Fall is in the air, which means it is football season! Whether or not you love the game of football like I do, there are some really great life lessons that the game of football can teach all of us. The values of dedication, teamwork, perseverance, discipline, sacrifice, and respect are instilled in football players, coaches, and fans alike.
Growing up in the era of Deion Sanders, Jerry Rice, Brett Favre, Steve Young, Michael Irvin, and so many more awesome players, I loved watching the games on Sundays. My brother and I loved going out in the yard and running plays like the pros did. As much as the idea of playing football with the elementary kids intrigued me, the fact that I would be tackled convinced me to remain on the sidelines. I did play flag football in high school and even a few years post-college. From cheerleading to being an athletic trainer, I stayed as close to the game as I could. I loved everything about the game, the teamwork, the scoring, the defense, the touchdown dances! There was something magical about football games under the Friday night lights.
As players, they worked hard to be the best team to get to that championship. They put in the extra hours strengthening their muscles and skills. Once a week, those players would take the field and play their hearts out.
As coaches, they studied plays, players, and strategy. They saw potential in each player and sought to bring out the best in each one. Everyday they would strive to be the best leaders in both action and word.
As fans, they studied their favorite teams, players, and statistics. Each week they showed up to the games ready to cheer, regardless of weather or life.
Week in and week out, the game of football provides players, coaches, and fans with a spirit of renewed hope, renewed purpose, and a unified community.
In the game of life, we dedicate ourselves to a goal, a person, a commitment, a team, a purpose. Whether it’s for our family, our job, our business, or our community, we show up consistently and give it our best. We plan a strategy to hit that goal, we do the research, we study hard to make the best decision. You fall in love and dedicate your life to another person. We plan a future together full of dreams and goals. Day after day, we show up determined to make it to that next level. Our core values shine through.
Players and coaches have to work together in order to succeed. Their communication has to be clear. They have to support each other, stand up for each other, encourage the other. When one falls, another helps them up. They learn to respect and honor each other’s roles and qualities, especially when they are different.
There is always hope, no matter how late it is in the game of football or the game of life. Never give up. Develop the courage to get back up after you’ve been knocked down.
Hall of Fame
Recently our family had the opportunity to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. It was truly an amazing experience. To see the number of outstanding athletes and coaches all in one place is such an awe inspiring experience. Over 330 million people have played football in high school, college, and the NFL. But only 326 have the privilege of being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The mission of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is to “honor the heroes of the game, preserve its history, promote its values, and celebrate excellence everywhere.” How great is that! Go out and play some football, enjoy the game of life!