
So there you have it folks. What are you going to do THIS WEEK to establish, honor, and live your own TRADITIONS?
Yes sir. Great job Ryan and congratulations on your great accomplishment.
Let’s CREATE a great week this week!