It's football season and the playoffs are approaching! I'll admit, I'm not a huge sports fan but I can say that I do understand the basic rules of football. We all hear the hype, the mega expensive Super Bowl commercials, the release of who's performing at half-time and of course, the tailgate food that tastes so good on a winter day.
I've spent the last several years empowering tween and teen girls to gang up for good, be confident and support one another instead of tearing each other down. I never really associated my efforts with football, but today I am taking you deep into the locker room that's filled with the raw emotional support of a team standing together as one. OK, I've never been in a locker room either, but what I do know is this. We have the coaches, assistants, and the players. We know the drill, the coaches spend the season empowering their team in the effort to win the coveted championship. The team spends long hours each day together sweating profusely while working through the rough spots with goals toward faster running, tougher blocking, articulate throwing and all the while developing new techniques that will reward them with another winning game. We can't forget the individual members of the team who work independently on their own time so they, in turn, can further benefit their team.
The team has worked hard all year and this is it, we've come to the championship game and now it's the coaches last time to speak to his team and give his customary pep talk before they hit the field. I've often wondered why a coach's speech is so important. The team has worked hard, learned the plays, and now it's time, there's nothing they can do but go out there and play to their best ability...or is there? I had the privilege last year of meeting Nate Moore, Head Coach of the LaSalle football team. I work with Rebecca Moore, his wife empowering girls across the U.S. and through Nate and Rebecca, I met J.K. Schaffer of the Cincinnati Bengals. J.K. humbly assisted me in my upcoming book and through that process we became friends. I've been adding to my team all along and never realized the impact until now. I have come to realize how a coach's emotional last words ignite his team with the adrenalin and fire that inspires them to push farther than they thought imaginable. There's no guarantee or promise that they will win but they will go out fighting a fight that leaves them proud to be a member of their team.
Football championships are much like the journey of growing up as a teen. Our mentors are our coaches and assistants and the team are our friends that we cherish. As a team we go farther, become stronger and we learn from each other as we face the tough opponents that cross our path. Choosing wisely who we place on our team factors in to the end results and rankings. Surrounding ourselves with like minded friends who have similar goals, morals and values will certainly increase our chances of bringing home that championship trophy.
I've never seen a team win a championship that didn't work together. Through our coaches (Mentors) and teammates (friends) we learn the ultimate power of knowledge, strength, and endurance. As individuals, we work independently of the team building our character and strength so we can block that tackle or throw that hail mary when we reach for the win. The win never comes without support of our team and coaches.
Let's define the term Underdog: a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest. Stats define an underdog in the game of football. Above I mentioned Head Coach Nate Moore. His LaSalle team has been an underdog since the beginning of the season and have proven themselves as true champions as they defend the upcoming state title. Obviously talent is essential, however, Nate's mentorship and the town's pride has fueled this team to become champions regardless of the outcome.
A teen's journey through life is much life the game of football. Choose your team wisely, listen to your coaches and assistants, and never ever give up your morals and values as you reach for the win!