Stanford Play Day down and less than two weeks to get ready for our opening game of 2014 at St. Mary’s. While the play day was not our best lacrosse, it was the perfect opportunity to see where our holes are. After a much needed off day last week we got right back to work on becoming the team we want to be at the end of the year.
We intend to get better with every game of the season and I’m happy to report our focus and execution has been right where it needs to be to do just that. Our practices have been as competitive as ever and we are steadily moving in the right direction. Even though the MPSF Coaches Poll has us fifth in the conference, I know we feel like we are a better team than that No. 5 ranking. It’ll be nice going into the season with that chip on our shoulder and I’m fine with being the “underdog.”
The classic “chip on the shoulder” can be dangerous, however. Hopefully it motivates us to work harder every day, but our motivation shouldn’t be about public perception or proving anything to anybody outside of our team.
Our motivation must be internal. Whether we’re ranked No. 1 or No. 10, I expect the same drive and determination every day at practice from our players. The goal is to become the best team that we can be. Only WE know how good we are and at the end of the year, we’ll be the only ones that know whether or not we accomplished becoming the best team that we could be. At the end of the year, will we be proud of what we’ve accomplished? Will we be proud of our teammates and ourselves? We will be able to stand by our win-loss record and say “we gave it our very best?”
As in real life, the outside world will always have its opinions. I personally think preseason polls and all-conference teams are junk. At the end of the year, making the conference tournament will hinge solely on wins and losses- not perceptions. The more we worry about perception, the more we lose focus on the task at hand - winning games.
The hope is that at the end of the year we have created a body of work that speaks for itself. It’s about consistently demonstrating who we are as a team. It’s about putting forth our best effort every time we take the field. We know where people see us. It doesn’t change what we do, how we practice or how we prepare. Now time to build a body of work that we can be proud of and that proves otherwise.