Some of my most cherished memories from childhood are from pickup football games my friends and I played on the school lawn down the street from my house.
There are lessons all around us contained in art, theatre, movies, athletics, nature and even in the most unexpected places.
The other day I was going through an old box of pictures and I found a picture of myself and my friends in front of the schoolyard where we used to play football together and it got me thinking about many of the lessons I learned about Goal Setting by watching and playing football. If you are a football fan, you will appreciate this.
The Top 10 Lessons Football Taught Me About Goal Setting
1. He who scores first gains momentum. Have you ever heard a coach talk about an upcoming game? Almost always the coach declares the intention to score first, to put points on the board as soon as possible. This is so important because it gives the scoring team a psychological edge. Scoring first has the potential to boost your confidence and deflate your opponents psyche. I have seen many games where two teams with equal talent are won by the team who scored first.
2. Every inch, every yard forward counts because it gets you closer to your Goal. Most of your offensive plays gain at best an average of a few yards, but over time, they accumulate and contribute to forward movement. Inevitably at times you go backwards a few yards, but if you stay focused on your Goal, you can make up for it on the next play.
3. You cannot play defense the whole game. You cannot just sit back in reactive mode, waiting to see what everyone else is going to do or spend all of your energy responding to circumstances. You have to be proactive, play offense and move yourself towards the Goal by making things happen through deliberate thought and effort.
4. To be effective, you must manage the clock. There are four quarters in a game and there are four quarters in one year. Carefully and strategically allocate your time, energy and manpower to perform at your peak from beginning to end.
5. Take quarterly time outs to evaluate. Schedule these into your life. Examine your stats and measurements. How are you doing? You may need to make an adjustment in your game plan, tactics or fine tune your game plan for better results. If you are in need of a short break to re energize, or are off track at any time, simply call a time out and regroup.
6. You need a strategic Game Plan. Before the game is ever played, every player must know their part and be prepared to execute.
7. You need a great Coach. Even the most gifted, talented players need a Coach to bring out the best in them and keep them focused on the executing the plan. A Coach has a different perspective than the players. A great Coach brings experience and a holistic view of the game and can see things in the big picture that most players cannot see.
8. The greatest players in the game condition themselves year round. Those who enjoy longevity work just as hard on themselves outside of the game as they do in the game. They surround themselves with positive people who support their Goals. If luck is where preparation meets opportunity, the prepared outperform those who are not conditioned every time.
9. An effective Blitz can change the momentum and turn the game in your favor. Focusing all of your energy and attention on one area can catapult you forward by leaps and bounds.
10. Be a Leader, be a play maker. On every team, in every game, you know who the go to guy is who will get the job done when the game is on the line. You know who puts in the extra effort and that in a close game, that extra push is what makes a winner. Be that play maker in your chosen field.
In the game of football and in the game of life, be a team player. Be a leader and approach every important goal as if it your own personal Superbowl.
Enjoy the game and live your dreams.