What can we learn from all of this mayhem down in Fort Myers, Florida? Everything. Unless your living under a rock the past week you should have been witnessing one of the most remarkable stories of the 2013 year and a historical moment in college basketball history. Florida Gulf Coast University and their #15 seed men’s basketball team has disrupted every office bracket on the planet and potentially caused more non-basketball watching office workers to win cash than any other season. So what can we really learn from all of this March Madness coming out of Fort Myers?
It can be very easy to get caught up in the scoreboard and the Vegas line of what FGCU basketball is accomplishing. This David vs. Goliath scenario gives us hope that any underdog can achieve something great regardless of the circumstance. Athletics in general have always been a fantastic way to uncover the true characteristics of human beings and this quick and fleeting episode playing out on the national stage could be lost if you don’t appreciate the true value of this experience. Athletics bring out the core of WHO you really are when your in your weakest moment. I’d like to first point out these are young men between the ages of 18-22 and have just begun their lives. They are being taught one of the most valuable lessons in life early on and regardless of the outcome of the NCAA tournament they have already won the holy grail of experience. Experience? Yes, experience. Each of us all have been given opportunities in life to capitalize on moments we have either worked hard for or by the luck of the Irish have been fortunate enough to be in by happenstance. It’s is ultimately up to us to choose how we have prepared for those opportunities and to capitalize on them when presented. Unfortunately, opportunities don’t have a timeline. They never come knocking at your door and present themselves with a handshake and a business card that reads “Mr. Opportunity”. They always are fleeting and most of the time go completely unnoticed by the recipient. They are rare and unless you have spent hours preparing for them you could be stunned by the moment and only holding a remnant of “what ifs”. FGCU basketball has taught us lessons and none of them are related to shooting a jumper.
The 3 Lessons Learned.
#1- Preparation. The understanding that through great preparation opportunities are easier to see and then capitalize on when presented in front of you. Most of these young men either won’t play in the NBA or even if they do when the time comes and the sport deems them too “old” in their mid 30′s (not old) can grasp this golden nugget through this experience. In business you need to be prepared. If you’re not prepared someone else is and they will eat your lunch and leave you the banana peel. On the other hand if you are prepared you can change markets, grow the economy and change lives through inspiration. Ask the locals of Fort Myers, Florida if they are inspired?
#2 – Perseverance. This basketball team lost to Maine, Stetson and Lipscomb twice! I wonder how many Sweet 16 teams have lost to Lipscomb twice in one season? You’re going to fail and many times fail miserably. Sometimes embarrassment is a part of the process and the fuel to ensure your preparation is at its highest level when given the opportunity to succeed. Persevering through any obstacle,bump or bruise could be your biggest asset in the end.
#3 Passion – How many times during these games has FGCU just looked like they wanted it more? You can overwhelm your opponent just by being relentless with desire. Passion can overwhelm any opponent. When it’s clearly understood you will NEVER back down because your reason for being there is so much larger than your opponents. Having passion is always connected to your WHY. This will never change regardless of personal or professional endeavors you should always have a very clear and decisive reason why your taking steps in any direction.
Congratulations Dunk City on winning …regardless of the score.