Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Get in the Game!

I love football!  I miss it when it is not in season and I look forward to it every year.  There is something about the commitment to excellence, the requirement of teamwork and the law of inches that all combine to make for great memories. 

At the high school level, a commitment to being the best starts long before spring or fall practice.  It starts in the weight room, far from the glitz and glamour.  Far from the bright lights and the touchdowns.  You have to pump the iron, run the sprints and prepare yourself to win.  Where there is no preparation, there can be no victory.

When I wrestled in High School, I remember a quote that went something like this.  “Remember, when you are not working, there is someone else who is, and when you meet him, he will beat you.”  It still sends chills up my spine when I read it because in the game of life, preparedness is the mother skill.  Many a motivational speaker has said “where opportunity and preparedness meet, victory is close behind.”

In networking, you have to get in the game.  You have to practice and rehearse far from the bright lights and the victory that follows.  If you don’t prepare, you will not succeed.  The great football coach Vince Lombardi use to say “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.”  Now that’s a great word!

In Paris, France – April 23rd, 1910 President Theodore Roosevelt gave his famous “The Man In The Arena Speech.”  I think he was talking about “getting in the game.”

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

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