And win those games within the game

The line of scrimmage is one of the greatest classrooms invented to prepare you for the game of life.

Each snap – a test.

And every play  – a potentially different subject matter.

Regardless of the level – youth, high school, college or pro – and whether it is practice or game – on every play, you are guaranteed to be challenged. Exposing you and your character to some of the greatest lessons you can ever hope to learn.

One after another.


Or – sometimes – all at once.

All of which are intended to elicit from you the correct response to a curriculum built entirely upon adversity.

Tomorrow night, we venture north and west.  To Mequon.

A night class.

Enrolled in a course extending across many layers and levels, encompassing  two communities,  two schools, two programs, two teams and two traditions.

Coaches and coordinators reading schemes. Units raising their hands in answer to the call. Guards, 3 techs,slots, whips, quarterbacks and corner backs studying one another. All  striving to make the grade.

But before any of this unfolds, I want to ask you to consider this:

How Coach Moroder described  football.

That “every game has a game within it.  And every snap is a game within itself”.

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Center Olin Kreutz #57 of the Chicago Bears prepares to snap the ball against the Green Bay Packers in the first half of the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Now this may appear otherwise to those in the stands or encircling the field. But we know that the true contest isn’t taking place on turf.  It is really being played at a different venue.

A competition held entirely within.

You versus doubt, second guessing, anxiety and fear.

You versus pressure, circumstance and the impact of momentum.

You versus the elements, fatigue and discomfort.   

You versus being the next man up.

You versus expectations.

You versus your character.

You versus the past.

You versus this moment.

The normal class-load for the line of scrimmage.

Lessons that are never contingent on squaring off against a larger tackle, trying to run down a quicker corner, containing an athletic quarterback or playing a defending state champion.

Rather, the ones you derive from the competition you enjoin with yourself to get better, be better –  and then – always be your best.

Affirming the lasting value of embracing every opportunity to test yourself.

Now some may only get the benefit of having to face these situations on an occasional basis.  Rarely afforded the chance  to take an honest measure of themselves.

But as a student of this game, you are blessed with an abundance of challenges made just for you.


To confront, overcome and defeat on every single snap.  Instantaneous and accurate  feedback as to where you are – versus where you want to go.

And by applying your focus,  commitment,  speed and strength to each of these moments – you can always expose your better self and win your share of these battles.

Making the right choices – a power you wield exclusively – you can maintain your advantage and turn the tide.

Employing a high level of intention will put you in the position to win the first snap.

The next.

The one after that.

And as many you are determined to make your own.

So, yes,  we are going there for Friday night under the lights.

Undoubtedly, we will confront all sorts of pomp and circumstance. Relentless speed.  And a mountain that is as high as the slope is steep.

These can become distractions.

But only if you allow them to get the better of you.

For in the end – each of you choose what happens at each snap.

To pass those  tests  taken on the line of scrimmage.

And win those games within the game.


Author: Mark J. Hahn

"To be there when the light goes on." Those few, powerful words, succinctly sum up my quest as a coach. That is really what it is all about. This is precisely what drives me. To have good fortune shine upon me briefly so that I can be present at that very moment. The instant of revelation. When the years of heavy lifting results in it making sense for someone else. The almost audible “click”, followed instantaneously by an unmistakable incandescence. The illumination that can only accompany accomplishment. To see bean in the eyes, the look on the face, a change in stature and the air of confidence overtake and envelope the protoge, the “project” or the late bloomer. That is why I am in it. There may never be a stat for achieving those kinds of victories. But it is by far the most important “w” I will ever achieve.

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