What Does It Take to Win A Championship?
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What Does It Take to Win A Championship?

We're all in this together.

What Does It Take to Win A Championship?
Rachel Gagliardo

When all is said and done, one team will be left, one team will be the winner, one team will hoist a trophy over their head, one team will be coined champions. But how does one team achieve this? There is so much more that goes into winning a championship than just showing up to the game known as the championship game and winning.

It takes everyone. However many people are on the roster, that is the number of people that will be involved in winning the championship. Every sport is different, but for this article, I am going to focus specifically on softball. However, all of these points can apply to any sport. Softball allows nine players to start the game, maybe 10 depending on if you use the DH/Flex position. That leaves around five-10 people sitting on the bench not starting in the game. Some games, those non-starters may be given an opportunity to play. Other days they may not be given the opportunity. Yet, if you want to win a championship you need every single one of these players. I do not mean that you need all of those players to physically play in the game because you can get away with only using nine or 10 players. What I mean by this is you need the whole team to be present emotionally in order to win a championship. Everyone is involved in the game, some playing the field, some only hitting, some only provide support by cheering for others. You will not win a championship if your team is divided between starters and bench players. On the front of the players' jersey, it says the same thing, your team name. It does not say "STARTER" or "BENCH PLAYER". You are one cohesive unit and you will only accomplish your goals when you play together as a team. Everyone has to be in it together.

It takes hard work from everyone. Throughout the whole season, day in and day out, everyone must be working hard to get better. Progress doesn't happen in one day. It takes time, which is why players must be dedicated to get better. You don't just get to show up to the championship game because you want to; you can do that as a spectator. But do you want to be a spectator or player in the championship game? The difference between playing in that championship game and watching it is hard work. If you want to just watch the game, by all means go ahead and be lazy the whole year. But if you want to be a champion, work hard. Winning games throughout the season and post-season will bring you that much closer to being able to hoist up a trophy above your head.

It takes resilience from everyone. The post season should be named unpredictable season because, honestly, you never know what is going to happen. Mother nature plays a huge role in this unpredictable nature. One minute you may be playing then the next it may start to downpour and your game is delayed. Resilience plays a huge factor in a team's success. You have to be ready for anything. You have to be able to be ready to play one minute and then come back strong after a rain delay. Another major component of the post season is that you don’t necessarily know exactly who you will be playing. The team that has the most resilience will be the most successful. It shouldn't matter who, when, or where you are playing. The successful team will be the team that doesn't care. They just show up ready to play at all times. Throughout the season there are going to be teams you lose to that you shouldn’t lose to. This is where resilience comes into play. The team that will make it to the championship game will learn from those loses. They will bounce back and be ready for the next game having new attained knowledge on how to succeed.

It takes confidence from everyone. Having confidence in your own abilities will help you mentally. If you are struggling mentally don't let anyone know it. Champions don't let anyone know or see their weaknesses. Confidence is vital in all aspects of the game. Not only do you have to have confidence in yourself, but you also have to have confidence in your team's abilities. When the pinch hitter comes in cold, when bases are loaded in the last inning, are you going to believe in them to score the winning run? A championship team believes in everyone. Every single person on the team serves an important role.

Not everyone will be a named a champion. There will be a loser walking off of the field the day of the championship game. People don't realize how much it takes to be a champion. It takes 5 a.m. practices, early morning strength and conditioning, dedication, extra reps and sacrifices in order to get to the championship game. You can get to that game and lose, but the team that works hard all year round is the team that will be successful. The team that has each other's backs will be successful. The team that believes in one another will be successful. The team that is “all in this together” will be successful. The team that stays together will hoist the trophy over their head, wear the championship T-shirt, receive the diamond ring and will walk off the field knowing that they gave it their all, are now able to call themselves champions.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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