Having charaded as a football coach for 15 years early in my professional career, I found it amazing that thousands of young men show up for two-a-day football practices in the Texas heat each summer. Even more perplexing is the number of those young men that do so knowing full well that the deck is stacked against them. Many of these teams know their prospects of having a great season are nil, and even of having an average season are minimal.
Yet, show up they do. Work they do. Sweat, bleed, struggle, they do.
I once posed the question of why all those youngsters undertake such a daunting task, with such high risk of failure, to a large high school faculty.
After several awkward moments of pondering, the old offensive line coach signaled to me that he thought he knew the answer. His response: "They do it for Friday nights. For the chance to perform under the lights."
Of course they do! Whenever we give students the chance to somehow display their work in front of an audience, the level of engagement goes up, the level of work goes up, and the quality of work goes up.
Same goes for us old folks. Our game improves when we know others will be watching.
Somebody turn on the lights.