Two months ago I was at a WSU Women’s Basketball game with my 9 year old. Trailing most of the game, they fought back and missed a shot to tie at the buzzer.

9 year old: “What was the point? They lost anyways.”

Me: “They kept fighting until the end. They did their best. All you can do is your best.”

9 year old: “But how do I know if my best will be good enough? What if it isn’t?”

Me: “You don’t know. You can’t control whether your best is good enough. All you can control is whether you are doing your best. See the difference?”

This morning we awoke to news that this very same team is playing for the PAC-12 title against a team they recently beat, after knocking off the #3 team in the US. This is their first ever appearance in the PAC-12 title game.

What I’ve learned from mentoring multiple winning teams at WSU over the last decade is that our best can compete with and beat anyone. That’s the thing about doing our best — it’s completely scalable. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you know, what you’ve done, or what you’re dealing with. In this moment, in our turn, we have a chance to do our best, with what we have, where we are. Doing our best is the best we can do.

Expecting anything but our best isn’t the best we can do.