Monday, March 3, 2014

2014 State Tournament - Carlisle Girls Basketball


You may have heard about it:  A team going from 1-22 to 19-6 and a spot in the Class 4A State Tournament.  A team going 0-16 in conference play a year ago, to winning a share of the conference championship on the last night of the regular season.  Did you happen to hear about that?  If not, you may have been under a rock, or out of the country.  OK, maybe that's a bit extreme, but chances are if you're reading this, you've heard about it, and possibly have been witness to it, in one way or another.

A lot has been written by media and a local TV station (WHO) will be running a lengthy segment on the team before they begin the state tournament run, but I want to briefly write about something that has stuck out to me in the last few weeks.

TEAM!  The Carlisle Girls Basketball Team bench. I have enjoyed watching how engaged they have been in the last four games.  As a guy who did his share of coaching for 27 years, I always believed that the team was going to be no more successful than the sum of all of its parts.  I believe that to be true of any successful team, organization, or business.  Sure, there are people that our out front, who get bigger chunks of praise or attention because of the talents they've been blessed with, but the entire team cannot achieve success, unless everyone does their job, and is engaged in the process.

In this instance, basketball, the 2013-14 Carlisle girls basketball team has achieved what they have done so far because the entire team has been doing their job.  This is a tribute to the players, coaches, and parents who are part of this year's team.  I believe this is one of the beauties of what we do in high school activities, and one of the great life skills that will serve our young people well in their future.

Case in point, a business that I know of has a philosophy of hiring the best people that they can, and then training them to do the job they need them to do.  Sure, there are some skills their employees need to have, but their goal is to hire people that are going to be good teammates in their organization with the belief that they will be good workers.  What's the result of that business philosophy?  Being named the "State Champions" in the State of Iowa as the best workplace for small companies in 2012.

You see, what this team has done is set the bar, and been an example, of what a TEAM should look like.  Many of our other sports and activities have experienced it over the years, but our goal is to make this a consistent quality in all of our programs.  It takes coaches able to define players roles on the team, players willing to accept and fulfill those roles with pride and enthusiasm, and parents who accept the role their child has been given, and supports them and the team.  When those three things come together, excellence is possible, and winning can happen.

Good Luck to the Carlisle Girls Basketball Team at the State Tournament.  It's been a great season. Thanks for letting us all enjoy it with you.

Enjoy some of the photos that I think define this group.  Thanks to Jamie Fitzgerald for taking and sharing them with us.  



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