It’s time for some football in Texas! If you play ball, under the Friday night lights (or just under the lights in your own back yard,) here are five thoughts you need to keep in your personal playbook.
1. Make It Rock Off The Field
You may be a rock star on the field. But what about when the lights go dark the other six days of the week? Strive each day to set an example in the “game of life” that others want to exemplify. Work to let others see in you the kind of person they too want to be.
2. Use Your Platform
Your talent on the field may very well make you famous one day. But don’t wait for the college scouts to come knocking. Use the platform you’ve been giving now to start making a difference in your community, at home, and on your campus. Because you are a leader, others will naturally follow your lead. Be a leader off the field that encourages others to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Be a voice on campus for respect and integrity. Encourage your younger siblings at home by helping them to understand that making good choices will carry you into the “end zone” of life and help you become a success no matter what career you choose.
3. It’s All About The Books
Every great player is only one injury away from the bench. You may run the 40 faster than Kanye starting throwing apologies at Taylor Swift after his VMA tirade. But, it won’t merely be your physical talent that helps you score life-long success. School is the sport above all others in which you must excel. The quickest way to lose your football privileges is to lose in the classroom. If you feel your about to fumble when it comes to your grades, get help. Don’t be afraid to ask for a tutor. Talk to your parents and let them know when you need advice or help with homework. Make sure that poor grades never sideline you!
4. Don’t Spike The Punch
Nothing kills a post-game celebration quicker than a trip to the morgue. Sports and alcohol don’t mix. Ever! Parties and drugs never lead to anything worth cheering for. Commit now to avoid friends and parties that can lead to trouble. Set an example to say “No!” to drinking and drugs. Remember, you are a role model. If you raise the bar, others will follow. Establish friendships with people that push you in the right direction rather than pull you towards the wrong. Plus, why would you want to put anything into your body that could hinder your performance on the field. Why would you want to indulge in any activity that could get you kicked off the field…and the team? And, the last time I checked, if you are under 21…need I say more?
5. Take Time To Smell The Sneakers
Okay, so the saying actually goes “take time to smell the roses.” But the point is, slow down long enough to enjoy the moment. You are privileged to play varsity sports. Many people would love to be in your position. You are blessed to be able to suit it up each week and run like mad up and down a field. Many teens your age have never been given such a ride. Win or lose, enjoy every moment of it. Because quicker than a 250-pound lineman blitzing your butt, eventually the clock will read 00:00 on your high school career, the lights will go black, the jersey will come off, and the bleachers will be empty. So, this Friday night when you take the field, take a second to look up, look around, and be thankful for the moment.