It’s been a week since the Raptors won the NBA Championship. I can’t help but revisit, with amazement the amount of unity this team showed. It’s truly a lesson to any coach, leader, manager, business owner, and anyone trying to achieve new levels of self development.
The grit and determination this team showed is truly inspiring. The attention to self care and shared work loads, fueled by the desire to be as complete a unit as possible was an education in focus. Our star player, like the front man of a rock band, received most of the accolades. Like a true leader, deferred those accolades to the individuals who had truly contributed.
The ability of one man to maintain such composure on and off the court. Whether in interviews, or having to play through extended periods of poor reffing, his demeanor never changed. He never flapped his arms and jumped around. He just turned down the court and hustled on defense as if nothing had happened. That kind of attitude is contagious and we witnessed it ripple through the rest of the Raptors roster. They began to be able to move from one play to the next without getting hung up on frustrations. That’s what ultimately won them the championship, staying focused on the big picture while playing in the moment.
For the last few months I’ve been trying to get my kids to show more unity towards one another. I’ve been trying to get them to focus on more uplifting talk. They can be so harsh verbally when they get competitive with their siblings.
As much as I think competition is a good and healthy thing for kids to engage in. I don’t think they have to enter into a back and forth of name calling trash talk. Which they often do when they start posturing and going at one another for who’s better at what. It could literally be who’s the best at eating and dipping an Oreo in milk. Seriously!
Funny thing was, as I tried to bring more unity and sense of family to my kids. I started to realize that it wasn’t about the rules, the manners or controlling the situation. It was more about the time.
The more we did simple but spontaneously fun things, like spur of the moment trips to the park before bed. Or trips to the closest school so we could play some basketball on the weekends. Those were the points when I notice more bonding, more displays of unity and less aggressive attempts at taking each other down.
What became very evident to me was that I needed to make our environment more laid back. I had to maintain Dad status, but also keep the fun O meter charged up. Obviously I can’t entertain them all day long, but picking moments when they expect me to say no or make them wait, to then surprise them, has made an impact on how we all interact with one another. It also keeps my attitude more calm and collected and theirs considerably more respectful.
It’s amazing how watching a pro athletes demeanor can inspire you to rein in your own personality. The quiet composure of Kawhai Leonard inspired me to say less, do more and be better at propping up those around me.