The team that broke the all-time record for most consecutive girl's team state championships is in the picture above. Proud dad moment: My daughter Elizabeth led her team to the record-breaking performance and is holding the state championship team award. Her team went on to win nine consecutive state championships which is a Washington State record for girls' consecutive state championships across all divisions.
Become The First-Ever To Break A Barrier
Just because something has never been done before does not mean you can’t be the one who breaks the barrier. Get it in your mind that you can be the one who breaks a formidable obstacle in your life. You, as well as others, will benefit from your hard work and determination.
I’ve been fortunate and blessed to coach many barrier-breaking athletes and teams. To watch teams become the first to break a barrier is something I will always cherish. To see the look in people's eyes when they break through a barrier is awe-inspiring.
Over the years, our teams have talked very intentionally about being the first-ever barrier breakers. Someone has to take on a barrier.
Being first for “first sake” is not the reason to break a barrier. It’s not just about you. Breaking a barrier opens the door for others to follow. Once you break a barrier, especially a personal barrier, it inspires others to do the same. You help and serve others when you do your best to become a barrier breaker.
I coached a team that broke the all-time state record for the most consecutive girl's state championships. When the team won their six straight state championship, they broke the state record for most consecutive state championships in any division. The team went on to win nine straight girls' state cross-country championships and an all-time state record across all state divisions.
What is interesting about this streak is that the first head coach Bill Kehoe coached four straight championships. When I became head coach, I coached five additional state championships in a row.
A tradition of excellence started when the first state championship occurred. Kids believed they could win state championships in successive years because of the first state championship barrier-breaking performance.
Setting a tradition of excellence inspires others to break through their obstacles and barriers in life. Intentionally raising standards and setting a bar high helps people do things they never thought were possible.
Another example of breaking barriers came from the team I currently coach. In their second year with a team, the JPII girls cross-country team was blessed to win the state cross-country championship.
No cross-country team in state history was found to have won a state team championship in just their second year with a team. The team also won the first-ever state athletic championship in the school's ten-year history. This fantastic girl's team opened the door for other future barrier-breaking performances.
Breaking a barrier is not about saying, "look what we've done."
Breaking a barrier shows others what’s possible in life and opens a door for others to follow. Breaking barriers is proven to improve performance across the entire sport or activity whatever it may be.
For example, running a sub-four-minute mile was thought by some to be an impossible barrier to break by many people before the barrier was broken.
When Roger Bannister broke the first sub-four minute mile, over 300 runners broke that same barrier over the next ten years. Bannister's amazing run opened the doors for others to follow.
Learning how to break barriers when you are young has major benefits as you enter your career and other parts of your adult life.
Society needs people who challenge the status quo by being barrier breakers in their profession and personal lives. There is always a need to improve the outcomes of any career you choose in life.
So be a barrier breaker for yourself and, far more importantly, for others. Set big goals that benefit others. You may just change a life for the better, forever.
If you are interested, you can read the JPII girls team story below.
The 2019 JPII girls' team won the state championship in just their second year with a full team. The are also quite possibly the first team to win the Academic State Championship in their first year as a team in 2018.