Leave It All On The Floor

It’s that time where March Madness has me in its grips as I hang on every development within the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships. Every year it is like being abducted by aliens where my personal life revolves around what time the games are on. This is about the only time of the year where TV takes any sort of priority in our household, but it only comes once a year and is worth its weight in life lessons and inspiration. Not to mention, I can still remember growing up where it Women's Basketballwas impossible to find women’s basketball on television except for maybe the title game and even then on some obscure channel at an obscure time.

The phrase “leave it all on the floor” can’t be attributed to any one coach but I can guarantee that the best of them have said it at least once. What they mean by it is for each player to show up 100% and play full out leaving nothing in reserve for another day. Because, in March there is no tomorrow except for the winners.

In my opinion, the phrase really means being willing to give it your all – heart and soul and know that at the end of the game you’ll come away with no regrets. Notice I say no regrets here and not no mistakes. Of course there will be mistakes. That 40 minutes on the basketball court is a microcosm of life. There will be joys, sorrows, triumps, mistakes, things you disagree with (officiating alone could be an article in itself), people you love and can count on, and those you don’t prefer. At the end when that buzzer sounds, can you be certain that you gave it your all and can walk away with your head held high win or lose? That is the question.

What does “leaving it all on the floor” look like in the game of life? After all, most of us will never play sports at the elite level and even those that do eventually see their careers end. So what wisdom can we extract from this?

In my view it looks like:

  • Showing up 100% for the people you love and the commitments you make
  • Following a path and plan for your life that aligns with your highest potential
  • Trusting your gut and saying “yes” to the things that matter most to you
  • Taking calculated risks and occasionally throwing caution to the wind to do the things you know in your heart you most want to do
  • Speaking your truth (respectfully of course)
  • Living life fully awake and open through good times and bad
  • Making choices so you can live a life without regrets
  • Living with the end in mind (what legacy do you want to leave? what experiences do you most want to have during your time on this planet?)

These may all sound pretty lofty, but when you break it all down it is all a matter of choice in this moment. If you play the game right you string together enough amazing moments to have an incredible life. That’s all it takes — one moment at a time.

So, tomorrow is just another day, but for 40 minutes it’ll be the biggest game of their lives for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Tennessee Lady Vols basketball teams. With two of basketball’s legends at the helm – C. Vivian Stringer and Pat Summitt we will see legacy in action and a little microcosm of what it means to live life and leave it all on the floor.

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