Over 110 million people watched the super bowl! The 50th anniversary of one of the grandest spectacles in American sports was filled with golden moments. Whether you were watching the heart touching stories of players on either team, the introductions of Super Bowl MVPs over the past 50 years, the halftime show, or the post-game celebrations and interviews, the broadcast was filled with powerful moments.
Here are the 3 Golden Nuggets I hope young athletes picked up from this event.
- Your Reputation and Character are Evaluated in Victory and Defeat
You win some, and you lose some. Hopefully you win more than you lose. Sometimes things go our way, and some times they don’t. That’s the pattern of life.
As a former Division I student-athlete, I am a firm believer that winning is very important! I hate losing! But I always vowed to never lose sight of who I was whether in victory or defeat. Remember when you win, people notice how you handle winning. When you lose, people notice how you handle losing. In both situations, your followers are watching. Your followers will determine whether they believe you are a winner or a loser based on how you handle both.
Which are you, a winner or a loser?
- The Opponent Gets A Vote
Have you ever felt like you had a great week of practice? You had laser focus, extreme confidence, and your precision was at an all time high. Then you get to game time and things just don’t seem the same. You aren’t executing the way you planned. You are making mistakes you wouldn’t normally make. Things just don’t seem to add up. Many of us have experienced this, and I can only imagine the Carolina Panthers can relate.
This weekend’s Super Bowl reminded me of a statement I heard long ago from one of my coaches. Regardless of records, stats, and predictions… regardless of ratings, rankings, and reputation… The Opponent Gets A Vote! They prepare just as hard. They want it just as bad, and are willing to do whatever it takes to keep you and your team from getting it. In any competition, the opponent gets to decide whether or not you win or lose. Do everything in your power to limit the opportunities they have to make their vote count. More often than not, the players and teams who display the most discipline and resolve will win. Just remember, the opponent will show up with their preparation, emotion, and execution too.
How will you make sure your vote counts the most?
- Punctuate Your Legacy!
Most of us learn the basics of punctuation at a very young age. Some of us may even remember the teacher who taught us that a period means there is nothing else to say, a question mark indicates there is something unanswered or unknown, and an exclamation point is used to show an elevated level of emotion or intensity. What many of our teachers didn’t teach us was that our education, our athletic career, and our life, are all a story made of a collection of sentences. How we punctuate each aspect of our life is completely up to us.
One thing I learned from working in the NFL is that we are all renting space. While we are in the space, each of us has an opportunity to create the life and legacy of our dreams. The Super Bowl was filled with people punctuating their story. Some players are just starting their career like rookie Devin Funchess, or others like Von Miller or Luke Kuechly are in their prime, and yet others like DeMarcus Ware and Peyton Manning may never play another snap in the NFL. Each of them ended their season with punctuation. For some, their season is simply over. Period. Nothing else to add, no more to give… on to the next thing. Others finished the season with questions unanswered. Could I have given more? Did I give my best? Do my teammates feel like I let them down? What is next in my life? Will I ever get to play this game again? And finally there are others who finished knowing they gave their all! There was nothing more they could give! They poured their heart and soul into their preparation and their execution!
How will you punctuate your legacy? When you leave your school, your team, this life, will you leave with a period, question mark, or exclamation point?