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Don’t Forget the Message

Don’t Forget the Message

 
By:  Justin Fatica July 26, 2021

This past weekend, my basketball team and I travelled to an AAU tournament. The first game of the tournament, we lost to a team that was less talented. After working together for almost a year now, the loss had me frustrated and discouraged with the boys on my team. I went to prayer, and asked God for help, and He spoke to my heart the phrase “they forgot”.

Then it hit me. As a team, we forgot the reason that we were all there. We forgot about the MESSAGE, and that’s a big factor as to why we lost, why we weren’t playing as a team, and why their attitudes weren’t good.

Every Sunday morning during tournaments, I have a Team Message with the team where I share about God, about life, and about basketball. This week, I shared a message to remind them of the importance of why we are here. If we always remember and stick to the message as a team, we can beat any team in the country.

1. There is no can’t – we gotta believe!
I tell my team that we are here for deeper reasons than basketball. In life, you don’t have to force things. You just gotta believe. Being a believer is powerful. Every action and reaction that you have matters.

When I was really frustrated with one of my players once, I wrote him a letter, but didn't give it to him. In the letter I shared about how he was acting affected me, how I was frustrated by his actions. However, I also wrote that no matter what he did it wouldn’t change the love I had for him or how much I believe in him, that no matter how he treated me, I would love and believe in him no matter what. A few weeks later, I gave him that letter and shared with him that it was at a time when I was most frustrated at him.

2. No blaming - only teamwork!

 Blaming doesn’t help anything - the enemy does that. He is a blamer and we don’t want to be like him. It is only as a team that we can achieve greatness. In basketball and in life. We always need a team, and we need to stop blaming others when things don’t go our way. I told my boys during this message “If I die tomorrow, you’re not going to remember the coach I was - you’ll remember the person I was”. We need to stop blaming and focus on who the people on our team are, not what they do for us. What won’t die is the person that you are.


3. When I fail - only victories!

When we fail, that is when we have a choice: We can either choose to turn that failure into a victory or to let it get the better of us. I shared with my team that failure doesn’t mess me up, it only helps me to persevere. With God, there is no failure! The only way that we can be free is when you let go of things good and bad alike – and see them all as victories for God. The best way to have victory is when you fail, to apologize, believe in people, and to stop blaming. Then we are on God’s team!

After I shared this team message we went to our last game. That game, the boys played with the best teamwork they have ever played. They believed in one another and listened on the court. They ended in victory and beat a team that was very competitive. This was a lesson for us all: When we remember the “message” and the “why,” then we will fight because we believe, have teamwork and only have room for victory!

Take Action!
Commit today to choosing one person or situation in life that is hard for you, and choosing to believe, be a team, and see victory in it.

Pray:
Lord, help me to believe, help me to be a team player, and help me to see victory in my failures. Help me to know that with you, I am always victorious.




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