Talent isn’t everything
You want a feel good sports story heading into the holiday season? You should turn your attention to Jens Haven Memorial School and its male volleyball team.
The Nain-based team recently travelled to the AAA provincial tournament in Springdale and came home with a provincial title.
The team has a total of nine athletes and bested schools with twice their school’s population in some cases. It’s an incredible feat for a school that isn’t generally looked upon as an athletic powerhouse across the island part of the province.
In the Big Land, however, it’s a different situation altogether. My brother spent a year in Rigolet teaching and he’s spun many a yarn about the impressive athletic exploits of the people who live there.
There were stories about a young woman who could easily make some noise at that national level in archery and other such tales.
Whether we like it or not, Labrador schools are not generally considered threats on the provincial stage when competing against teams from the island. I’ve been guilty of this a couple of times myself. I ate my words a couple of years ago when a team I was coaching got beat by Menihek High from Happy Valley-Gosse Bay.
Labrador isn’t exactly viewed as a haven for athletic excellence, even though they’ve produced their fare share of great players in all sports.
Unfortunately, that’s the way it is up until now.
This changes now with Jens Haven Memorial School’s recent success, as it should. This is sure to open some eyes and heighten the opinion of teams from up that way.
They’re producing some teams, man.
While it should change the conversation, it also becomes a shinning example of another aspect of sports that sometimes gets forgotten.
When you play as a team and throw in a little bit of talent, you can overcome those teams that rely on talent alone.
Some people tend to place too much faith in having a team laden with talent and otherworldly athletes. Too often they forget that you need to be able to play as a team
Just think of the San Antonio Spurs. For a long time, they’ve never been viewed as a shinning example of an athletically gifted team, but they play the right way and as a team.
While I’m not sure, I can probably guess that the team in Nain is close. They probably spend their days hanging out with each other and have been playing together forever.
They’re comfortable with each other on the court, and I’d imagine they understand about playing as a team. They no doubt understand that what makes a team great is being ready to give up your own goals for those of the guys playing next to you.
That’s really the key to the whole thing. Being able to set aside your personal goals for the betterment of the other 10-11 guys on your squad.
Being a team and playing as a team is about sacrifice. Sacrificing that good shot, because your teammate has a better one. It’s about sacrificing the propping up of your ego because you’re not above the team.
Super talented players can win. They can push their teams over the top, but it often comes down to how the team plays that determines which can get a championship.
A strong team trumps a team with talent. Remember that.