Strength and Honor… Speed and Power

Strength and Honor… Speed and Power

How does one teach the foundation of sportsmanship to their children?  How do you know they are understanding the lessons you want them to learn?  How can you make sure your offspring have integrity, hard work, good moral values, teamwork, and basically just knowing how to treat people.

I don’t think I have the answers to these questions. I often wonder how the heck do my daughters make it from point A to point B with a father like me?   I was such a screw up as a child.  I am still screwing up as an adult.

I had a conversation I shared today with a good friend about what I tell my daughters.  It basically went along the lines of, “You are my blood.  There are things my family does not do.  There are lines we do not cross.  You don’t lie and you don’t cheat.  You DO have integrity.  You do the right thing even when nobody is looking.”

I feel that sports have been a better teacher than I could ever be.

Ever since the girls were 4 years old running on the soccer field I would say these words,

“Strength and Honor…. Speed and Power.”  They would chant them back to me and punch their fist into their other hand.

Strength to muscle your way through the task at hand.  You will always pass out before you die. So push yourself until you cannot push anymore.  Only then will you be happy knowing you gave it everything you had.

Honor to treat the opponents, your teammates, your coaches, and the referees with respect.  But most of all you honor the game you play… It will be either the sport you play or the life that you are living.

Speed to push yourself to move faster in everything you do on the field or off.

Power to show that explosiveness along with your speed.  When you make a change of direction or begin to move you push yourself as hard as you can in that direction.  Apply this to your other activities in life.  You push yourself in whatever direction you have to turn.

Sports can be applied to everything you do.

I can just look at the girls today and say, “Strength and Honor…” and they will always repeat, “Speed and Power”


My youngest daughter, B, learned a valuable lesson this weekend.  She has been hurting from a nagging knee injury.  My older daughter, R, always has nagging injuries but she plays through them.  You don’t even here a complaint from her.

B complains often.

R and I sat with B after last weekend’s tournament (where B came out of a game due to knee and we lost).  I allowed R to explain that all athletes play with something hurting.  There is a huge difference from “being hurt” or “being injured”.  Are you hurt or injured?  The trainer said that her knee is just sore and was strained.  She can play if she can handle the pain once it is taped.  He also explained that her ability to sprint will be severely hampered.  R and I explained that a 50% B is better than the other options.  But you will never be a great player until you learn to tell the difference between being hurt or being injured.


R pulled off her socks and showed B her injuries.  Both ankles were twice the size as normal and had a dark ring of purple around them.  Her knees were scabs torn off of older scabs last week.  Her calf was still swollen from being kicked.  Her bottom lip was bloody from doing a face plant into the turf.  She is missing two toe nails and she can barely walk.  But when game time comes around and the whistle blows she is the best player on the field.

B came out this weekend and scored 5 goals in 3 games.   Honestly she was a complete beast.  Nobody could contain her.  She was running through double and triple teams.  She was pulled down by her arm, by her jersey, kicked in the back of the legs, shoved to the ground with full extension of arms.  Basically she was repeatedly fouled.  She battled.  She was a warrior.  She scored.  Then after the game she walked up to each defender that was trying to stop her and shook their hands.  Class.


She looked like her big sister more this weekend than she ever has.

I am blessed.  There is nothing else I can say.  Truly truly bless.  What I will say is this,

Strength and Honor, Speed and Power.