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9 Things Football Players Understand That Nobody Else Does

9 Things Football Players Understand That Nobody Else Does

From your 15-year-old sophomore who has his sights set on the varsity team, to the 35-year-old accountant who loves to get together over wings with his friends and recount tales of their glory days, football players share a common bond, and an understanding that most outsiders will never fully comprehend. If you have played – or currently play – tackle football, you’ll know these 9 things to be absolutely true.

1. We’re Not Dumb Jocks

A common misconception about football players is that we’re nothing more than oversized meat heads. While I can’t say that every team is chock full of future rocket scientists, understanding the nuances of your typical football game are difficult for anyone, better yet a team full of idiots. Understanding complex coverage schemes, line stunts, or perfect execution of the read option is the sporting equivalent of brain surgery. Each step requires real brain power, and it’s certainly not something a monkey in a helmet could do.

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2. You’re Nothing Without Your Team

Football is an intricate game that involves a lot of moving parts. Small mis-cues in timing, a slip and fall, or a single mistake can be the difference between victory and defeat. As such, each of those 11 guys has a responsibility to themselves, and their teammates to ensure that they are giving 110% on each and every play. No matter how good your star player is, he’s nothing without the 11 guys around him working in perfect harmony. You must learn to love, and appreciate the other 10 guys that make each of your personal victories possible.

3. “People Running into Each Other” is a Gross Misrepresentation of the Game

Football played by well-coached teams is less about big men running into brick walls, and more about amazing athletes executing a complexly orchestrated dance that requires perfection in execution from each of the 11 players on the field. Once you understand the game, and the strategy behind it, you begin to see football for what it really is – art.

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4. Kickers Are Slightly “Off”

While they only work a few times a game, kickers are among the most colorful creatures on the planet. Whether pacing the sidelines and talking to themselves, or angrily punching the ground after a missed tackle on a punt return – kickers are tortured souls that nobody fully understands, yet they’re completely indispensable at the same time.

5. We Work Hard – Really Hard

High school and college football players start to practice in the dead of summer with full pads and 90+ degree heat. To make matters worse, they often practice before and after school in the weeks leading up to the first game of the season. While you’re hitting the snooze button and dreading the thought of finding a dirty pair of pants to put on to make it to first hour, football players have been hard at work since the pre-dawn hours. No matter how hard the work, we come prepared to work – a trait that serves us well off the football field too.

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6. If Kickers Are “Off” – Linebackers Are Completely Nuts

What do you get when you put one of the most athletic, biggest, and most vocal guys right of a football field? A linebacker. These guys are like kickers in the sense that there is something not quite right about them, but while the kicker is a rather quiet sort of disturbed, linebackers are loud, rowdy, and they like to hit things – hard. As crazy as they often are, linebackers are the heart and soul of most defenses, and they are truly special due to their mix of athletic ability, craziness, and leadership qualities.

7. We Really Do Love Our Teammates and Coaches

The camaraderie you feel for the players around you is unmatched by any other situation in modern life. These players have all become more like family than just teammates or friends, and through intense workouts, victories, failure and everything in between, these are the guys that keep you balanced, and build you up when you begin to crumble.

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8. These Memories Will Provide Story Fodder for Years to Come

It doesn’t matter how old a man becomes, football always provides a story that they can whip out for any situation and at any time, without a second thought. Daughters wedding? Check. Business meeting? Double check. There’s no such thing as an ex-football player, just a not-actively-participating football player.

9. It Doesn’t Last Forever

No matter how much we wish it would, your glory days on the gridiron are far too short-lived for most of our tastes. While the stories are forever, your playing days aren’t. Enjoy every minute of it while you still can.

Featured photo credit: situnek34 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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