Life lessons from March Madness

Mar 22, 2013

Buzzer beaters, Cinderella stories, bracket busters, shocking upsets…March Madness is the cliché of the sporting world.

As a sporting fan, this may very well be my favorite time of the year.  Sixty-four teams square off to win the ultimate prize: eternal college basketball glory. The best part about this tournament is that success is not determined by rankings but by how the team plays and works together.  The team from Harvard, a school known better for academics than athletics,  can stun a nation and upset a #3 seed.  A group of guys from Southern University can keep us on the edge of our seats as they take the number #1 seed to the wire.  From seeds #1 to #16, you’re promised a great game because of the underlying value: hard work.  This tournament showcases not only some of the greatest basketball games and talent, but also some of the best displays of character.

Teams may have been counted down and out, but they still find a way to fight back. Quitting is not a word that’s uttered in their vocabulary.  Even if a team is down by 30 points, their resilience to keep fighting is incredible, because they know that they have to do this for their team, and that this is a once in a life time opportunity.  Those are the moments I love the most, watching how these guys pick each other up.

We teach 12 core values in our Healthy Choices, Healthy Children program here at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Developing Good Life Habits
  • Choosing to be Healthy
  • Teamwork
  • Respect
  • Avoid Stinkin’ Thinkin’
  • Choosing Your Teammates
  • Sportsmanship
  • Work Ethic
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Choosing Your Future

It’s incredible to me how practicing these values correlates to success during March Madness.  I walk away from each game inspired and in awe. If I work a little bit harder each day on each of these values, I will be able to have my own March Madness life.  I challenge you to implement these values into your everyday life.  If you do, I bet that by the time the National Championship rolls around, you’re going to feel as good as the team who’s cutting down the net.