By: Samantha Parrish


We are down to two teams in the NFL. Super bowl 50 is next week which means that high profile players like Peyton Manning and Cam Newton are even more in the spotlight than usual. It also means, for most of us whose teams are not in the big game, we start deciding who we will be rooting for and developing opinions on teams that may not have crossed our radar until now.

 Lately, I have heard a lot of criticism of Cam Newton and his celebrations in the end zone. Obviously we all love him giving game balls to young kids but is the dancing and excitement in the end zone too much? I recently watched an interview where Cam said “I work too damn hard to bottle up my emotions.” Since the majority of people reading this are either athletes or raising/ coaching athletes I thought it was an interesting point- when is celebration too much? I am not going to answer that question for you but I hope to bring up some points to help you decide what the best celebration is for you (or your athletes).

There is no doubt that there is adrenaline involved in sports- when Richard Sherman came under fire for some ‘excessive celebration’ or ‘unsportsmanlike’ conduct after the conference championship, many dismissed it as him being pumped up after a victory. Adrenaline runs thick even in the stands- as many of you can attest to after years of watching someone you love play sports. Surely that adrenaline needs to be released somewhere. That is why (some of us) get such a thrill out of jumping up, shouting or high-fiving when things go well for our team. Imagine how the players on the field must feel to see the fruits of their labor come out in a positive way.

John Wooden seems to feel very strongly about the power of excitement or in his words ‘Enthusiasm’: In John’s pyramid of success he has ‘Enthusiasm’ as a cornerstone. Here is a quote from his book: “A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections”

The two cornerstones of my Pyramid of Success, Industriousness and Enthusiasm, provide strength individually but much more strength when combined as one. I described Industriousness: very hard work. But hard work is not enough. It must be ignited, lit afire by something that will raise it to the extraordinary level required for success. That ‘something’ is your Enthusiasm, which infuses hard work with inspired power that all great competitors have.

Your heart must be in your work. Your energy and Enthusiasm stimulates those you work with. It is the ingredient that transforms Industriousness into something of great magnitude- the engine that powers all blocks of the Pyramid. It is why I chose Industriousness and Enthusiasm as the cornerstone of my Pyramid of Success. It is where everything begins.

Enthusiasm for our athletes can mean as little as a fist pump after a strike out, a chest bump after a home run all the way to a dog pile at the end of a championship. Do we want to put a cap on their enthusiasm? I know I am not good at containing mine in the stands when Garrett is playing! J I would challenge you and your athlete to find a celebration that works for them while keeping it in the realm of ‘being a good sport’. Elite Athletes across all sports have their own way of celebrating favorable performances.


If you missed this weeks radio show Coach Wolforth and Jill discuss the importance of celebrating but in a little different setting- you can listen to that here

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