It’s arguably the best time of the year for sports fans: March Madness is at it’s pinnacle, spring training is wrapping up and the start of the MLB baseball season is right around the corner, and both the NBA and NHL regular seasons are winding down for some playoff drama. However, with so much to watch, so much to debate with friends, so much to enjoy, one stands above the rest – the NCAA tournament. 68 teams methodically dwindled down to one eventual champion in what many call the best postseason in sports. It draws more and more fans each year and with so many upsets the tournament never fails to disappoint. So what makes the tournament so watchable, enjoyable, and captivating year after year? The passion. The humility. The sacrifice. Players who play for the love of the game. The emotion. Most seniors are playing their last truly competitive games of basketball, with a select few drafted into the NBA or into European leagues. Players play with an all out mentality; win and enjoy one more game – lose and go back to school, reminisce about the season, and for those fortunate underclassmen, dream about making it back the following year.
This years Final Four can fill just about any headline you want. There are all time great coaches (Coach K, John Calipari, Tom Izzo, and Bo Ryan) who have combined for a total of 25 National Championships. There is a rematch between Wisconsin and Kentucky from last years Final Four and Kentucky trying to repeat as National Champions. We have somewhat of an underdog, Michigan State coming into the tournament as a 7 seed. There is also exceptional individual talent, with potential lottery picks everywhere and first round talent on every team. But there is one headline that does not get as much attention as it deserves, teamwork. These teams have been through it all and have all followed different paths to get to the Final Four, from the expectations of being perfect to being fortunate to make it into the tournament. Teamwork has been the one constant throughout uniting these 4 left standing.
It started the moment Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker declared they would be coming back for another season with the Wisconsin Badgers, passing up millions of dollars, for one more shot at the Title with their teammates. They were followed by a handful of Kentucky players who, after winning the National Championship, decided to spend at least one more season trying to repeat with their teammates, and more importantly, friends. Coach K of Duke always stresses the importance of team play and building connections between players, its not a coincidence that he just tied John Wooden for the most trips to the Final Four (12). Teams win games in college and high school, and these historic programs know that. Us as coaches cannot stress enough the importance of sacrifice and team work as no individual is bigger than the team.
Come in and train with us at Champion’s Quest as a team and find out how successful your team can become! Click here for a link to our team training options and feel free to contact me with any questions!