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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

LAUREN HILL, GEORGE BOIARDI, DUKE BASKETBALL: WHAT'S IN YOUR DASH

I was driving in early this morning for conditioning with our basketball team and was listening to Mike and Mike on ESPN radio.  I tuned in half way to Dick Vitale passionately talking about the battle kids face when diagnosed with cancer.  There are few people in the world today that are carrying water up the hill to battle cancer more feverously than Dick. 

Following him as guests on the show were the parents of Lauren Hill, Brent and Lisa.  Many will remember her as the basketball player who died of cancer.  I will remember her as someone who courageously made an impact on life like few others have -- even though her time here on earth was much shorter than most.  I personally was inspired listening to her parents talking about Lauren's decision to go public and see if she could make a difference -- and that she did.

It reminded me of a story someone told me, or maybe I read somewhere, about the "dash."  You see every event has a starting date and an ending day.  A basketball season has a first practice -- last game.  A coaching career has a first game -- last game.  A life has a birth date -- a death date. 

But it's the "dash" in between the two dates that's significant.  There is actually a poem entitled "The Dash" written by Linda Ellis.

Our team this summer has been reading "The Hard Hat" by Jon Gordon which tells the inspiring story of George Boiardi, a Cornell lacrosse player who lost his life on the playing field.  Jon's book goes into detail of the legacy he left in a short time by being an amazing teammate.

It wasn't about George's birthdate, or even the day he passed.  It was about the dash.  It was all about the time he put in between the two dates.

This past year, our season ended with a disappointing 1st round loss in the NCAA tournament.  To help motivate our players in this off-season, we created a motivational passout that detailed the journey of last year's Duke men's basketball team. In 2014, they too had a lost to a mid-major in the first round of the NCAA tournament.  Of course, a year later they were cutting down nets as the 2015 National Champions.  The key for the Blue Devils was of course, what had they done to fill in their dash.

And that stand for all of us -- in so many ways...what we are doing to fill in our dash.  It is process-oriented thinking.  Don't look down the road at an ending date.  Put your work in now.  In the words of Lauren Hill:

"Anything can happen at any given moment.
What matters is right now."