By Drew Logsdon (Western Kentucky)
This year’s Masters tournament may go down as one of the best if not one of the most interesting. The storylines alone were prime fraternity house gossip topics. The superstar who fell from grace and was trying to reclaim his rightful place at the top; the young-guns storming up the leaderboard before the weekend; the Aussies attempting to make history late Sunday; and of course the former champion from Argentina looking for a second jacket as his playing partner self-destructed. There are tons of lessons we can draw from the tournament but I’ll focus on three in particular here.
The first is that competition is always good. Sunday was fun to watch for several reasons but the biggest one was that there were so many excellent competitors. I hear from chapters now and then that they don’t want another fraternity on campus because they’ll essentially make it harder to be good. That’s a cop out. What makes winning so thrilling and rewarding is not only how much work you’ve done but also the competition you faced.
The second lesson is that when things get tough be prepared for it to only get tougher. Nothing is easy in this world, whetherit be achieving career success or winning a Rock Chapter award. We watched as Rory McIlroy quickly self-destructed when just that morning he was holding the lead by four strokes with steady play the previous three days. This isn’t to bash on McIlroy (he lost the Master’s at 21, I’d say he’s a step ahead of many people in his age group) but to show that you can’t let a stumble turn into a nose-diving crash. Suck it up and push forward. To McIlroy’s credit we never saw him quit. He never said “Well I’ve lost this year, I should probably stop now and just hang out with Jim Nantz for the rest of the day.” Is your chapter on a Plan of Action? Is your chapter in debt? Did your chapter not get the grades it expected? Suck it up and push forward. The Masters wasn’t the nail in the coffin of McIlroy’s career; don’t let one mistake completely derail your chapter’s success.
The last lesson to touch upon is of course that it’s not over until it’s over. You don’t get to put on the green jacket until you’ve walked off the 18th hole. Your chapter won’t be awarded a Rock Chapter award until it’s firmly in your hands. Sometimes chapters begin working on their Pursuit of Excellence submission in mid-March. There’s still a month and a half left! That’s plenty of time to still put together an event or hold some more LEAD sessions. Fall rush week ended? Well take another week or a couple of extra days to keep recruiting. This is not to say that you shouldn’t plan ahead of time using the resources offered, but don’t throw in the towel so early.
As I said from the start, this past weekend’s Masters tournament was full of storylines. What will your chapter’s storyline be? The Rock Chapter that redefined Excellence? The under-dog who crept up out of nowhere and stole the spotlight? You’re the author of your Fraternity experience and only you will determine whether it’s an epic tale or a children’s book.