(With my profound apologies to Rudyard Kipling):
If you can keep the ball when all about you
Think you’ll be dropping it and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when some fans doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too.
If you can wait your turn and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating
But score your points because your coach is wise.
If you can dream the dreams of champions,
If you can think of the perfect game,
If you can wrench triumph from disaster
And treat these two imposters just the same.
If you can stand to meet the truth you’ve spoken,
And not care about the press, they’re fools,
And watch the defense before you broken
And burn them with your natural tools.
If you can envision all your winnings
As you run your route and catch the toss,
And stay strong from any games’ beginnings
And comfort foes upon their loss.
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them, "Play on."
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings with the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
And all fans count on you, but life is such.
If you can fill all 60 minutes
with sixty seconds worth of distance run,
Yours is the prize and all that comes with it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Champ, my son.