I have been troubled the past 24 hours or so. I have this feeling that there is an important lesson from experience to be taught to a group of young men and women, but I am not sure I am the one to do it, or if the principle I think is important is valued by society today. I am willing to admit that I am of a generation that is pretty far removed from being young….(see how I have to admit to being old?) but I am sure that what defines excellence and being a winner has not changed. We watched the Patriots come back from a record Super Bowl deficit to earn their fifth world championship ring of the current era. That is a phenomenal accomplishment! They have become the penultimate example of winning and excellence. I want that same excellence to be a goal for our students and student athletes. Winning is an attitude. Winning is a work ethic. Winning is dedicating both mind and body to TRY to do what it takes (ethically) to be successful and reach a predetermined goal. I have never seen a winner that spends more time talking about why they don’t win than talking about what they need to do to get better. Winners do not spend more time and energy talking trash than giving their opponent a tenacious opposition between the lines. Above all, a true sportsperson is about competing at a high level and making themselves and their team mates better each time they have the opportunity. Great competitors do not always have the winning score on the board at the end of a game, but their opponents know they had true competition and respect the effort. Spectators at games should also work to encourage their team to do their best, applaud them when they do well, and encourage them when the team needs a lift. If a spectator feels the need to show up an opponent, put in the work, pull on the uniform, and do your talking between the lines!