From After-Thought to Champion
The 2011-12 Football season came to an end with an excellent Super Bowl. However, there are several lessons from this year's run by the New York Giants that directly applies to your spring recruitment. Below are the top four reasons the last team standing was victorious on the biggest stage.
The Right Pieces
Every team in the beginning of the year seeks out pieces to the puzzle of success. There are many different ways to go about this, but the Giants sought to bring in unproven talent. These men had the tools and desire, but lacked the opportunity. How many of you can say you had heard the name Victor Cruz before the season began? The undrafted, unheralded wide receiver came from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst known more for its artificial intelligence department (ranked 8th in the country) than athletics. In 2010, he played in three games without a catch. This year he burst onto the scene when injuries to other highly touted players gave him a chance. He seized the opportunity and helped lead the team to a Super Bowl victory. You have this chance with each recruitment cycle. Look for men with high academic standards, principle and values focused, and those with a desire to make a difference in the world. That individual could lead your chapter to greatness and become a Teke success story. He just needs someone to believe in him - be that guy.
All of the talent in the world will only get you so far. The NFL is littered with major busts as a result of the thought if they get the strongest and fastest, the rest will take care of itself. This isn't a good way of going about business - especially in a chapter. The Giants took calculated risks based on great research and the coaches it had in place. Do you think Jacquian Williams, a linebacker from South Florida drafted in the sixth round, would have been a starter his rookie year without being coached heavily by Defensive Coordinator Frater Perry Fewell (Delta-Iota, Lenoir-Rhyne College)? Williams forced a fumble late in the NFC Championship game to set-up the Giants for a game-winning field goal vaulting them into the Super Bowl. Much like Frater Perry, you must take the talented pool of candidates and work with them on maximizing their talents. Someone could be great with numbers which would be an ideal candidate for Crysophylos. Or maybe they are very outgoing - this could be your next recruitment chairman. The key is to figure out what they are best at and find someone in the chapter to mentor and teach them how to be a great Teke.
Calm Under Pressure
After suffering a four-game losing streak, the Giants stood in the Dallas locker room getting ready for their game with the Cowboys with a record of 6-6. All signs pointed toward a season unfulfilled and missing the playoffs. The team came together and said there was no way they were going down like this. Frater Kevin Gilbride (Tau-Eta, Southern Connecticut State Univ.) huddled his offense saying they needed to stay the course - it will pay off. Eli Manning threw for 400 yards, Brandon Jacobs ran for more than 100 yards and the team won 37-34. They went 3-1 over the last four games and took their momentum to a Super Bowl victory. If you had a poor fall recruitment, it's not time to throw in the towel. It's time to regroup and push harder in the spring. Even if the formal period is over, you don't need to be satisfied. You have a great opportunity to build your chapter and take it to new heights. The Giants proved that if you really want it - take it. When the pressure is on, you can do one of two things - crumble or take a breath and bear down. You know what you have to offer a potential candidate. Get out there and show them why being a Teke is the best decision they will ever make.
A chapter that has a steady persistence in a course of action can handle any difficulties, obstacles or discouragement. The Giants overcame seemingly insurmountable odds. They had injuries, a grueling schedule, and everyone had written them off as insignificant. Ten other teams were thought to have a better chance to win it all at the beginning of the season. When they sat at 7-7, only they still believed it was possible. Do you ever feel like the other Greeks on campus are looking for you to fail? Or that you would be the last fraternity to win the major campus awards? You aren't alone. The key to success is planning and execution. By having a great recruitment, a foundation is laid. There is no better morale booster than an infusion of enthusiastic new men. Putting those new members in positions of influence will continue this momentum. Once it starts, very few things can stop it. Luckily, you don't have 300-pound lineman chasing after you. The only thing you need is to challenge the chapter to be great. If you believe it and show it, the guys will too. Dare to be the best.
You’ve probably heard it before - TKE seeks to build Better Men for a Better World. Recruitment gives you the unique opportunity to show others what this means and why they need to be part of this movement. Education is vital to success in the future. Combining class work and chapter leadership gives you an edge in today's competitive employment environment. The four lessons above teach you about recruitment, but can also be applied to life after college. At some point in your life, if not already, you will come to a crossroads. If you gathered the right pieces, understood coaching, and remained calm under pressures, you will persevere. This is what being a part of the world's largest and best Fraternity is all about. Go out and make TKE proud.
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