Season Closes as State Titles slip from the Argos: Focus Turns to National Championships

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The Argo Seniors and Major 1 Navy teams had every opportunity to take down rival opponents Vipers and Cowboys on Thursday night, but victory for the semi finals slipped from their hands and focus now turns to the National Championship tournament in San Diego next month.

Im struggling with words to capsulate the games and offer an inspirational take away from the experience. It is hard to lose.  On one hand i could try to reflect back objectively and simply offer cut and dry reporting of key moments and yet, as a parent, with vested emotional interests in the teams, I find that approach lacking in my real feelings and observations. The camera is objective. Try as i might, I am not.  It is easy to celebrate and praise our victories.  It is hard to put aside the personal sense of loss I think we all feel as coaches, players and parents.  Such is the nature of our passion as Argos.

I could write out feelings experienced during key moments of frustration from the sidelines and missed opportunities by players on the field but that feels like a deep well of disappointment and i do not wish to wallow there. I am not a whiner, nor am i a ranter.  When we lose, the trap that keeps us with that sinking feeling is the mental minefield of “Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda”.  That is a map for the coaches to decipher in order to get better moving forward.  That is a puzzle for the players to figure out on what to do in similar situations in the next game.  For parents it is something to let go of so the spirit of support and encouragement can thrive at home for the boys and on the sidelines for the coaches.  Regardless of whether we feel a play was not called correctly or a player not playing their best, this game is over and in true champion spirit its time to focus hope and intent towards the next horizon.

I guess if i have one take-away to share at the close of our regular season it would be a note on expectations.  Expectations are like a box of rules we set up for ourselves that suggest things are going to be a certain way, or that events will follow a certain rigid path that leads us to a desired outcome. I know i had expectations going into the season and the seat of my personal disappointments rests in those expectations not being met.   I cant speak for everyone here, but for me, i find expectations to be a trap that sets me up for disappointment every time.  When an expectation is not met – we are let down and have to spend a lot of energy pulling back out of that abyss of hurt.  What works for me is to put my faith in Hope rather than expectation, realizing that no matter the outcome i desire, events will play out perfectly and precisely the way they are intended to play out in some “bigger picture” kind of way.  It is a more malleable approach to meeting goals.  There is way more power to influence an outcome when we have faith in our teams’ abilities and direct that faith in Hope that they will be able to rise above all circumstances to Win.

Speaking recently with Coach Jason as we stepped into the playoffs, his observation was that this year NYS is the most competitive league he has experienced since the Argos formed in 2003.  As more and more families and players turn away from the politics and drama’s of other youth leagues, NYS has attracted more organized and stronger clubs.  Wherein the past the Argo Teams of today would easily dominate the fields, this year competition was fiercer.  The “expectation” was that things were going to be that way this year, so losses came harder and disappointments ran deeper.  Also – in this remarkable season, the Argo organization has grown to include 7 teams and a band of volunteer coaches to support those teams.  This is a transition year of growth for the club, which if you look to the “big picture” makes us all a part of an organization that as far as i can see is a one of a kind club in the region if not the nation.  With the addition of new coaches and the split of so many games across the city at the same time, the “expectation” that games would be run as they always have been could have never been met. I know this lead to a lot of frustration and disappointments for those of us who have been with the teams for so long.  Let that go.  What is happening for OUR team and OUR club is bigger than what it has been in the past and i can guarantee that looking back one day we will feel pride and honor to have been a part of some “bigger” achievement – win lose or draw.

In preparation for our National Championship sprint, at the close of our regular Spring Season I offer this dedication to the Argo players, families and coaches.

May we rise to meet those who will stand trying to defeat us,

having devoted ourselves to be the best in every way.

Winning is more than what a score says it to be.

With faith, hope and fierce dedication to that which prepares us to be Champions,

the Argo WILL to Win prevails.

GO ARGOS!

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