Thursday, August 10, 2006
By Barry Burleson
Much has been written here about teamwork. Its one of those things that cant be written about too much.
I heard it mentioned several times over the weekend - most in reference to football.
Players inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame on Saturday gave credit to their coaches and their teammates not to themselves. John Madden gave credit to the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Al Davis, and to the great players he coached and to his wife and family.
The Dallas Cowboys - we were a team, Rayfield Wright said during his induction speech.
Football, basketball, baseball - those are team sports. Theres no place for individuals only looking out for themselves, Wright emphasized.
He played for my second favorite coach of all-time, Tom Landry. My favorite, of course, is Paul Bear Bryant.
Another legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, said, Individual commitment to a group effort that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.
Youd better be a team player in the systems of Landry, Bryant and Lombardi, or there was no place for you on the teams of the Dallas Cowboys, the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Green Bay Packers.
I heard the emphasis on team again during the NFLs first preseason game Sunday night on NBC. Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, said the Eagles this year were focused on family football.
I liked that. Id never heard it said that way before.
You can have a team loaded with superstars, but odds are, if they dont work together as a unit, they wont be successful.
Area high school teams are just over two weeks away from their first games. No doubt, coaches Clifford Brown, Wade Griffin and Devin Rutherford, at Holly Springs, Marshall Academy and Byhalia, are putting their emphasis on team.
But you know this teamwork goes far beyond the athletic field. Its a key to success in any group endeavor.
The mayors and aldermen in our towns and our county board of supervisors must work together as a team. They should not care who gets the credit.
Sure, they will disagree. But they cant let that conflict hamper progress. They cant let it bog them down. They must come out of discussions united. They must move forward together for the betterment of the citizens they serve.
The same holds true for all forms of government at all levels.
I heard about the importance of government entities working together Saturday when I attended the Community Health Celebration Day at the Byhalia Family Health Center. The importance of teamwork was voiced by almost every person taking the podium particularly Congressman Roger Wicker.
He said community health clinics like the one in Byhalia are perfect examples of officials at the local, state and federal levels working together and producing a continuous success story. By working together, theyre improving the quality of life in communities.
Communication is one of the main ingredients in successful teamwork. If members of the team arent talking, theres obviously not much togetherness involved. Everyone on the team has to be informed. Everyone needs to be able to buy into the plan and the goals. It will take unity to reach the goals.
One of my high school coaches would get us together in the locker room before games in a group, every player putting one hand on top of the other in the center of a circle, and as we left to the take the court, we broke and shouted in unison, Team. That was his emphasis, and it had better be our emphasis on the floor, or else.
And it had best be the emphasis of Marshall County as we seek to move forward and improve our quality of life.
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