Claiming The Victory
It is cliché in sports for a person to say that they give 110% when they perform. Homer Simpson quipped in an episode of “The Simpsons” “It is impossible to give 110%. The most you can do is 100%”. Touché!
The reality is that most of us will not go beyond whatever is comfortable to achieve a goal. When we do we believe we are now performing at 110%. Actually, we probably are but that is 110% of what we normally would do.
NFL Films president Steve Sabol once asked future 2011 Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk if he would consider being a head coach. Faulk replied “I don’t think I could be…..I would have trouble coaching guys who shoot for mediocrity.”
2011 HOFer Deion Sanders admitted that most talented athletes do not push themselves beyond their comfort zones even when it is a do or die situation. Players such as the late Walter Payton and HOFer Jerry Rice, however, did not expect to be able to perform at a high level without the proper preparation. They understood that having a superior work ethic would do much to ensure their ability to succeed on the gridiron.
I like my team. We perform at a high level more often than not. We are able to do so because talented players come to practice.
In 2005 I set out to get a “mini-masters” in web development. When I started I told myself I would graduate with a 4.0 G.P.A. In the spiritual world this would be called “claiming the victory”. Yes, the biblical meaning applies much more to faith versus works. But since faith without deeds is dead we can have confidence of an outcome through our efforts. I was not shocked when I graduated with a 4.0 a year and a half later. I knew I would be successful because I knew how much the fear of failure would keep me on task. Achieving that goal while leading a family, working a fulltime job, and playing football led to many late nights. The late nights were made easier as I enjoyed the fact that I was doing what I needed to do to reach my goal. Notice I wasn’t just shooting for the degree. I was shooting for excellence. I could have gotten the degree with a 2.5 G.P.A.
When Mike Holmgren was the wide receiver coach of the San Francisco 49ers he had a very good feeling during one of the team’s practices because the quarterbacks and wide receivers were connecting on all of their passes. Head coach Bill Walsh burst his balloon when he demanded something more than what he was seeing. What Walsh did not like was that a 5 yard out would only get the team 5 yards. He told Holmgren to make sure the quarterbacks placed the ball 1 foot farther, which would allow the receiver to catch the ball, turn up field, and gain additional yardage. Walsh knew that kind of precision was bordering on the impossible but he wanted the team to pursue perfection.
Knowing that my team is doing the work to get what we want is “priceless”. Practicing is our homework. The games are the tests. The IFL trophy is something to shoot for but it pales in comparison to team excellence. More shutouts. More points on the board than what makes sense…etc. Until our coach agrees that it is time to put the backups in we need to keep our game faces on. The Pirates showed us that no team is just gonna lay down and give us the game.
The most impressive thing we have going for us is our teamwork. We practice to win. Let's work even harder. Let's "Claim the Victory"!