poetry / writing

Things I Learned About Writing from Watching Football

I love football.  I have a favorite team.  I have favorite players who do not necessarily play for my favorite team.  On Sunday, you can find me curled up on the couch enjoying a game or two.  I even watch ESPN SportsCenter.  While my husband doesn’t complain, a good handful of my friends and family often do and like to ask what I find so fascinating about football.  Beside the fact that it is a good ol’ American pastime, football reinforces a few things to me that are not only great messages in general, but important to me when  thinking about the pursuit of my dream to write:

1.  There is power in the battle.  Use it as motivation.  There is always another force you are going to have to compete with while pursuing your dream(s) whether it be naysayers, a passion for procrastination, not having enough time, etc.  The list can go on and on.  The important thing to remember is you need to be prepared to fight the battle.

2.  Some days you’re ahead, and some days you’re behind.  Not everything is going to go your way every time.  The best you can do is be present:  show up, be prepared, and give it your all.  Loss isn’t permanent.  Neither is pain.  It’s just a part of the battle.

3.  Practice, practice, practice.  Constantly work to improve yourself.  There are no excuses for missing practice.  Aim to be better every day.  A good friend of mine always reminds me: “Persistence beats resistance.”

4.  Study your sport.  Know the other players.  Watch what they do, what they say, how and why they implement their strategies.  Find positive examples and follow them.  Educate yourself to motivate yourself.

5.  Critics are one thing.  Haters are another.  Learn to discern the difference between the two.  You want fans who will be there no matter the weather, who will offer up support and advice because they care about you.  All haters want to do is bring you down, and you never want to make it down to that level.  In the face of haters, hold your head high, and be the bigger person.  A fine example of this in the football world is Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady’s response to the Jets’ Cornerback Antonio Cromartie harsh name-calling, “I’ve been called worse…but he’s a good player.”  You can’t let the haters allow you to take your eyes off of the game.

I’m sure I could expand on this list for at least another few pages, but you get where I’m going with this. (And please feel free to share similar lessons learned.)  At least I hope you do.  Now, get to watching some football.  That’s where I’m headed. (And later this evening, I’m going to practice on some revisions!)  Enjoy your Sunday!

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