How do you as a coach, player, or fan deal with a team that lacks enough talent to win? It’s a tough situation to deal with in a sports world of constant comparison. I’ll use one of my two favorite sports teams as an example.
I’m feeling blue about the St. Louis Blues. The organization tries so hard. They get the fans hopes up with summer trades and free agent signings. The local sports writers and (paid) club employee broadcasters play up the teams prospects for the current season and glow about some of the young prospects.
The Blues have never won the Stanley Cup in more than 50 year of existence. I’ve witnessed all of them. I feel like a Chicago Cubs baseball fan before they became really good and won… I just can’t say it.
Here is the point I am trying to make. Sometimes it’s not just a matter of enough effort, better team chemistry, a lack of leadership, injuries, or of players being “fragile.” These are the reasons that many of the St. Louis local media give for the team’s shortcomings. Some of these reasons might have some validity. But it’s hard for some people to face the truth. There are times a team simply does not have enough talent no matter how hard they try.
In pro sports and big-time college athletics this can get coaches fired. In high school athletics it can get coaches to re-focus on individual and team improvement. It can get a coach and a team to focus more on their mission rather than results. It can give you the “opportunity” to learn tough lessons that can test your will and your happiness if the outcome is important to you. It is a daunting challenge to navigate how to respond (i. e. coach or player) when truly invested and the talent is not there to contend for the desired outcome.