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I’m sure you’ve heard the old proverb: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” If so, then you know the meaning behind it too.

Working hard all of the time and not enjoying life (playing) makes you dull and boring.

I can remember my time at seminary where there was a large majority of people who (maybe myself included at times) took themselves waaaaaay too seriously. To me, these people were hard to hang around, talk with, and honestly even share the same space. The thing is, when people are put into possessions of leadership, a sense of responsibility and seriousness tends to come with the territory. 

Though I believe it’s true that a leader should learn to relax a little and have fun on his or her personal time, I also believe that those being lead should not only witness it, but partake in it as well. This weekend I learned that leading people to victory in an endeavor must include leading people to fun.

I agree, there is a place and time for it all, but that’s just the point – there must be a place and time where fun exists. If the leader never leads towards fun, then those being lead will find it one way or another, meanwhile losing respect for the leader. Maybe this is a bit far fetched, but I believe that it’s true. Encouraging people to enjoy what they are doing is only going to increase productivity and create an atmosphere where success is inevitable. 

This season, we have done well as a program. Our competitions have ended with favorable results and our athletes have been progressing quickly. We have worked very hard for these results and it shows at competitions.

This past weekend was a little different. Not because of how well we did (we did REALY well) but there was something different. Part of our goal is to demand the attention of the event. Not in a negative way, but in that we want to put on a great show that will preach our message of Christ. So we warm up in such a way that creates anticipation for our performance. This way, when we finally take the stage,  people are anxious to see what we will do and watch our performance. This weekend we accomplished that, but in a different way. Not only did we do it by the way we warmed up, but our behavior in the warm up room was a little different.

I believe that most of our athletes have fun while working hard. It is true that in the warm up room I am usually all business and my game face is hard to break. This weekend, my game face was still there, but it was accompanied by a smile. The Lord lead me to calm down a little and enjoy the time in the warm up room. I believe that this granted permission for the team to do the same. What happened from there was amazing.

I’m not talking about the results of the competition, but I am talking about the way the kids made all of the other teams feel. We had kids helping other teams with counts, clapping for hit stunts in the warm up room, encouraging other teams, and yes even inviting teams to join our prayer circle.

After reflecting on this weekend I noticed that the difference was simple but profound. This weekend was hard work, but it was fun all at the same time. The fun element is what set this weekend apart, and I believe that it brought out the very best of our teams; on and off the mat.

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