Strong in the Storm



The title of this article caught my attention as I looked at the front page of the ESPN app (Spring ’23). It is an article written about the French World Cup team’s victory over England in the quarterfinals. Here are a few quotes from the article of note.

“The difference between the two teams was the mental strength,” goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said after the game. “It was a tough game against a very good England team, and they deserve a lot of praise because they made it a big battle. But we were solid in the important moments. We hurt them when needed.”

Lloris continued, “The more you advance in the tournament, the more you have to raise your game and have that mentality. There are no emotions They can’t be a part of your game. Today we played to the level. We were strong in the storm.”

Olivier Giroud (another player) said, “Sometimes the winner is not the best team but the team that deals with all the elements of the game the most and has that killer instinct.”

Head Coach Didier Deschamps said, “Talent is not enough in a squad. You need the mental strength and also some experience. It is won or lost in the margins. You need to fight for results and change the dynamics of the game. There is a collective force with this team. Something is happening here, but we have to stay humble.”

Mental strength, solid in the important moments, no emotions, instinct, the margins, collective force, and humbleness. I think we can learn a lot from each of these words. Skills, tactics, and strategies are important, but can our teams collectively put emotions aside in the big moments and finish the fight? This is why I wanted my children to play athletics. Life is not all lollipops and rainbows. I wanted them to learn these lessons and be able to apply them in the big moments, the tough moments, the emotional moments. This is also the stuff that wins championships. Huh, life lessons and championships? I will take two, please! Just some food for thought as you come to playoff time!


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