Thursday, January 10, 2013

Roles and Legacy

Whether you’re watching highlights on TSN or sitting in the stands at a high school game you hear people talking about “players’ roles”.  Teams can succeed or fail based on how well players understand, accept, and embrace their roles.  Roles on our team are well defined.  Ask any of my teammates what her role is and she’ll be able to tell you.  We each have a list of things we focus on doing every day.

Some roles are a lot more glamourous than others.  There are girls on my team whose roles involve scoring points, running our offense, or leading us across various statistical categories. There are roles (including mine) that aren’t as exciting. Roles that are about making teammates better in practice, and being positive on the bench.

Yesterday we had a “role meeting”.  Everyone met in the team room and we went around and shared our roles.  We do this so that everyone knows what to expect from each other and we can help keep each other accountable.

All this talk about roles got me thinking about legacy, about what gets left behind after a player graduates. (Remember back in September when I warned you about my melodramatic end-of-career ramblings? Well, here we go…).  I have teammates who are going to be in record books, their names on plaques for the rest of UNB’s history.  In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not one of those players.

I’ve come to terms with that, and I’m okay with it. My struggle now is trying to figure out how be relevant, how to create something that lasts beyond my time here.  It’s like the way that I hope (a little shamefully) that every now and then in the Quest Kermodes locker room someone pipes up with a comment about how they miss me, or a story about something I did.  They’ve moved on, and it should be noted that they’re doing quite well, but a little part of me hopes that they miss me.  I know it’s selfish, but I can’t help it.

I just finished reading Don’t Put Me In, Coach, a book by Ohio State men’s basketball walk-on Mark Titus. Titus chronicled his time as a Buckeye on a blog he created titled Club Trillion.  For the most part he wrote about team shenanigans and the pranks he pulled on his NBA-bound teammates, all while remaining pleasantly self-deprecating.  He became a sort of hero for benchwarmers, average Joe’s, and anyone who was ever picked last.  When a player gets in for one minute and does not record a single stat her stat line reads as a 1 followed by a row of zeros, or, a trillion, and that’s where Club Trillion came from. 

The book really helped me put my role into perspective because there are players like me on every team.  Ones who have embraced their role better than I have. Heck, embraced it enough to publish a book about it.  On my team all of our roles are different, but they are all of equal value. Sure, we wouldn’t be a very good basketball team if our five starters disappeared, but we would be even worse if they were the only ones on the team.

I’m not going to make a play to win a game, or lead my team in a statistical category (except maybe ‘most Trillions’) but that doesn’t mean that my role doesn’t have value. Maybe Claire is a better captain because of conversations we’ve had.  Maybe three years from now Chelsey invites a rookie over for dinner when she sees she’s had a tough week. Maybe Katelyn gets a little bit stronger every day because I’m there pushing on her.  Actually, who am I kidding, that last one is definitely true, and I have the bruises to prove it.


This weekend we play on Saturday against St.FX.  The game times are flipped so the boys play at 6:00 and we follow at 8:00.  Mark your calenders.  As always you can get the details at

For more info on Mark Titus check out his blog at and before you go out and buy his book for your loved ones just a heads up that it's a little crude (if it were a movie it would probably have a 14A rating)



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