• Tim Crone: All has to come together to win a title

  • It’s playoff time for high school fall sports – hard to believe!

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  • It’s playoff time for high school fall sports – hard to believe!
    These teams have been lifting weights and conditioning since last January. Add to that summer workouts, camps and leagues ... the time has arrived to see just how much of that has paid off.
    Softball and golf are already in the middle of state play with the rest of the sports soon to follow suit (within the next two weeks). The goal for every individual athlete and every team is to have the opportunity to compete at the state level. In order for those individuals and teams to win a state championship the stars must line up just right.
    No. 1 in that lineup is that talent and hard work must come together. Talent seems obvious, but it must be combined with endless effort and hard work.
    Second, teams must consistently win at all levels along the way. Obviously, you have to do well against comparable opponents, but you also have to play well against opponents who you are supposed to beat. Too often a team takes a victory for granted and fails to play up to their capability. It just can't happen if you plan to earn a championship ring.
    The third factor is luck – all championship teams generally experience at least a little. For instance, remaining free of injuries or the ball bouncing your direction. Even if you face a team with an untimely injury, it can change the whole complexion of a championship run.
    No. 4 is that every single individual within the program must be on the same page. If any segment loses focus, the entire dream can head south in a hurry. Focus on individual glory can also derail a championship – probably more quickly than any of the other factors.
    The fifth and final factor is to enjoy the ride. Even if you fall a little short, it is still a great experience to compete against the best. To compete in the big game (sometimes of a lifetime) does justice to coaches and players alike.
    Good luck to all in the pursuit of a state title. It creates a truly magical moment.
    n Combined, it has been a total of 44 years since the Chiefs and Royals have won a playoff game. I hope that before I depart this world I will see a return to respectability of the Kansas City professional sports world.
    n Missouri fans are beginning to understand that being a member of the SEC is the real deal and not just hype.
    n The situation at Arrowhead was a little shaky last Sunday as fans held up signs reading “KC Fans Deserve Better Than This!”
    n My quote this week is from NBA player and coach Bill Sharman: “I take the game very seriously. That’s why I demand so much from my players. You have to win – everything, all the time. What is sleeping and eating compared to winning?”
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