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Mastery on the Gridiron, part one

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Admittedly and without shame, I am a lifelong athlete. I compete in many sports, some quite diverse and many which are rarely discussed or given the respect in the English-speaking media, yet each has a remarkable story. Reflecting the region of their genesis, each sport says something of the people, their vision on life, its struggles and strains.

While the modern era of sport and the media has erroneously made sporting activities seem more focused upon the financial balance sheet, the true bottom line is the lessons they teach. Though sport echoes society, it has a unique power to shape young leaders of tomorrow and teach honor, commitment and loyalty and that “adversity is something you overcome”. While Baseball is known as “America’s Pastime”, Football is undeniably a sport that cuts deep into the fabric of the nation.

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Although rarely taught as such, or at least as much as I would like, the sport echoes the roll up your sleeves attitude of working together as a team and getting the tough job done. Bold, assertive with a never say die that plays to the final whistle, the Gridiron is textbook countless Coaches have used to build young boys into men. Despite what you see in the press and the endless marketing efforts, Football is not a game of some lil’ darling dancing in the end zone, disgracing the jersey by “trash-talking” or all about “me”, it is sport, often brutally violent that teaches team unity and working together to overcome adversity.

While I prefer a more straight-ahead smash mouth brand that says, this is what I’m going to do, give me your best to stop me, strategies may differ but at every turn it needs to be taught as a sport that breeds leaders of tomorrow. For some my vision or at least emphasis on what the sport teaches, will not resonate.

For far too long the sport like many, has lost its way and forgotten its roots, its heritage. Make no mistake, from the day a young man decides to play the game; he may be learning how to block and tackle but his true lesson is of accountability, courage, working together as a team, mental toughness and persevering against adversity as he finishes the task. This is the lesson of the sport of Football and one that I will teach as we push forward and teach the Renegade approach to Mastery on the Gridiron.

Through this extended series, we will review how to excel in the sport key coaching points, borrow greatly upon my book “Mastery on the Gridiron©” and expand into areas rarely discussed in public.

While it is difficult to find a perfect starting ground, as I have always done I think it is best to shoot straight from the hip. From the above book: For success on the gridiron, training goals need to considered in there simplest form which is; Elevates on field performance Improves the quality of the incumbents life, their character I wish to place heavy stress on these points in particular with the final comment. Sadly this is the one that isn’t stressed enough because as coaches, mentors, trainers and concerned parents; success never comes at that hands of teaching poor values. It is an error that plagues the sporting world today as we deal with some athletes that are extremely poor examples in our society. While I note this, I am not pointing the figure at the athletes but instead pounding the gavel down hard and proclaiming blame upon the coaching profession.

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The origin of modern sport was to enhance the quality of life, to be a conduit to teaching principles that will better their life and to elevate society. Our role as coaches / trainers starts at the basic fact that we are teaching and molding the minds of tomorrow. The foundation that we build is not merely one that will show itself on the field of competition but throughout a lifetime.

Prepared by John Davies

Want more? Visit "The John Davies Collection" home page for a comprehensive list of articles and blogs.

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