Scoutmaster Minute: National Signing Day

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Note: Occasionally on the blog, I post Scoutmaster minutes that you can use in your troop (or modify for use in other settings). Writing and delivering Scoutmaster minutes is one thing I miss about being a Scoutmaster!

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In the football world, an annual post-Super-Bowl ritual is national signing day, when high-school players announce their college commitments. This year, ESPN devoted 11 straight hours to covering the event. All day long, sportscasters talked about various 5-star recruits and the impact they’re going to make on their college teams.

The interesting thing is that some of them won’t make much of an impact. Instead, they’ll get in trouble off the field or fail to perform on the field or both. And some players whose names weren’t announced on national signing day will become stars.

I’m always fascinated to hear the stories of no-star recruits who end up making it big in college or the pros, people like Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers. Here’s how The Extra Drive blog describes Matthews’ impact on the Packers: “As a star outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, Matthews became the first Packer since RB John Brockington to earn Pro Bowl recognition in his first three seasons and the only player in Packers history to score a touchdown in his first three seasons. He is known as one of the most dynamic and versatile defenders in the NFL today.” Not bad for someone who didn’t get recruited out of high school and had to walk on at USC.

So what does all that have to do with you Scouts? You don’t have to be the best athlete to make the team. You don’t have to be the smartest person in school to finish at the head of your class. You don’t have to have the strongest background to become a success in whatever field you want to pursue. Talent and training are important, of course, but you also need what coaches like to call “the intangibles”: a strong work ethic, good values, a willingness to learn, a drive to succeed. With them, you can overcome challenges and achieve success.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Clay Matthews.

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