Whether they know it or not, a person’s family name is written in invisible letters on the back of every shirt, jersey, or blouse they wear in competition. They may not think of it in this way, but every time they enter the playing field or workplace, they represent the legacy of everyone in their family who came before them.
Honoring the family name does not always mean winning. But it does mean being prepared and leaving it all on the field. It also means displaying grace, composure, and respect in the face of victory and defeat. The pride of family is as much about how a person plays and carries themselves as it is about whether they achieve success.
No one wants to let their family down. When reminded that they play for the family name and legacy, team members play to a higher standard and carry themselves differently. Representing the people who laid the foundation for our success changes the way we view our effort. People play harder when the family name is on the line.
Legendary Manchester United Coach Alex Ferguson knew this. This is why he so often made the family appeal to his players. As a means to motivate them to play their best, Ferguson would remind his players of their family legacy. He frequently asked his players to hold the highest standards so as to carry the family name with pride.
Pride is a powerful motivator. Among many factors that inspire complete performance, family pride stands out. The idea that we represent everyone who came before us is an exceptionally powerful and emotionally poignant feeling. Many of the most successful athletic coaches remind their team members to make their family proud through their actions and choices.
What’s on the back of your jersey?
Appreciate the comments so far...
Any comments posted prior to 11am ET will definitely influence the discussion we will have here at that time: https://twitter.com/AdmiredLeaders/status/1662094113452244993
Is the family metaphor worth using at all these days? It certainly shouldn’t be used lightly— and absolutely not by bosses who use it a guilt hammer to coax loyalty out of workers like a drunk dad. Sorry, have I revealed too much here?
Nonetheless, I have some aversions to it’s use, as it usually isn’t earned or reciprocated by the boss who uses it… in my experience and observation anyway.