Grow the Game®

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Temporary Stewards of a Permanent Game

I am truly excited to come on to Lacrosse All Stars as a regular writer, following my History of Lacrosse series. Since my work schedule is incredibly hectic, I committed to writing one post per month for LAS on topics that I come up with or that Connor sends me. I wanted my first post as a regular writer to cover what I believe the people and readers at LAS are all about, which is the mission to Grow The Game.

This game existed centuries before any of us were born, and it will be here long after we pass. The only real question we should ask ourselves is, “did I leave this game better then when I found it?

We are all temporary stewards of a permanent game. Lacrosse survived its mythical origins, the colonization of Native American lands, the standardization of rules, and the incredibly fast expansion of our modern age. Lacrosse survived all of that, and it will survive us. We are guardians, caretakers, and stewards of this game that we all love, but how do we Grow The Game in a manner that respects its history and reflects the passion we have for it?

I researched this question and I discovered Art Petty’s website, Management Excellence By Art Petty, and his post We Are All Just Temporary Stewards. The idea behind being a Temporary Steward is that you and I are not going to be around forever, but our impact on lacrosse, both good and bad, will reverberate long after we shuffle off our mortal coil. Petty wrote the Tenets of the Temporary Steward. I’ve modified his work to be specific towards our stewardship of lacrosse.

The Tenets of the Temporary Lacrosse Steward:

  • I am responsible for contributing more everyday than I take out of lacrosse
  • I am accountable to the future players, coaches, and officials to do my best to ensure that this sport is in a good place for them to contribute to, learn from, and to grow
  • I recognize that I am here on the good graces of my teammates and fellow lacrosse colleagues, and I will seek to create value for them every day
  • If I coach anyone, I am responsible for doing the heavy lifting and difficult work in providing constant feedback, and supporting individual development
  • I am responsible for watching what is going on in the world around us, and for helping to pick a path to march down. I am also responsible for recognizing when we’ve chosen the wrong path and helping us change course
  • I won’t take myself so seriously that it causes me to strike out in anger, play politics, or spend unproductive time complaining
  • I will work hard to recognize when it is my time for my stewardship to end, and I’ll look back on the successes and failures as learning experiences. I’ll leave the regrets for someone else, because as a Temporary Lacrosse Steward, I’ll know that I left everything that I had on the lacrosse field

Modified from Art Petty’s original “Tenets of the Temporary Steward

The players will not be remembered just for the amount of goals they scored. The coaches will not be remembered just for how many wins they amassed. The officials will not be remembered just for how many flags they threw. Those individuals we positively impact will remember us by the manner in which we scored those goals, won those games, and threw those flags.

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson