March Madness and marriage: 10 lessons for building a winning home team
(Catholic Online) – After a season that encompassed autumn, a multitude of games, winter, the holidays, exams and the entrance of spring, the crème de la crème of college basketball teams will end this year’s NCAA basketball tournament on April 3.
Four of the 65 “finalists” will test their well-honed skills to try to bring home the 2006 title.
In some households, this annual event otherwise know as “March Madness” may have caused minor, or possibly, major frustrations in a marriage relationship. The degree of interest in the tournament may range from becoming the top priority of each day to a downright obsession.
A probable culprit behind this shift of focus is media mechanics, which include: incessant radio and television commentaries, daily tournament grids in the newspapers, and up to the minute Web updates.
Hands down, IT is and has been over the last three weeks the buzz in the air and at the office.
For a nonsports-minded spouse, this hoopla remains a mystery.
The neglected spouse may wonder why so much time and energy is spent on this spectator sport, and wish that the same enthusiasm shown during this event, be shown at home.
Maybe fresh look at the situation could bring about a change of attitude and a better understanding of the event.
Considering that “March Madness” is so popular that it is woven into the fabric of our culture, there must be some positive attributes.
There may even be some lessons to learn and the possible discovery of some common ground for the couple to share.
Though this tournament is a competition for the trophy, title and glory, it is also a celebration and acknowledgement of the work and commitment all of the student athletes and all of the teams have shown over the course of the season.
Some of the basics that brought these teams to the highest level of their leagues and to the college basketball world are:
- There is a general protocol – rules – understood and carried out by all participants.
- At their best, there is clear, concise verbal and nonverbal communication between team members.
- There is a strong spirit of commitment.
- There are strategies to work together as a team to get the job done.
- There is time shared a regular basis to strengthen the unit.
- There is a united effort toward a goal and/or goals.
- From opening tip-off to the final buzzer, the team members show hope, faith and strength.
- There is perseverance of all members of the team, sharing the workload.
- In time of game crisis, time outs are called.
- Last, but not least, teams often pray together before the beginning of a game.
Aha! There is common ground.
How ironic! All 10 factors that create successful teamwork on the basketball court are the same principles that build a strong marriage.
This paradigm shift for the non-sportive spouse might make watching this sporting event a pleasure, knowing that there is much more to be aware of than the score.
Hats off to the college teams – Florida, George Mason, LSU and UCLA – that made it to the Final Four. Watching any of the playoff games will be an opportunity for old and new fans alike to share the accomplishments of these fine athletes and learn a lesson or two about successful teamwork on the home court.
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Mary Carty is the Home and Family editor of Catholic Online.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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