Tonight we lost in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament. I typically don't write when I'm emotional, but I wanted to capture the feelings of this before they faded away.
I would be lying to you if I told you it didn't hurt. The way we lost. When we lost. None of it was enjoyable. Walking into the locker room afterwards was particularly tough. The faces of the men in that room told a story. The dazed look in their eyes of complete shock, wondering how we got to this point. The tears flowing from our four seniors who just saw their college careers end. The mood was raw. It wasn't fun, but it was real. We came into this tournament with a confident belief that we were prepared and we were ready to make a run. Unfortunately, things didn't go our way.
As the emotions set in, we realized our family was too strong to be broken apart by any loss. The love teammates showed to each other showed me how much this brotherhood means. Guys shared hugs, thanked the seniors, and picked each other up with encouragement and a positive outlook. They knew they would bounce back and be better for it.
Before the game, I tweeted this as I knew I would need it as a reminder no matter if we won or lost:
For me as a coach, I take losing hard. But I've been challenged by my #OneWord for 2018, "Surrender." I thought it was awesome that we embraced that call this week leading up to the tournament. Surrender the outcome. God is good all the time and he is sovereign over us. He already knew the outcome of that game and there's peace in knowing that God is in control. While it still sucks and I hate that we lost, there are lessons to be learned and growth to be made in order for us to return to Sioux Falls in 2019 to make a deeper run. As for now, I'm thankful for the opportunity God gave us to be here. It's my personal goal to glorify Jesus through the game of basketball and that gives me contentment to surrender the outcome to his will.