In the trenches

What it means to be "In the trenches"

There is a sports analogy that refers to teams being “in the trenches.” What exactly does this mean?

First, perhaps we should start by saying that the origin of saying you are “in the trenches” comes from war time. At war, soldiers would dig and then occupy trenches with their fellow soldiers, putting them in a frightening, front-lines experience that only their fellow soldiers could possibly understand. So, we want to quickly point out that nothing about basketball or any sport can actually truly compare to combat situations - in case that wasn’t obvious.

Despite the seriousness of its origins, the saying is still used because it is easy to apply to other situations in which you and your brothers or sisters on a team go through tough times together to achieve goals bigger than any one individual. Only athletes that have put blood, sweat, and tears into a sport can fully understand the elation of winning championships or the lows of big losses. That is why we so often hear professionals mentioning that outsiders don’t fully understand the work that goes in behind the scenes.

There is an old clip of Isaiah Thomas (the original, Bad Boy Pistons Isaiah Thomas) watching back for the first time the tape of himself battling through a sprained ankle in the Finals, doing everything he could to will his team to victory before falling short. They cut back to Thomas, who was crying. When the host asks him about his emotion, Thomas begins to answer, but winds up telling him “You wouldn’t understand.”

It’s true. Almost everyone has played sports, so there may be some degree of understanding, but the specific circumstances that you fight through as an individual or as a team are unique. Isaiah legitimately gave his all in that series, but was unable to make magic happen. Putting it all on the court and leaving it there is a big undertaking, but one that true competitors will take on every time.

What each team goes through is what brings them closer as individuals. The greatest teams drew close in practices, on the road, or off the court - A.K.A. the trenches.

To be in the trenches with teammates is a special thing that should not be taken lightly. We hope that all of our Yanders Law athletes understand this and not only use their time to become better at basketball, but also stronger individuals and better teammates/friends.

When you are putting in work down in the trenches of the sport, don’t just do it for yourself. Do it for your team - your brothers and sisters in Yanders Law colors. The best players are almost always amazing teammates. When and where do you become an amazing teammate? In the trenches.