Notes To My Younger Self:

A coach on a football team was explaining to his players the power of positive thinking versus worrying about all the dynamics that could go wrong. He told them that if they trained themselves to only think about the outcome of each play from a positive perspective, without angst, doubt or worry, they would be unstoppable, even against unfavorable odds. The team didn’t believe him. Unaffected by their doubts, the coach asked the team’s center to join him in front of the group for a demonstration. An advocate for muscle over mind, the humongous ball-hiker was more than willing to put the kibosh on the coach’s mental hocus pocus. “Get into your stance,” the coach threw him a football and the center obliged. Once settled in position, the coach asked his player to think what he normally thinks about right before he snaps the ball. “Got it?” He asked and the center nodded. The coach walked up and nudged the player’s torso with his thigh and the 300-plus pound man lost his balance. “Unfair. I wasn’t ready,” the center snapped. “Try it again.” 

A wry smile crossed the coach’s mouth. “Sure.” 

The center took a long minute getting set up and when he looked at the coach, the coach asked if he was ready. 

“Ready,” the player grunted. 

Using the same nonchalant technique, the coach nudged the center’s torso with his thigh. Again, the player faltered. 

When the center re- established  his footing, a look of confusion came over his face. 

“Tell me what you were thinking about before I came up to you, the first time.” The coach asked.

“I was thinking what always I think about every time I line up. Size up the guy in front of me to see what I’m up against. Make sure I’m paying attention to the count. Remind myself to keep a tight grip on the ball. Snap it straight; not too hard, not too soft.” 

“So basically you were weighing outcomes.”

The player shrugged. “Yeah, guess so.”

“Get into your stance, but this time, instead of sizing up the guy in front of you, I want you to visualize yourself holding ground and not letting him pass, no matter how big or agile he appears. Got that image in your head?” The coach asked.

The player closed his eyes for a second and then opened them again. “Got it.”

“Now, I want you to picture the perfect snap. One that leaves your grip and beelines into the quarterback’s hands, regardless of what’s going on around you.”

The center lowered his eyes again and after a beat, he said, “I can see it.”

“Good. Let me know when you’re ready and we’ll run the drill.”

After adjusting his feet and planting the tip of the football on the turf, the player shouted, “Ready!”

The coach repeated the same thigh to torso move, but this time, the center didn’t budge. 

E.L. Chappel author of Spirit Dance/Storm Makers/Coming very soon: The Surge

When faced with challenges you can choose to focus on possibilities or choose to focus on barriers.

“If you don’t run your own life, someone else will.”~John Atkinson

aka The Glamorous Wife

*This story was shared with me by Dr. Robert Kaufman


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