Words & Sports

Play the Entire Game

How many times have you watched a game (any game, any sport) where a team gets behind early, struggles, and then makes a play later in the game to get back in it? Doesn’t have to be an epic comeback, just a rally after a rough start.  

Think of a football game. It’s the end of the first quarter, and one team is down 10-0 and can’t make a play on offense.  

That team has three options at this point. 

1. Give up 

2. Press–in other words, force a play to happen 

3. Keep playing—the game is far from over 

Now, no serious football team would just give up, so let’s not even talk about that. The real choice is between the second and third options—push the panic button, or just keep going?

There are circumstances where option two is the right one, where the situation is against you and you’ve got to take the risk, push hard, and maybe it’ll pay off. But early in the game, there’s no reason to panic. And forcing a play when there isn’t really an opportunity is a good way to waste time, energy, and maybe get somebody injured. 

We all know that things change over the course of a game and it isn’t unusual for a team to start off slow and end up ahead. Don’t assume you’re looking at the final score when you haven’t played the whole game, yet. 

Maybe your company had a rough start this year. You may be late in your first quarter. Maybe take a look at what you’re doing, see if there’s anything you need to change or improve, but there might not be—you might be doing just fine. Now is the time to stay in the game. Don’t get distracted. Find some small wins—a good gain on first down, maybe. Then move on to getting first downs. The game isn’t anywhere near over.. 

Eventually those small successes will lead to a business deal going your way. 

Watch a football game, and take notice of a team that is losing 10-0 or 14-0. What do they do? They go for some good yardage. Then they get a first down. And not until then do they break a play open. Keep giving yourself chances. Play the whole game. 


Image of Vince Young was taken by Johntex under the Creative Commons 2.5 Generic License