Today is our give-it-a-go session for incoming freshers. And you know what? It’s raining. For our sport, which very few have played at school in this country, this is easily the most important recruitment day of the year. And it’s raining. People won’t show up. People who show up without cleats will fall over a lot.
Oh well. Nothing we can do about that, right?
There are people in life who make excuses, and there are people who see challenges.
You’ve probably never heard of Wilma Rudolph – dubbed ‘The fastest woman on earth’ after 3 gold medals in sprints at the 1960 Olympics. But at age four, she had suffered double pneumonia, scarlet fever, and polio, resulting in a mostly paralyzed left leg. She was told she’d probably never be able to use it. At age 12, (eight years later) she shed the leg brace and began to walk normally. She started to enter track meets, and lost every time. But did she give up?
Golfer Ben Hogan was hit by a bus at the peak of his career, but came back to win more major championships.
And – wait for it – it’s raining on your big recruitment day?
Put on a smile, and go out there and show new people how we do it. Don’t whine about the weather. Yes, it’s a shame, but circumstances don’t define us – what defines us is our reaction. We can make this the best, most enjoyable session we ever had, if we keep upbeat and feed off each other’s energy.
Don’t hide under umbrellas at the side while the freshers struggle to throw. Get out there, get stuck in, layout in puddles. Show people that despite the weather, despite the probably lower numbers than we were hoping for, nothing kills our team spirit.
And if you can’t do that, then – in all seriousness – stay on the sofa. Don’t be ‘that guy’ today.
This is going to be genuinely fun. Get your head straight, before you get there, and enjoy it for what it is. It’s not about the people who aren’t there; the people who would be there if it was pleasant weather. It’s about the people who showed up despite the weather – and they are absolutely the people you want. How can we make it fun for them?