The reason many people cheer for Cinderella during March Madness is
understanding what they’re up against. The rules don’t provide these
financially overmatched teams with help to defeat the leading teams
and their limitless resources.
So they have to get creative and work at their craft. It’s often the
scrappy underdogs that pioneer systems that keep them competitive.
Those systems work and others mimic them (ever heard of the Princeton
offense?) because it doesn’t matter where a good idea comes from, it
just matters if it works.
Imagine if small teams tried to beat the big dogs at their game? How
successful would they be? How often do you hear these student-athletes
talk about “our system” and “teamwork.”
No, they don’t always win the ultimate prize, but there’s only one of
those each year anyway. It’s not an accident the players who feel they
have nothing to lose, seem to be having the most fun game in and game
The real takeaway in my mind is about having a philosophy, believing
in it and working just as hard in all facets of the game as the
so-called virtuosos do. Your outcomes might not be heralded on a large
scale, but it doesn’t make your work any less significant or