A good story to share with your team before they go home for the off-season… compliments of Chip Kelly.


A long time ago there was a village in which every boy was trained to become a warrior. At age 14, every boy was sent into the forest with no food or water. They were given only one thing: a knife. They were told there was a red ribbon placed at the highest point of the cliff that overlooked the village. Their mission was made very clear: climb to the very top of the cliff and return to the village with the red ribbon. Each young boy had to carry his red ribbon back to the village to be inspected by the Village Council.

On their return, half of the boys carried with them a long red ribbon that fell all the way to the ground when they held it up. The other half held red ribbons that barely fell past their waist. There were two red ribbons on the cliff, and they rested in very different places. The shorter ribbon had rested halfway up the cliff in a shaded area with several soft fern beds. As they made their long climb up the mountain, many of the boys gave up on the long trip to the top and started their march back down with the ribbon they found halfway up. They were unaware that there was a significant difference in the length of their ribbon and the one at the top of the cliff. Each boy was sent up alone, and they assumed no one would know the difference.

The Village Council knew that the boys who staggered back to the village with the long ribbon that touched the ground had battled all the way to the highest point on the cliff. The boys who brought back the short ribbon had stopped halfway. They were never allowed to test their ability to be a warrior again, because the village knew they could not be trusted. The other boys, those that carried the long ribbons back to the village from the top of the cliffs, were forever thought of as Warriors.

Your teammates want to know – when you return to school after the summer, which ribbon will you have?

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