Category Archives: Football

Training Camp 2016

It’s the last week in July, and NFL teams are at Training Camp. Whether it is in Napa, California, East Rutherford, New Jersey or in any of the 30 other camps, there will be weeks of training, scrimmages, workouts, practice games, drills, meetings-­‐-­‐all to get the teams in winning condition for the 2016-­‐2017 NFL Season.

Each team can start training with about 90 players, but at the official beginning of the season, about 1 out of every 2 players goes home. This is the ultimate extreme sport in terms of competition! Think of it, competing in Pop Warner all the way to the pros, they are the best out of millions of players.

What are the coaches and the executives looking for from these gifted athletes? “Winners” is the correct answer. Whether you are one of these players, affiliated with sports or not, here are some of the attributes of a winner:

  1. Be 100% in. “All in” preparing for, and during the regular season.
  2. Set high goals every day (or ½ day for those “two-­‐a-­‐day” days) of training camp and during the regular season.
  3. It’s a team sport. Play like you know it.
  4. High discipline -­‐responsible for your mind and your body always.
  5. Integrity -­‐ doing what you said you would. It’s all on you. No blame.
  6. Highly motivated, no matter what comes at you.
  7. Release. Let your body and mind take a break so that they can rebuild for the next job you ask it to do.

To support you with #7, here is a little release. For fun, take this short quiz. Who starred in the following football movies?

(A) Remember the Titans, (B) Any Given Sunday, (C) Friday Night Lights. (D) The Blind Side, (E) Rudy, (F) Jerry Maguire

(F) Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding, Jr., (E) Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, (D) Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, (C) Billy Bob Thornton, Connie Britton, Mick Winchell, (B) Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, (A) Densel Washington

Peyton Manning’s Retirement Speech

Peyton Manning, QB who led the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl 50 title, gave a heartfelt farewell speech last week. As happens with all public figures, especially in the sports world, his fans and his critics weighed in. I am a fan, and here are a few things I wanted to point out from his well-prepared speech about what it takes to be a GOAT (or at least close to one!) in your life.

Manning talked about his rookie year with the Colts and how difficult it was, but even in his first game he realized he could play in the league — he was good enough. That is where success starts, on or off the field/court. You have to stand for your success, even when you begin at something and especially when you lose at something!

He thanked those who helped him in the good and difficult years, “Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson). These are great words for our mentors and coaches to hear, but it is also valuable for our own self-talk. We tear ourselves down, when we should be building ourselves up.

Peyton loved the game. All those who do extraordinarily well, whether in sports or life, love what they do. Find what you love, set your course, and do everything that supports you in that aim.

“How are you going to scratch that competitive itch you have while playing?” Asked by a reporter, Manning responded that he will get great support and mentoring for his next phase. What mentor or coach do you work with? Do you have a coordinated team?

“I didn’t always throw or run perfectly, but no one could out-prepare me, so I have no regrets.”

Peyton is now done playing football, but he is very engaged in discovering what’s next. “Life is not shrinking for me, but morphing into a whole new world of possibilities.” Will he get in trouble and throw some interceptions in life? For sure. But I bet he will turn those setbacks into learning opportunities, to become better prepared, and to get closer to his goals.