Commitment – What Does It Mean To You?

by Pete Carr

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova once said, “The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.”

Your club season is in either its early stages, or just finishing tryouts at this point.  A main theme across most teams is gauging potential recruits on their commitment level for the summer.  Each team is different, as each team has a variety of goals throughout the summer.  Casual teams may have a pickup “practice” once a week; they might look to play a few fun tournaments throughout the summer, while elite teams could have upwards of three practices a week preparing for their next travel tournament.  For Drag’n Thrust, it is no different.  Commitment is important to our team as we look to work hard through a summer of not only practices, but conditioning workouts as well, all grinding to prepare for our next tournament (normally requiring a flight to reach).
As a player, this can be difficult.  Life is busy and especially in Minnesota, the summer is short and winter is coming.  There are most likely a few weddings you are attending, maybe a vacation, then other social engagements you wish to pursue. All of these things become tricky when looking at your “ultimate schedule” for the summer, knowing that you need to commit to the other 26 players who are your teammates for this season.  Nothing is worse then coming to practice to see only 13 people showed up (despite your 27 player team roster).  Your team coaches and captains are especially taxed with the stress of re-arranging practices to fit the turnout they receive, and we as players don’t do them any favors with last minute texts letting them know we can’t make it.

Commitment matters, and in order to develop chemistry with teammates you need to put in the time with your team – especially as you add new players.  I believe this statement runs just as true for a high school player as an elite club player. Showing up and putting in the time is how you become a better player and how you further the growth of your teammates. The commitment of being in the present while at practice helps you challenge your teammates, potentially creating new scenarios in their mind for future game use.  Commitment means something different to every one of us.  To me, it’s a decision and lifestyle choice I’ve made for the next extended period of time. I choose to do it not only for myself, but for those at practice who are there and have made that same choice. It is a mutual respect each of us maintains.  We are all working to build something great and if everyone is on the same page, this becomes increasingly easier.

This year at tryouts, we had one of our largest turnouts ever, pulling men and women from all areas of the Twin Cities (and surrounding areas) and from across all divisions (Open, Women’s and Mixed). When explaining what a summer of Drag’n consisted of, a large majority of the crew was surprised with the level of work outside of tournaments Drag’n puts in.  There is a misconception that a mixed team simply doesn’t put in the same kind of work as other open and women’s teams.  While this may be the case for some, it certainly does not apply to us.  Commitment matters, and to create long standing programs, each of your players need to buy in to this idea of placing the development of your team over a competing social engagement.

As you start your club season reflect for a moment on that initial quote.

Are you the chicken or the pig?



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