Ever wonder if football players plan out their victory dance for when they score a touchdown? I always find it to be very entertaining. Their chests puff up, hands usually fly into the air. Some run to their fans, most nod up and down, up and down, with the attitude of, “Uhhh huhh, I did that! I just scored a touchdown! That’s right.” Then there’s often the celebration with their team, a chest bump, or synchronized handshake, even a couple helmet head bumps.
You can feel their egos through the T.V screen and it’s easy to sense their cockiness, ahem, confidence.
Another part of football I enjoy is all the smack talk. You can never hear what they’re saying but it’s fun to assume the dialogue and fill in the blanks. Their aggressive head nods and outstretched arms ready to shove the other player is always captured by the cameras. It gets really good when two players get in each other’s faces. The other players are always close behind, ready to jump in, fists clenched. It’s a bummer when the whistles blow and the refs step in to break it up.
By now you’re probably wondering if I even watch the game when I watch the game. Well, I think I know the majority of the hundred rules there are and I’ve learned “which teams we do like and the ones we don’t”, and now I can say I understand what’s going on during the game! … Mostly.
So although you may be thinking this post is about football, The All American Sport, it isn’t.
There’s something I’ve learned from football players. To be a football player, well that’s a whole other topic. Pure insanity.
I’m talking about how they act on the field. That cockiness I was describing earlier, I mean confidence.
Why don’t we act like that?
Well it’s not polite or it’s too aggressive, or it’s like totally not PC, duh!
Ok, well I don’t know about you but when you have to constantly monitor what you say to who you’re saying it to, it gets pretty exhausting and very ingenuine. Acting one way around these people and then another around a different group … Not cool man! You’re not being you.
The thing about football players is they don’t care! They don’t care who they piss off, who’s toes they step on, or if their smack talk was a little too offensive. They are proud when they make a good play. They hold their heads high when they make a mistake. I doubt they ever apologize!
At the end of the game, players walk of the field with a tall stature. They look their opponents in the eyes and shake hands.
When we face something difficult, maybe it’s a tough work meeting or addressing your boss or a coworker or maybe it’s having a conversation with a friend or significant other about something that’s needed to be addressed, or maybe it’s even asking for help. Whatever it may be, think about football players.
At the beginning of the game players run onto the field, some with smiles, all are excited and pumped up, ready to play.
First, we have to get pumped. we have to get our mind ready to conquer. Power stances are a great way to shake off nerves and build confidence. Read about power stances here or watch a TED Talk by Amy Cuddy about body language here.
After your power stance you have to look ready. During the National Anthem players aren’t slouching or looking down or intimidated. They stand tall, heads high, and eyes up. They look ready!
You gotta stand tall. Spine straight, shoulders back, abs in, palms facing out, and most importantly, head up, looking forward. There are a lot of good resources for improving posture. Some techniques are here and here.
Next, it’s time to make the play. It’s time to shove somebody down or break free from someone’s grasp and make a touchdown. Not literally, of course.
Do whatcha gotta do. If it makes you sweat, it’s alright. Football players sweat too.
Finally, you get to walk off the field. Hopefully in celebration nodding your head, “Uhhh huhh, I did that! I just scored a touchdown! That’s right.”
But if you didn’t conquer, you didn’t score, it’s ok! You walk off the field the same way you walked on. Shoulders back, head high, looking forward. Knowing, there’s another game, another time, you still have another chance.
You attempted something fearlessly. Being fearless doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. Being fearless means you are afraid but you did it anyway. That’s something to be proud of.
When you walk off your field, be unapologetic. If you really tried and were genuine and honest, there is NOTHING to be sorry for!
Not only can the mindset of a football player’s confidence guide us through difficult situations, it can also set an attitude when we walk out the door every morning. Be fearless, walk tall, look your opponents in the eye, and be unapologetic. Just don’t tackle anyone.