Football season is once again upon us. The evenings are getting cooler, and later this week the Friday night lights will shine once again.
I couldn?t be more ready.
I have always loved football. When I was little, my grandpa would sit me on his lap to watch the Kansas City Chiefs and tell me about the game. I credit him for piquing my interest and enjoyment of football. As a result, fall holds a special anticipation for me.
Last week, as I traveled to various high schools in Marion County to take photos for our fall sports preview (which you?ll find in this week?s edition), I had the opportunity to observe coaches and players hard at work on the practice field.
I was impressed with the dedication of athletes to be willing to put in the effort to perfect their skill.
As I conducted an interview on the sideline with a coach, I watched as the guys split into groups to work on different drills. The motions were repetitive, doing the same things over and over in order to get it right. I suppose that is the essence of practice. One cannot always expect to get it right the first time.
As the athletes worked, coaches came alongside them, guiding, directing, shaping and tutoring, helping them recognize their shortcomings, yet providing direction on how to get things right. A coach is at once a leader, encourager, motivator and teacher.
I saw that everything had a purpose. There was strategy involved. And hard work. Sometimes it was painful. Yet the common goal of improvement fueled them on. Everyone likes to win, and the work put in at practice translates to success on the playing field.
Sometimes life?s like that.
When pursuing a goal, it takes time, effort and hard work. Sometimes multiple attempts at just one thing. We cannot shy away from something, even if it?s hard and we don?t find immediate success.
Actively pursuing a desired end may mean being knocked down a few times, but what is important is to get up and try it again. Dedication and commitment to success take time and effort.
We can surround ourselves with ?coaches? who can speak words of wisdom into our lives, providing encouragement, yet being honest enough to tell us where we fall short and what we need to work on. A coach directs our efforts as we perfect our skill. A coach is there to pick us up when we fall and encourage us to press on.
We can also join with friends working toward the same goal and travel the journey with them. There is solidarity in shared experiences.
In doing these things, and putting in the work, we?ll be ready for game day, when others will see the result of our efforts and be there to cheer our successes.