The other night I was watching ESPN and they were showing the greatest NCAA sports teams of all times. I was amazed at the success of Kenyon College’s swimming program.
Kenyon College Ladies’ NCAA Championship History
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has never had a women’s program, in any of its divisions, reach the same levels of success that the Kenyon College Ladies swimming and diving teams have reached.
Since the 1983-1984 season, the Ladies have won 21 of 24 NCAA Division III national championships. No other program, in any sport or any division of the NCAA, can even come close to that remarkable feat.
Each year, the Ladies rewrite the standards for superior performance and they are standards that, quite possibly, may never be attained by another NCAA women’s program.
On the Kenyon College Men’s side, the Lords swim team rang up their 29th consecutive NCAA Division III national championship. Since 1980, Division III men’s swimming has known no other swimming title-holder.
There are other remarkable teams that have great success like North Carolina women’s soccer team has won 19 National Championships since 1981. I’m sure you can think of others, but it made me think of what the athletes, coaches, and entire programs’ frame of mind must be when entering a season. They must think of nothing else but the best…nothing else but the top…nothing but winning another championship. There must be awesome team spirit and such a great focus on a common goal. It’s the goal of the team that ultimately matters…nothing else.
As a new season begins, here are some questions for teams to ponder:
What is your mind set when coming into this season? Do you think it is the same as Kenyon or UNC? How can you get your mind there?
What really are your expectations for the season? Can you raise your level of that expectation?
When coming into the locker room…are you thinking about mundane daily tasks or can you focus on the ultimate goal? What do you think these Championship teams think about the second they leave the locker room? Can you get your mind there?
What do you think the ultimate mindset of a team is when they have 28 consecutive national championships?
We need to get our thoughts in this direction. I honestly can’t expect us to go out and win a National Championship this year (although it would be nice), but I do think we can take strides in the right direction towards that ultimate goal. Look at great teams that have consecutive NCAA Championship births –
Alabama gymnastics has 25th consecutive national championship berth
Arizona Men’s Golf has 21 consecutive NCAA Championship appearances
Tennessee Women’s Basketball has 24 consecutive tournament appearances
Twenty-six years ago Alabama gymnastics was in the same position we are in. Twenty-two years ago Arizona golf was in the same position we are in. Twenty-five years ago Tennessee basketball was in the same position we are in. Those teams did not have the same recruiting pool as they do now. Those teams did not have the top recruits in the country. What they did have was determination, desire, heart, and gave blood, sweat, and tears to make the TEAM great. They decided to make a difference for their team and their program. They made history for their schools.
What mark are you going to make on this school? Are you going to make history?