Saturday, October 24, 2009

Eyes on the prize.

When I was on the football team in the 9th grade, my coach said I was the best player on the team. I really wasn't. I wasn't too fast. I wasn't the strongest or biggest. I never was a ball carrier. But here is why he said it.

I played defensive tackle on the team. I started out as defensive end, but I really wasn't fast enough for that, so they moved me to defensive tackle. I think I did get more tackles than most everyone else for a little bit there, but that is pretty common for a defensive tacke. Everyone just runs right to you in that position. They even started double teaming me in a couple of games. That started to really hurt.

At a practice halfway through the season, the coach lined us all up and asked if we knew who the best player on the team was. A few names were given...Jeff, Joe, Marcus...No, the coach said. Allerton is.

He went on to say that I was the best player on the team because I watched the ball. I kept my eye, as they would say in baseball, on the ball.

I did play baseball for years, so I knew how to keep my eye on the baseball. I also figured out something about football. All the other guys were trying to make sure they got the plays right and did the proper blocks and go the direction they were supposed to. All that was important, but I figured out that the direction the ball was moving was more important than all of that. If I focused on that ball, I discovered that I got more tackles, was able to strip the ball from the other team more often and have a lot more fun.

The challenging part is applying that simple principle to the organization I work for, my family and my life. But when I do, I sure I will get more fulfillment and have a lot more fun.

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