Bleacher Bits: ‘Team' is much more than a word
No matter how poor your spelling skills, it's long been said and also proven that there are no I's in team.
One high school football coach in Utah found recently that not only were too may "I's" affecting his squad in negative ways, but he also needed to help them redefine the word "team."
The Prep Rally blog on Yahoo! Sports reported that Matt Labrum, the head football coach at Union High in Roosevelt, Utah, got so frustrated with disciplinary and character issues among his players that he suspended the entire team.
Some of his players had been caught skipping classes and others were accused of cyberbullying classmates. The coach took drastic action to bring it to a stop.
After a loss on the football field, Labrum told his players that as of that moment, they were no longer a team. He made all 80 of his players turn in their jerseys and all their equipment.
According to the report, the coach said nobody would play football for him again until they "earned the privilege to play."
Gosh, I like this guy.
"We looked at it as a chance to say, 'Hey, we need to focus on some other things that are more important than winning a football game,'" Labrum was quoted in the Deseret News. "We got an emotional response from the boys. I think it really meant something to them, which was nice to see that it does mean something. There was none of them that fought us on it."
And the team rebuilding exercises started the very next day.
On the Saturday morning following the loss, players were told how they could earn spots back on the team. Among the ways were taking part in team-mandated community service work and going to character classes that fill time slots formerly occupied by football practice sessions.
While Labrum took his drastic action to wake up his football team, what he's attempting to teach applies to boys and girls teams of all sports at all schools.
You don't become a part of a team simply by putting on a uniform on game day and playing your position — you become a Trojan, Honker, Cardinal, RedHawk or whatever the day you begin attending the school. Your "team" and your position on it is seen in action daily — in classes, in extra-curricular activities and in the community.
Practices are constantly in session, so act accordingly.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com.