Facing our Goliaths

Editorial Thoughts by David Kellin, editor@pantagraph.online

How do we improve? What drives us to change and do things differently? Years ago, I was a high ropes instructor at TreeTops. My task was to bring groups out to a ropes course that was particularly challenging. Once there, the young people would be challenged to climb up to a series of ropes and wires anchored about 25 feet in the air. They were wrapped in safety equipment and attached to 30,000 pound airplane wire.

Each child and adolescent faced the same challenge, often with very different reactions. Some climbed like squirrels and other barely got two feet off the ground. Some participants could not complete and some never tried.

What we did not have was a kiddie area, or a way to lower the wires. We did not make the course easier for them, They had to face the same challenges as every other participant.

When we face a problem or a challenge, we learn and adapt. We become better and succeed more. If the challenge is reduced, so is the learning.

I have been thinking on the challenge that our boys faced this last week, and I keep thinking of the ropes course. While I understand the belief that the team should be on a level playing field. The idea is to have a fair chance for the team to win. I guess that is the reason that 2A teams do not play 3A or 4A teams. Maybe we need a 10A group for the private schools.

If the challenge is immense and out of reach, how much more improved would we need to be to overcome that challenge? If we can defeat the strongest opponent, then the rest of life is much more successful. That was the basis behind the high ropes course.

I believe that our Goliath is Gray Collegiate. The value to us of keeping them, is to learn how we can defeat them. Not to just accept the loss and go back to 2A Public School ball. How do we become the best in the area? Not by being able to defeat the fairly matched teams, but defeating the teams that are not fairly matched to us.

We need to watch the game not once again, or 10 times, but enough times to KNOW what we would have to do to defeat Gray Collegiate. When we know that, we would be at a huge advantage in ALL our games.

Whether we ever play them, or a private school ever again, the opportunity for real learning is in that game. Learning for the seniors who will be signing on teams where the competition is as tough or tougher than Gray Collegiate. It is learning for the 2019-20 team to develop the winning skills for the coming season. I believe AJ has been given a golden opportunity to improve their game to the level of challenge presented.

It will not be easy, or comfortable. Growth rarely is easy. When we miss our mark, we back up, learn the new skill, believe and succeed. In my humble opinion.

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