THE DIAMOND OF EMOTION — As a high school football player I had the opportunity to play for a state championship twice and both times my team came up short.
My mom would always say, "Well, John, there were only two teams in the state playing today and you were one of them." I'd respond with, "Sure, but only one team won today and I wasn't on that one."
My mindset has changed over the years and it turns out those losses aren't quite the bitter pill I once thought they were. But in that moment those losses hurt. You work so hard and give everything you have just to fall inches short of your goal.
I bring this up because I know the heartbreak felt in this video by one player, and it makes the actions of another player resonate so much stronger with me.
This video is from a high school baseball game in Minnesota. The pitcher, Ty Koehn, strikes out the batter, Jack Kocon, for the final out, sending Koehn's team to the state championship and Kocon's team back to the bus short of glory.
Instead of celebrating with his teammates, Koehn runs straight to Kocon and gives him a hug. Turns out these two are childhood friends who use to play on the same little league team. Koehn embraces Kocon and comforts a friend in need. I don't know many adults who have the maturity and empathy to delay their excitement and celebrating to make sure a competitor who is hurting is taken care of, let alone teenagers who would do that.
This is my favorite video I have seen in a long time and I hope to teach my kids that some things are just a game, but friendship and integrity are reality.
Thank you for your examples, boys. I hope to emulate your actions.