by Kerry Taylor
As if I haven’t talked about football enough. Here is another entry on the game I love and I’m most known for. In case you were wondering, I did run track and play basketball as well. So, coincidentally I had a few friends ask me, “If I had a son, would I let him play football?” I thought about it for about ½ a second and answered with a resounding “Yes! I mean, why wouldn’t I? I’ve played the sport for 25 years.” I know most people instantly think of 1. Injury and 2. Concussions. These are valid concerns, of course. But, I personally don’t think those are reasons to not allow a kid to play one of the greatest sports on the planet. Sorry to all my baseball fans. In my years of playing, yes I’ve had my share of injuries, but I've never been diagnosed with a concussion. I think football is the greatest sport on Earth because besides the aggressive, physical nature, it is a parallel to life. Every football player is learning more than Xs and Os and they don’t realize it. Here are just a few, but there are a ton more.
The effort that goes into getting 11 guys to operate together on the field is astonishing. Then add in the rest of the team and the work that you have to do to get them all on the same page for a common goal, it’s a tough act to perform. You must work together or else you ultimately fail. Regardless of how good one individual i,s a la Barry Sanders, in order for the individual or team to truly achieve greatness, there can be no "I" in team.
In life, whether we’re talking about work or relationships, you must collaborate as a team or it all comes tumbling down, success and greatness is never achieved.
You practice your a$$ off during the week to win a game that lasts 40-60 minutes. Then the game comes and something doesn’t go according to plan. How do you pull it all back together so you can come out victorious in the end? A game is a microcosm of what may go on throughout the season. Your best player could get hurt, you lose to a team you should’ve beaten, something happens to a student or a family member. How will you shake it off and get refocused? Adversity is a tough thing to deal with, but if you deal with it enough you learn how to handle it better in the future.
In life you will be faced with something that doesn’t go your way, that I can guarantee you. You could lose your job, lose a loved one, your kid gets sick, you oversleep, something will go wrong. How will you respond?
There will be times you’re getting hit hard play after play, or getting barked at by your teammates or coaches. Will you coddle yourself and let it get you? Or will you take it for what it is and learn from it? You will have to become mentally and physically tough to play this sport.
Unfortunately, I feel that being tough in our younger age bracket has been on a steady decline. Being tough will help you push forward through everything. You will be told no, you will get rejected, the key is to not let that stop you. Dust your shoulders off, as my man Jay-Z would say, and get on to the next one.
I’m a firm believer that there are few things in life that are guaranteed, taxes, death and that if you truly work hard, it will pay off somehow. On the field, in the weight room and in the classroom, without one you can’t have the other. Work hard in the classroom to give you the right to step on the field. Work hard in the weight room to enhance your ability to play the sport. Work hard in practice and in the games to give you a win.
People always need someone to follow. On a football team, the leaders always surface. The leaders on a football team exemplify the previous skill sets mentioned and more. If you demonstrate these, the team will follow. Think of Tom Brady, he fits into all of these catergories. He has been able to take his team to the top year after year, and looking poised to do it again this year.
Whether it be work, family, friends or your own relationship, someone is silently or verbally appointed the leadership role.
If you are one of the parents out there that has been debating letting their kid play football, go for it! Your child will learn so many skills and not even know it. I think I turned out pretty good and I still play football to this day. If you would like to discuss the topic further, feel free to reach out to me at Kerry@212HealthandPerformance.com. Until next time, continue to live a life 1 degree above the rest!