My son’s team had their last basketball game of the season yesterday – and it was so much fun! I was privileged to be the assistant coach and I loved every minute of it! But you know one of the best things? Over the season, at practice, at games our cheer was “Rule #1 is have fun!”

Now, I was coaching 3 and 4 grade boys so ages 8-10 so you never know how much they are really listening or paying attention. As many times as you say something you can just never be sure. Yet at the start of yesterday’s game, as I was lining up the boys to start the game, they said “Hey coach, we are gonna have fun today!” And my heart swelled.

And to top it off – they played awesome! They were dribbling AND looking up the court…They were passing…They were taking good shots…They were rebounding…and, you guessed it…They were all having fun!

They played hard but they had smiles on their faces in between plays. They worked together, made some good picks and followed their shots. It was so fun to see all of the hard work, practices and games come together.

And this may come as a surprise but there were no trophies! You heard right, there were no trophies…just smiles, high-fives and celebration for coming together as a team.

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I don’t know about you but in this day and age I think there are too many trophies given out to kids. Admittedly I will sound “old” right now but I remember when I was a kid that everyone didn’t get a trophy. Trophies were given out when you won a championship, when you went to states…not just for showing up.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Practice and hard work are to be celebrated but I also think that when you sign up for something, you should give it your all. It is expected that you will work hard, that you will try, that you will learn and elevate your game. I see too many kids (and people) sign up for something and either breeze through it or don’t really try. It gets too hard or they get bored or just give up.

But here’s the interesting part – if you bring fun to what you do, bring enjoyment into what you do, it’s easier to work hard, to stick with it and complete it. Just imagine if you kept the Rule #1 in your playbook? What difference would that make? What would you try? What would you complete?