Truth from the Pig Skin

Photo by Valerie’s Genealogy Photos

It’s football season.

Admittedly, I’ve never seen a game. (Unless, of course, you count the time it takes me to pass the television on my way to the book shelf. I do know that shoulder pads and sacks are involved–but then again, the same applies to shopping.) I am more of a water polo girl. Believe it or not, I used to be a fierce competitor in the pool.

Recently, my husband came into the office here at home and pulled up a sports site over my shoulder so he could check the score of a game. I was intrigued by how intense the coach looked while mapping out some goals on a clipboard. And I realized something:

We could learn a few things about goal setting from sports.

1. There is always a definite purpose. Get the basketball through the hoop. Shoot the soccer ball into the net. Kick the football through the posts. No team goes onto the field expecting to “figure it out” as they play.

2. There is always a plan. The huddle before a play–in any sport–is to re-affirm what the course of action will be. Likewise, players are pulled from the field, taken off the court, or booted from the pool if they divert from the plan. It’s essential to make a plan when things are calm and then carry out the plan when things are tense.

3. There are always complications. Sports would lose their spectators if rivals didn’t exist. And what is the point of a rival except to thwart the plan of the team? Certainly the first time a football player is tackled, the team doesn’t leave the field. Teams don’t call it quits when the opponent scores against them. They work harder, run faster, swim better.

4. There are wins and there are losses. And, regardless of if the championship game is a victory, there are usually second chances and “next seasons” and opportunities to improve on previous games.

So we win a few and we lose a few. But we make the plan, keep the goal clearly in view, and we endeavor to improve on our performance every time we seek to grow in an area.

Even I know Brett Farve has been sacked over 450 times. If he can keep returning to the game, so can I.

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