A USMB dream team?


Deep on the inside of heart and soul, everyone is “all in” all the time. In the mind, where decisions are made, the right calls are routine. Total buy in is never in question. Whether on offense or defense, everyone is flat out sold out to do their part and make good on their assignments. There is a heavy but welcome awareness that the collective impact will be strongly influenced when any one player is holding out.

The head coach is a presence, always there, embodying the mission, vision and ultimate goal of the team. Everybody knows he has been through it before and he understands both the entire season and the current challenge. Even better, the coach really can lead the way because he embodies the critical core values. The squad demonstrates unmistakable clarity and cohesion because the coach is their north star.

The head coach and the owner are completely and absolutely on the same page. Sometimes it’s hard to separate their influence. While there is an awareness that the ultimate victory is in view, it most often seems that is not the biggest thing to them. It’s more like the big deal is about everyone being freed up and called on to do whatever they can, the best that they can, all the time. Behind that, there are clear and powerful expectations about character, attitude and faithfulness. And behind that, everybody knows that pride is a baseline enemy; self-serving egos need to be absent for teamwork to be maximized.

When not in the middle of the fray, the possibility for the owner, coach and teammates to be all in wins the day with ease. When that totally committed attitude is taken into the fray there is room for error and everyone brings a chin-up partnership that includes friendly forbearance. But when key position players get more of the action, it is harder for those teammates in supportive roles to stay enthused about making the highest possible quality contributions. That is especially true when pivotal players play in ways that marginalize their teammates. There are other reasons that it can be hard to stay all in. A teammate’s error at a critical moment will test resolve. As will the appearance of an ego or pouting or power trip. As will letting up. As will ignoring the coach or the game plan. As will going rogue.

Even when the dream team gets it right, they don’t win every time. They may not get to be league or world champions. But they do make plays and they do win some. They have the affirmation of the owner and the coach and even the fans in the nose bleed section. They each do the right things at the right time in the right way for the right reasons. They give all they have to give. They are all in all the time.

They make a difference. They get better, and others are impacted and changed along the way. Spectators like them because they are genuinely sold out and they live, love and play that way. Because the players believe in and trust their coach and owner, management becomes famous, and thousands sign on for a dynasty.

One of the best things is that everybody shows up for the parties. Celebrating what has happened is exhilarating and anticipating the future is reason enough. Honoring the owner and the coach are pure joy. Experiencing the satisfaction of being on the team is huge. In an almost celestial sort of way, anticipating the future is as good as it gets.

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