Earning the right.
This could easily have been the commencement theme for Sky View High School last Thursday. It wasnâ€™t, but itâ€™s what I was thinking as I watched our daughter Rebecca receive her diploma.
The theme of â€œearning the rightâ€ was implanted in my heart the night before courtesy of Norm Doyle, a friend and coach of the USU Baseball Team who just won the World Series Club Baseball Championship.
I started lightly following USU Baseball two years ago when Coach Doyle approached me for ideas on fundraising and working with the media. He had just taken over as head coach after five years as assistant. Now with the reins completely in his hands, Coach Doyle had a story to tell.
It was an ambitious storyâ€¦ take a fledgling but progressing club baseball team with very little funds and compete for the national championship. There were plenty of doubters and few believers. But Coach Doyle knew his team had the confidence to go all the way to win the World Series.
It was the chicken and the egg all over again. Winning begets confidence, confidence begets winning. You need the one to get the other. In 2012, the chicken and the egg kept coming one after the other until the won 2012 Championship. Coach Doyle called it â€œextreme confidence.â€
Extreme confidence. Earning the right. Oneâ€™s the chicken, the other the egg.
Coach Doyle and the USU Baseball Team did win the 2012 World Series. They won it again this year making USU â€œonly the second team in the 14 years of the NCBA World Series to have won the championship more than once.â€
Listening to a radio broadcast after the semifinal win Wednesday, Coach Doyle was asked how he felt with what his team had accomplished. He was quick to answer. All weâ€™ve done so far, he said, is â€œearn the rightâ€ to play in the national championship game.
I believe they â€œearned the right,â€ not just by winning 27 games, but by getting up after losing the other 9. They built â€œextreme confidenceâ€ by practicing smart, listening to their coach, and improving skills. Most importantly, they discovered how to prioritize life outside of baseball (family, studies, job, etc.) so they could have time to play baseball.
Thatâ€™s where Rebecca is at right now. She has accomplished many things during her high school years. She â€œletteredâ€ four years as the softball team manager. She earn her LDS Young Womanâ€™s Personal Progress Award, which is every bit equivalent of boy earning his Eagle Scout recognition.
These accomplishments, along with others not as notable but equally critical, have helped Rebecca build her own â€œextreme confidenceâ€ and â€œearn the rightâ€ to play in the greatest national championship of allâ€¦ Life.
So to Rebecca, and to each of us â€˜earning the rightâ€™ every day to live life, I say practice smart, listen to your coaches, and improve your skills. Most importantly, discover how to prioritize life. Get back up when you get knocked down and keep building your own â€œextreme confidence.â€ Life will be richly rewarding with beautiful people, great experience, and incredible opportunities that will leave you too blessed to be depressed.
Have a great Monday!
p.s. Take 15 minutes today to realize your own â€œextreme confidence,â€ then help another recognize the same.