“The slipper still fits!”

We are in the midst of March Madness, one of the biggest times for sports fans across the country. As the men’s and women’s tournaments continue, fans are treated to a truly magical time when we see Cinderella stories emerge.



Gus Johnson – March 18, 1999

Gonzaga defeats Florida

in the Sweet 16, 73 – 72


This year is no different with No. 10 Miami, No. 11 Michigan, No. 11 Iowa State and No. 15 Saint Peter’s all advancing to the Sweet 16 on the men’s side and No. 10 South Dakota punching its ticket to the Sweet 16 on the women’s side. What can our kids learn from March Madness?


On paper, underdogs aren’t the favorites for a reason. They may not have the most talented players or biggest names, but they never stopped believing they could pull off the upset. That perseverance is something that can carry kids forward throughout life. In sports, it’s why we play the game. There’s always a chance (remember, “Any given Sunday.”?) and no matter what everyone else thinks, an underdog who has prepared well and believes in that preparation, can shock the world. That hope is critical to success in sports, giving kids a reason to continue to work hard and put in the effort to improve.


In life, there will always be people who doubt you and say that something isn’t possible. March Madness is a reminder that it doesn’t matter where you start. Your dedication will pay off in big ways, even when no one else believes you. The key is just believing in the first place.

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