When I was speaking to the basketball players of Bethel College, many were not aware of the greatest sports moment in the United States in the century 1900 to 2000. Maybe you know it through the Disney movie Miracle (2004). Maybe you don’t know it at all, but you should. Here’s why.
I looked at the Bethel women’s players and said the 1980 US Olympic hockey team, which was a bunch of college hockey kids faced the greatest team in hockey history, the 1980 Soviet Union team. It would be like women’s basketball players from Indiana Wesleyan, St. Francis, Taylor University, Goshen College and Bethel beating not only the UConn women but a UConn team with Diana Taurasi in her prime, Maya Moore in her prime, Sue Bird in her prime, and on and on.
The U.S. Olympic hockey team beat the Soviets 4-3 on February 22nd, 1980 in an achievement sports historians would say was greater than anything Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Hank Aaron, Carl Lewis or anyone else had done in the 20th century. They did it because coach Herb Brooks had recruited and molded a team of tough kids who could embrace change and buy into total teamwork. If they did what they did, you can accomplish anything you set your sights on. If you think you are too short, Herb had all kinds of short guys on his team. But, boy, could they skate. If you are short, you better be fast, tough and in shape. Herb got these guys into the greatest shape in hockey history because he kept telling them that ‘legs feed the wolf’ during training. Tell yourself that as you train.
Thirty four years later, we lost the first player from that historic 20 man roster. Bob Suter died last week at the age of 57. He was a defenseman for the team who fought through injuries the whole time to contribute to the team. Bob never played pro. He had played at the University of Wisconsin before the Olympics. He dedicated his life to his family and running the hockey rink he owned. He would coach, clean the bathrooms, run the front desk, put fresh ice on the rink and whatever else was needed. He had a life motto of “It’s all about the kids.”
As you go through recruiting, if a coach asked you what your life motto was, would you have an answer? Take some time to develop yours, write it down, and put it in your room. Have a recruiting motto. It could be something like: “To be the best teammate ever.” “No one will outwork me.” “I will be a coaches dream.”
Go get ’em!
Former sports anchor Charlie Adams writes weekly on recruiting and motivation for NCSA: Motivational speaker Charlie Adams was a sports anchor for 23 years in markets such as New Orleans and South Bend where he saw many families struggle with the recruiting process because of a lack of education on the subject. His son was a college athlete, his oldest daughter is a freshman college swimmer, and his youngest daughter is very involved in AAU travel team basketball as a 6th grader. Charlie’s new motivational program in 2014 is ‘More Than a Miracle,’ which explains how the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team was able to stun the Soviets and then take the Gold. For more information you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to StokeTheFireWithin.com