I Hope Your Coach Makes You Shovel Your Field

B-U7F-lCcAAmIBH So winter storm Jonas hit last weekend. If you missed it, you can check any one of The Jonas Brothers’ (the teen-girl pop-music boy band) social media accounts and if they haven’t already, I’m sure they’ll be happy to make a bad joke in reference to the name of the storm and its correlation to their last name (it’s the same, get it??). Whatever. That’s beside the point right now. Let’s talk about what’s actually important: It’s the start of February, which probably means you’re either just starting pre-season (I’m looking at you collegiate bros), or you’re dreading pre-season (all other lax bros). Unless you’re rich AF and hired someone to plow the snow as it was falling down faster than a sushi restaurant delivers California rolls, or you have a dome and your north-eastern school didn’t take it down in the fear of it collapsing, your field is probably covered in that white powdery good stuff right now (I don’t even want to know what actually just came to mind when I said that). Some of you (all of you) are probably (definitely) rejoicing over the fact that you think Jonas gave you at least a day off from practice, or pushed back the start date of preseason. Coaches are smart…and they’re much smarter than you are. I’m going to go ahead assume you all have really good coaches. I know you probably don’t but don’t ruin this for me. Let me just play this out for a second: You all have really good coaches, which means that they all genuinely want to see their team, and each individual player, succeed. So, what does that take? Other than an individual’s pure skill and a desire for said individual to better him, or herself, it takes cohesion. “There is no ‘I’ in team.” I’m not sure about you but I’ve found that nothing bonds a team faster than either a) eating copious amounts of food after practice or b) hating something your coach made you do that you definitely didn’t want to do. Insert: shoveling your field. Now you’re probably thinking I’ve lost it…so let’s take this theory a little further. Do you hate running sprints? I mean I would assume you do. You’re weird if you enjoy running sprints…go join track. But running sprints makes you better. Not only does it enhance your mental toughness, it maintains and improves your physical stamina. You probably feel good, with a sense of accomplishment, after you’re done running, don’t you? Well, duh. Of course you do. You’re not running for shits and giggles; you’re running so there’s absolutely no doubt in your mind, or anyone else’s, that you’re going to beat that guy off the line during the next face-off. The difference between running sprints and shoveling your field is the direct correlation to how it’ll help you. Players know why they have to run sprints: It makes them faster than someone else; it makes them quicker; it makes them stronger. But shoveling a field? Why do they need to do that? It didn’t take me until college to figure out that my coach made me shovel with my teammates as a character-building and team-building activity…but let’s not confuse the context of the word “activity.” It wasn’t fun and we were miserable. But still, at the end of it, we felt that same sense of accomplishment. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t easy but it was done…and we did it together. As a team. And then we got copious amount of food.

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