Ah, fall is in the air. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, cooler temperatures, leaves turning colors and of course football.
I had the great privilege of coaching
a youth football team for many years. We were awesome, in fact over a six-year period we lost one game…seriously, just one game, 6 to 8 on a controversial two-point conversion try…oh well, moving on!
The other day, I was rummaging through some boxes and I came across my old coaching whistle. It was great to see that precious piece of memorabilia, and it reminded me of a concept we used to teach relentlessly to our players. In every drill or every play, we always instructed our guys to “go until the whistle blows”. What does that mean? Simply this, give your best, give your all for yourself and your teammates until it’s officially over. Don’t quit, don’t give up and don’t assume anything until the deal is done!
I can remember more times than once, someone would be running down the field and a presumed tackle would be made only to realize that the person carrying the ball was not officially down. When the ball carrier did not hear the whistle, they kept running, yet the defenders made the assumption the play was over and stopped performing. As a result, the ball carrier gained a much larger competitive edge or even scored. This could have been prevented if the defense had simply adhered to the rule…go until the whistle blows!
Often times this mentality of making assumptions can creep into mindsets of coaches and players alike which can also create catastrophic consequences. One of my favorite professional football teams in recent seasons when they get a big lead (which does not happen all that often), take their foot off the gas, they don’t go all out, until the whistle blows. It seems as if they are playing not to lose rather than playing to win. I have seen this philosophy work but I have also seen it fail. Believe me, there is no greater feeling of disappointment than blowing a huge lead and going down in defeat when it could have been prevented.
So here is the point for us. Regardless of what we do, we need to keep our foot on the gas pedal all day and give what we do for a living our very best, every minute of every day. Don’t assume anything, make sure you do all you can to meet your goals or objectives for the day…here’s why this is critical.
When you develop this mindset and approach to your day, you will gain momentum and anyone who has experienced momentum at all will tell you, it is a very powerful force! Once you harness momentum in your favor, you begin to understand what it takes to keep it going and you value it for its worth. Your behavior changes and before long you develop habits that keep you doing the things you need to do to win. It just becomes second nature to go until you hear the whistle…then you get ready and do it all again. It’s a beautiful thing.
The game is on. Are you prepared? Are you ready to give it your all every day? Get momentum on your side and keep it…GO until the whistle blows!