Last weekend’s NFL playoff games were filled with drama and excitement and with a lot of life lessons for all of us. Several games were won and lost in the last minute of the game.The two particularly remarkable games were the Cincinnati – Pittsburgh and Seattle – Minnesota games. Both ended in unusual and surprising ways.Cincinnati basically handed its playoff game to the Steelers. Minnesota lost its game when a very short field goal (about the length of an extra point) failed.
I’ve always felt football had a lot of life lessons. I certainly learned many things from practicing and playing football. Here are some life lessons I see from last weekend’s games.
First, don’t ever give up. You simply never know what’s going to happen in a football game.
We can be sure of this: the team that gives up is not going to win. It’s that way in life as well. Life is best lived when we show up every day and give our very best.
Second, prepare as if everything depended on you. The football teams that win generally are the ones who are most prepared. In football and in life, what often appears to be thought of as “luck” is really intense preparation over a long period of time.
Third, when life turns out the way you want or the way you train, be humble about it. It’s likely you benefited from someone else’s sorrow or pain. It’s best when we simply acknowledge we are blessed. My (beloved and respected) football coach told us to be “humble in victory and courageous and defeat.” That advice will help you many places in life.
Finally, be thankful you had the opportunity to play the game at a high-level. Professional athletes and college football players have been blessed to be able to play the game. So have we. We’ve been given life and the opportunity to make the best of it.
The apostle Paul reminded us to live as wise people and to make the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:15-16).
That’s good advice for football and even better for life.
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