The University of Alabama has kicked off their first game of the season (Roll Tide!) and the nostalgia that accompanies the fall football season has officially returned!
Watching the Tide play tonight has me thinking.... there is a lot that can be taken from the football field and applied to life.
1. Never quit. Football is tough. The practices are long. The game itself is brutal. But play after play, hit after hit, the team returns to the field. It doesn't matter what the scoreboard says, they get back on the field for another play, another hit. Just like football, life is tough. When everything seems be crumbling around you and you've taken hit after hit and you want to give up, don't. Take a time out. And get back up for the next play.
2. The play is over when the whistle blows. These guys that are conditioned to oppose one another know when to stop. And they are penalized when they carry things too far. We need to learn to let things go. When the whistle has been blown on a situation or a relationship or a chapter in your life, get up and walk away.
3. There are 11 players on the field - a team. The quarterback, the linemen, the receivers, the ends, and the backs all have a role on the team. No single person wins the game - the team wins or loses. They rely on one another. They need each other. When one teammate is weak, the others must work harder to compensate and get the win. The same can be said of our communities, our families, our relationships, our government. Every person in every position has a purpose. When we don't fulfill that responsibility, someone else has to pick up our slack.
4. Watch the films. Players and coaches spend hours and hours reviewing practice and game films. This is not only a great way to prepare for upcoming games, but it also promotes growth and accountability. We should all take a look at our choices, our actions, our words with an analyzing eye. Then we can better know why things played out the way they did and what we can do next time to better improve ourselves. When you do what you've always done, you get what you've always gotten. It's that simple.
5. Focus on the short term goals to ultimately achieve the victory. Achieving a win is the overall goal, but every win is made by setting and reaching smaller goals. Every possession should end with points on the board. This is a great analogy for parents. What we want in the end is for our children to grow up to become happy, productive, well-rounded adults that contribute to society. As parents, we nurture and teach them, setting and reaching many smaller goals along the way.... walking, talking, potty training, getting themselves dressed, etc.
6. The coach calls the shots. He knows the big picture that we can't see from the huddle. He calls the plays. He knows how to use each player to make the team stronger. God is our coach. He has given us the playbook to study and equip ourselves. If we'll follow His direction - run when He says, throw the ball to another player when He says - we will surely achieve the ultimate win!
And you know I just couldn't talk about football and end a blog post without saying
"Roll Tide!" just one more time! :-)