Bryce Petty models the will to win for all teens.
I sat mesmerized in front of the TV set, as I watched the Baylor and TCU football game on Saturday. It was an exciting game indeed. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, with TCU up by 21 points, I said to my sister in law, “It is all over. Baylor has officially lost the game.” And then Bryce Petty came on the field with determination and focus. I couldn’t believe it. Never mind that he had thrown 2 interceptions previously. It was like the game was just starting for him.
Wow, in the last 11 minutes, he methodically erased a 21 point deficit, and then Chris Callahan sealed the fate of TCU, with his kick in the final seconds, to win the game by 3 points. It was unbelievable, and exciting. Even though I hadn’t really supported one team over the other, I found myself jumping and screaming at the thought that Baylor had not given up in the face of seemingly unsurmountable odds.
As I calmed down, I realized the life lessons from the game.
It “ain’t” over till it’s over.
How many times have people given up because a situation looked impossible to them? We sit and feel sorry for ourselves. We sulk and complain and get angry at the world. As I observed in the game, forget the past, and what went wrong. Figure out new ways to overcome the problem. Take a time out. Discuss the situation with your mentors or coaches, your peers. Look at it from different angles. Come at it with fresh ideas. Bryce Petty and his Bears did what Og Mandino insisted we must do, “Search for the seed of good, in every adversity…..Find it and prosper.” And they won the game. As parents we must help our teens to do the same, find the seeds of good and persist.
Focus on the desire.
“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” Vince Lombardi.
It is so important to have a goal, an aim in life. You must define what you want. Do you want to win? Then do what it takes. If you don’t desire to win or if you don’t know where you are going, then it is easy to give up or be distracted by the next shiny object. Having the desire to win or succeed at something, spurs you on, when the going is tough and you feel like giving up. When we help our teens discover their desire to win, they will do the necessary training, read the books, put in the extra effort to reach amazing goals.
Enjoy the wins along the way, but don’t rest on your oars.
When I first started watching football and basketball, I often wondered why the players would “chest bump” and give themselves high fives, when they sacked the quarterback or stopped the other team from scoring a basket, even when they were losing. Then it hit me, it’s good to enjoy the little wins along the way. It spurs you on. It gives you courage. It increases your will to win. As Creighton Abrams said, “When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.” Celebrating those small victories gives you strength for the journey. We all win the game, one touchdown at a time, or one basket at a time. Those who look at the entire picture often get discouraged because it seems impossible. The will to win is key to success. As parents we must help our teens discover the will to win in every tiny battle, not just the war, by celebrating every small victory.
Don’t dwell on past mistakes.
Bryce Petty, threw two interceptions in the game. I was sure he would be discouraged. In my mind the game was over. However, this young man knew the power of leaving the past behind. He took the field, more determined than ever. He knew the lesson that we can’t change the past. We can only move forward and learn from our mistakes. He’s learned to leave behind the “Would have, should have could haves of life.” He made a mistake, but rather than dwell on the past, he looked to doing better in the future. “Dwelling on the negative, simply contributes to it’s power.” Shirley Maclaine. Teens have a tendency to focus on the past, looking especially at their mistakes. A failed exam, a broken relationship can be devastating. Remind your teens to focus on the possibilities of the future.
Cheerleaders help along the way.
It always warms my heart to see the cheerleaders come on and encourage their team even when the team is down and obviously losing. Parents need to be cheerleaders for their teens. Encourage them when they are down. Many battles remain. There is always next time. Cheerleaders make you feel good, even when success seems far away. Cheerleaders remind you current results do not make you who you are, you are still a wonderful person, who will live to fight another day. Parents have been known to scream at their kids from the sidelines because they made a mistake. Rather than berate them, parents need to take a lesson from the cheerleaders, and inspire their teens. As Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Be your teen’s best cheerleader!
So thanks to the Baylor and TCU football players for an awesome game and for many life lessons learned along the way. Persist when it seems all the chips are down. Take time out and consult with our coaches. Leave the mistakes behind and learn new ways to overcome, one step at a time and to be grateful for the support from our cheerleaders along the way.
Photo credit: Cindy Rooney TACA Storm Football Thank you.