Life is a lot like football and football is a lot like life.
It’s a finite period of time — an opportunity, a chance to do the best job you can. To get the most out of life or football you must immerse yourself in the action. Get in the game.
To succeed at football and any sport you must play one play at a time. To be successful in the game of life you must be present in each and every moment as often as possible. Competing in this way whether in sport or life is easier said than done.
When competing on the field, players are constantly bombarded with external and internal factors that distract their focus from the play. The score of the game can distract us from our focus. When you are behind, it is easy to let negative energy affect your field disposition, body language, and concentration.
When you or your team is way behind on the scoreboard there is a tendency to lose hope and give up against what appear to be too great of odds.
The same factors can affect us in our daily lives. Circumstances in life’s daily battles can distract us from our family, relationships and job. Guard against letting the valleys in the daily journey of living prevent us from being positive, conscientious, caring, and respectful. Continue to forge ahead toward fulfillment.
There are times in football games when your team is way ahead and the urge is to let up.
Champions fight that urge and play a single play at a time with effort, energy, enthusiasm, focus, and execution of the smallest details; regardless of the score.
When things are going well in life’s journey it’s easy to let up on the spiritual foundation that got you to your place of fulfillment.
Coaches are constantly preaching to players: “Don’t let one poor play turn into three or four.”
This occurs when a player can’t let go of the previous poor play. He then lacks the focus, concentration, and attitude necessary to execute the technique and play properly, resulting in another poor play. Players must learn to have a short memory.
Oftentimes, coaches perpetuate this cycle themselves by reviewing the game with constant emphasis on the negative. By doing this, players are more likely to hang on to their mistakes.
Life is similar. It is easy to hang on to negative experiences which prevent you from growing and finding the positive possibilities right in front of you.
Prisoners of the Past
I heard a story of hunters who found a humane way to capture exotic monkeys. They first discovered that monkeys love cookies. They then built heavy boxes with a hole cut on each side, just large enough for the monkey’s open hand to squeeze through. They placed cookies inside and left to return hours later.
What they later discovered was at least one monkey sitting alongside each box, all with a hand stuck inside. The monkeys had grabbed the cookies so tightly, but wouldn’t let go, so they couldn’t remove their hands. They chose to instead hold on to the cookie, and become a prisoner instead.
The lesson of course is we must let go of the past to grow and move forward in football and in life. Scripture teaches the same lesson stating, “…. any man who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for service in the kingdom.”
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