Advertising

11 Things You Learn from Football to Make Life Better

Advertising
11 Things You Learn from Football to Make Life Better

Football is an unpredictable sport. If you don’t believe me just ask Joe Theismann. Football provides edge-of-your-seat action but if you pay attention it can also teach you some valuable life lessons.

1. You need talent and heart to win anything

Sometimes being good just isn’t good enough. You can be talented at something and have that natural ability but if you don’t care and you have no motivation or heart, you’ll never amount to anything. Just ask any of these teams.

2. It can all end in an instant

Advertising

learn from football

    Nothing personifies this more than the aforementioned Joe Theismann. A two-time Pro Bowler with what was amounting to a Hall of Fame career. Then one unlucky day, Lawrence Taylor shattered his leg and ended his career. Thanks to a small stroke of bad luck, Theismann lost his ability to play professional football and it’s a reminder to appreciate what you have because it can be gone in an instant.

    3. If at first you don’t succeed, try again

    Only one team can win the Super Bowl every year and that means everybody else has to deal with defeat. Do they quit? No, they figure out what went wrong, try to fix it, and try again the next year. This is a great lesson to learn because failure is just a temporary problem.

    4. If you try hard enough, you can achieve anything

    There are countless players who have stories that personify this but as a Cleveland Browns fan, nothing hit this lesson home for me more than when Cleveland lost the Browns. After the move to Baltimore, the city of Cleveland wanted their team back so bad that eventually the NFL gave it back to them. That includes the original name and colors. It was a touching reunion that showed us that if you want it bad enough and you try hard enough, then it’ll eventually happen.

    Advertising

    5. Winning requires teamwork

    From day one in peewee football to the NFL, football players learn one lesson above all else. You win as a team and you lose as a team. In real life, it’s the same way. If you can’t work well with others or you try to do everything alone, you’ll eventually fail. You need to trust your team and everyone needs to do their jobs in order for everyone to be successful.

    6. You can’t win all the time

    There is no football team that has never lost. The New England Patriots won 18 consecutive games in 2011 but lost the Super Bowl. No matter how good you are, you will eventually lose at something and you should be prepared for that. No one wins all the time so it’s best to adjust your expectations accordingly.

    7. You need to have discipline

    Football players must have discipline. When you play football you have to work out every day to maintain your athleticism. That also means you have to watch what you eat and drink and you’re accountable for your mistakes because if you screw up, it’ll be all over the news. In real life it’s much the same. You have to stay disciplined with your exercise and diet or you’ll become unhealthy. When you mess up at home or at work, you’re accountable for it. If you don’t stay disciplined, bad things happen. Just ask Ohio State.

    Advertising

    8. Learning how to set goals

    Football players have pretty lofty goals. Making millions of dollars a year, winning one of the most coveted events in all of sports in the Super Bowl, and having a good career are among the many goals that professional football players set every year. Thousands of college players have the goal of making it to the NFL. Tens of thousands of high school football players have the goal of making it to play college ball. Pretty much from day one when a kid decides he wants to play football, the goal setting starts and it never really ends. We can learn from that kind of ambition.

    9. Nothing lasts forever

    Brett Favre recently tried to deny this very lesson for years but ultimately even he had to throw in the towel eventually. Great players rise, they fall, they retire and it makes room for the next wave of superstars. Winning streams come to an end and successful dynasties will eventually drop to the bottom of the standings. This teaches us to enjoy the highs while we can because the roller coaster of life will eventually even things out. Watching a player’s career is like an abbreviated version of the circle of life. It’s always sad to see an icon retire or a long-time successful team hit rock bottom but it’s important to remember the good times and realize that this happens to everyone eventually.

    10. Your job depends on the performance of others and the other’s jobs depend on your performance

    This may be an extension of the teamwork lesson but it this lesson applies to everyone. If the players don’t play well, the coaches are to blame. If the coaches can’t motivate their players, the GM has to hire another one. If the GM makes decisions that don’t pan out, the owners replace him. It doesn’t matter who you are on a football team, someone’s job depends on you. In real life it’s the same way. Your boss needs you to work to stay hired. His boss needs him to work hard to stay hired. If a regional manager has a lot of locations and none of them are performing well, the regional manager gets fired. Thus, even the most seemingly insignificant piece may have a measurable impact on someone else’s job. After all, you can have the best QB in the game but if he doesn’t have wide receivers, he’s useless.

    Advertising

    11. It absolutely matters who wins and who loses

    learn from football

      Winners succeed and losers do not. In football, winners get paid more money. They appear in places like the Hall of Fame. They have Super Bowl rings. Losers do not have those things. At it’s very core, football is a competition and life is no different. Even if it’s not quantifiable, there is a score being kept all the time in the game of life. Telling kids that score doesn’t matter is like telling kids that money doesn’t matter. They can’t pay bills with good intentions and they can’t succeed if they don’t know what losing feels like.

       

      Advertising

      A lot of people don’t like football. They consider it barbaric and they believe that the fan base around it insane. However, there is no denying that when you analyze the emotions and decisions behind the game itself, you can learn some of the most important life lessons from football.

      Featured photo credit: Knowledge Hi via knowledgehi.com

      More by this author

      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

      12 Inspirational Speeches That Teach You the Most Valuable Life Lessons 10 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know 15 Most Effective Cool Down Exercises For Every Workout 10 Things Guys Love That You Didn’t Expect 20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently

      Trending in Communication

      1 10 Signs You Are in a Codependent Relationship (And What To Do About It) 2 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 3 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 4 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 5 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on July 20, 2021

      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

      Advertising
      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

      You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

      Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

      Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

      Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

      1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

      According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

      “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

      Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

      Warming up

      If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

      If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

      Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

      Advertising

      1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
      2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
      3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

      Stay hydrated

      Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

      To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

      Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

      Meditate

      Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

      Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

      Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

      Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

      2. Focus on your goal

      One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

      Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

      Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

      Advertising

      Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

      If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

      3. Convert negativity to positivity

      There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

      ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

      It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

      Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

      Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

      Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

      4. Understand your content

      Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

      Advertising

      However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

      “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

      Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

      Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

      One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

      5. Practice makes perfect

      Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

      In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

      Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

      6. Be authentic

      There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

      Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

      Advertising

      Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

      To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

      With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

      Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

      7. Post speech evaluation

      Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

      Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

      We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

      You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

      Improve your next speech

      As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

      Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

      Advertising

      • How did I do?
      • Are there any areas for improvement?
      • Did I sound or look stressed?
      • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
      • Was I saying “um” too often?
      • How was the flow of the speech?

      Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

      If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

      Reference

      Read Next