One of the biggest lessons I learned growing up was if you’re going to commit to something then you better be ready to commit all the way.
It’s something that somehow, somewhere along the way people have lost and it’s begun to permeate into a wide variety of places.
Speaking to Rams head football coach Roderick Taylor this week, the longtime football coach explained that his hope to revamp the Rams football program has meet with some resistance, intentional or not, especially in the form of attendance for practices. He cited an example that on Monday, which was Labor Day, he estimated that half of the football players in the Del Rio Middle School program did not attend practice.
To me, learning that half of a program did not attend a regular practice means there is a belief that there are players willing to do what’s necessary to better themselves and their teammates by actually coming in on a holiday and doing the work and there are others who are content doing just enough to get by. I truly hope that’s not the case.
If you want to enact change, you have to be willing to do the work, and sometimes that means doing things you may not want to do. Change starts with the participants in the group and can only begin there. If not, then don’t expect any kind of success in your group.
It’s not just sports that have seen that kind of attitude creep into it. There are plenty of adults who commit to helping an organization in order to make themselves feel better or to give off the appearance that they want to help, but as the weeks and months go by they find less and less time to help and instead of doing the adult thing and stepping down from the group they instead just become a ghost and continue to stand for the group without accepting any of the responsibilities. It’s an old trick that allows people to soak in the glory but avoid the criticism because, after all, “I wasn’t there when that was decided,” or “They must have done that at a meeting I couldn’t go to. Typical,” when the reality is they haven’t been to a meeting, fundraiser or meaningful activity all year.
Good intentions can only go so far. It’s the work we put into those efforts that ultimately determine whether those groups will succeed or fail. As it was explained to me once, if the goal is for everyone to pull in the same direction then it’s a whole lot easier when everyone is there to help pull.
Here’s hoping that Monday’s absences from practice are an anomaly and not just an indication of a bigger problem brewing. If you believe in something, see it through. If you can’t devote the time to it, there’s no shame in saying so and then returning when you’re ready to fully dedicate yourself to the effort.
Thank you to everyone who makes that effort to create and manage change in our community, no matter what level it may be. Juggling real life, the things we have to do and the things we want to do is never easy and sometimes we have to make those tough decisions to let the things we want go. Remember, need and want aren’t the same thing.
Brian Argabright is the sports editor at the Del Rio News-Herald, where he has worked for the last 22 years.