Friday, March 6, 2009

Montrose Christian pregame letter

Posted by Lee Miller | Friday, March 6, 2009 | Category: |

Coach Alan Stein, Stronger Team, is also the strength and conditioning coach for Montrose Christian, one of the nation's premier high school teams. Tonight, they play #2 nationally ranked Oak Hill Academy on ESPN2. Coach Stein gave each player on the team the note below.

While I am sure on a superficial level you are somewhat aware of how “big” our game against Oak Hill is on Friday, I want to point out a few important things that you may or may not have thought about.

First of all, win or lose, you will remember this game for the rest of your life. I’m not joking. You will remember every detail, good or bad, until you are old and gray (or old and bald). Wouldn’t it be so much better to reminisce over a win?!

This game is all about opportunity. And golden opportunities don’t come around very often. Some people go their entire lifetime without a real life changing opportunity to take advantage of. And you have one Friday night. Don’t take it for granted and don’t take it lightly. I don’t tell you this to make you nervous or scared, but to get you excited because you very much deserve this opportunity and you are more than prepared for it. Within this golden opportunity, there are several things to think about:

1) You have an opportunity to play (and beat) the 2nd ranked team in the nation, a team that is 36-0.

2) You have an opportunity to have the best record in Montrose history (21-1).

3) You have an opportunity to play close to home, in front of thousands of fans, family, friends, media, and basketball lovers.

4) You have an opportunity to play on national TV. As far as basketball games, ESPN2 is watched just as much as ESPN. People all over the world will get to see you and to see Montrose.

5) You have an opportunity to avenge a loss. In my 6 years at Montrose we have never had the chance to play a team that we had lost to that year. It still makes me sick to my stomach we lost to Oak Hill in Hawaii, and you are fortunate enough to have an opportunity to erase that feeling.

6) You have an opportunity to prove all of the doubters wrong. People don’t think you are an All-American? Prove them wrong. People don’t think you are good enough to play in college? Show them you are. People doubt whether you are a top rated player in your class? Show them you are. People don’t think we are the best team in the nation? Show them we are.

7) You have an opportunity so stay in the hunt for a national championship. In other words, making the most of this opportunity will lead to even bigger opportunity in early April!

The Montrose basketball family, and each of you, is very, very important to me. This program has played a major role in my life for the past 6 years and I am so thankful to be a part of it.

I have never asked you guys for very much, but I am going to ask you for this:

I want you to promise me, promise Coach Vetter, promise Coach Devlin, Prete, Jenifer, Graves, promise your teammates, and most importantly promise yourself… that on Friday night you will give every ounce of heart, soul, effort, blood, sweat, and tears you have in fulfilling your role on this team and doing everything humanly possible to help us win. If you get the opportunity to play, make the most of it. Take charges, dive for loose balls, box out, make the extra pass, execute our offense, and leave it all on the floor. If you don’t get the opportunity to actually play, when the game is over your voice better be hoarse from screaming and your hands raw from clapping.

The feeling in the locker room after our dramatic win over Oak Hill 3 years ago was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever experienced and was, without a doubt, one of the top moments of my life. And I didn’t even play! I want each of you to experience that same feeling Friday night because you deserve it.

Each time you are done reading this, I want you to sit in complete silence and visualize a few things:

  • Visualize a time in your life when you played the best you have ever played. You may have been younger or it may have been this season. Visualize, every detail, of a time when every pass you made was on point, you had the ball on a string, and every shot you took was money. You were in the zone.
  • Visualize yourself on Friday night doing something spectacular. As if you were watching yourself in a movie, imagine yourself making a Sportscenter Top 10 play… maybe a sick dunk, a no look pass, or breaking someone’s ankles. Picture how the crowd responds and how your teammates react. Picture how good you feel after you make that play.
  • Visualize how you will feel after we win. Picture how it will feel when the crowd rushes the court to celebrate. Imagine how great it will be to be in our locker room afterwards.

If each of you will take the time to picture these things in high definition, then I know for a fact you have the physical tools to make them come true.

I can’t wait. I will be there beside you with Gummi Bears in hand.

I love you guys ,

Coach Stein

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