The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has affected life the way we know it in a multitude of ways.

The cancellation of activities in the world of sports has been a real eye-opener. When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver suspended the season and the NCAA and other pro leagues followed suit, the seriousness of the virus became a reality.

The word hoax went out the window.

As we live in a world without sports, life lessons taught by them apply in the world of crises we are all facing right now. We need to attack the situation with the same positives as a great team when competing.

The first step is to all come together to accomplish a common goal. Success can never be attained unless everyone is pulling in the same direction. Any type of division can spell defeat.

The second step is to listen to the coaches. The coaches in this case are medical professionals who are trained how to attack the virus and how to educate the public about the game plan. The medical community has seen some resistance, which can impede a successful outcome.

The third step for a successful team is for all team members and coaching staff to be truthful and committed to the cause. Commitment needs to come through sound judgment, not through simple words. Any team has the ability to attack any situation when there is confidence in the entire team.

The fourth step is to respect but not fear the opponent. Winners believe in winning; losers think about losing. Respect the opponent but never give up on ways to defeat the opponent. There is nothing more important as a motivator than the desire to win. A win in this case is the welfare and well-being of you and your family.

The fifth lesson is to learn self-sacrifice for the betterment of the team. Fear can create an overreaction. We are seeing chaos in the stores with something as simple as toilet paper in scarce supply as a result. Sports teams realize that success comes through sharing the pain of hard work through sacrifice for the good of the team and ultimate team goals. A selfish teammate can bring the entire team to its knees.

Rudyard Kipling said it best when he stated, “The strength of the wolf is in the pack, and the strength of the pack is the wolf.”

Sports and America have always been a good match. Our country has always been known for a willingness to be part of a team. Our success in the future will be determined by the same life lessons learned on athletic fields and gyms all over this great country.

Great champions put team first. We are champions and we will rise above this pandemic to defeat the opponent.

• The quote of the week is from American writer Tomas A. Buckner: “I am glad I am an optimist. The pessimist is half-licked before he starts. The optimist has won half the battle, the most important half that applies to himself, when he begins his approach to a subject with the proper mental attitude. The optimist may not understand , or if he understands, he may not agree with prevailing ideas; but he believes, yes, knows that in the long run and in due course they will prevail whatever is right and best.”

– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at