The most effective teachers, coaches and mentors are those that are able to connect with their charges on multiple levels simultaneously. Effectively addressing the needs of the imminent situation while efficiently planting the seeds that will yield future growth, achievement and excellence.
Their intuitive way – whether intended or unintended – to continue to teach, coach or mentor their students once the time comes for them to part company. To this day, I can yet remember such lessons and picture those that left an impression of that magnitude on me and my life through this loving level of instruction.
For example; “Head up and eyes down field”.
A lesson from seasons past. A refrain that continues to find its way into my thoughts, words and deeds over and again. A wisdom that applies to far more than just the position of your head and hips during the block, maintaining leverage in the fit and working down field on that 100 yard piece of heaven.
“Head up and eyes down the field” is a frame of mind made for the game of life. A way to carry yourself in all situations. A commitment first made to yourself that soon resonates with your teammates, coworkers and friends.
Essentially, it lays out an approach to choices.
Putting yourself in a position to make the right one so you may play big. Developing a higher level of self-discipline. Forming the habits that better prepare you to master circumstance. Making it your purpose to consistently exceed expectations. Defining yourself through a level of performance that always goes above and beyond in all ways.
When your head is up, you exude confidence. Positioned to see and engage each challenge face to face. With that will come courage and strength.
But thinking that you can – or should – can only take you some of the way. ‘Cause what is in your noggin always needs to be in sync with what beats in your chest.
We all know from experience, that what we think may in fact not be what is right, best or needed at that moment. So if you lead first with your head, you may find yourself leaning, off-center, unbalanced.
But pick your head up and your chest will follow. Physiology aside, to operate as a team, the head and heart depend on this proper alignment. A solid base. The right technique. For when both are on the same plane, you are well positioned to make a lasting and positive impact.
Once the head is aligned with the chest, your core becomes engaged. Far more than just being the area between your hips and pits, your core is where the muscles of character reside. The sinew that gives you the strength and stamina to relentlessly and morally pursue purpose. To achieve. Succeed. And excel.
Keeping your eyes down field insures that you maintain the proper perspective. It provides an important glimpse beyond the immediate. The opportunity of this moment framed within the context of the bigger picture. A powerful source of opportunity. A chance to see the impact of choice on the now and how that can play into what is to come.
Eyes down the field is how you can capture the needs of the instant with decisive, intentional action while setting your path on and through the next challenge.
See it. Capture it now. Be prepared.
“Head up and eyes down the field” was a compelling multilevel lesson for me many seasons ago. A wisdom intended to extend beyond our game on the gridiron. A constant reminder to keep the head and heart aligned. Character fully engaged. Eyes on the moment, but keenly aware of the bigger picture.
Their way to remain connected to me.
A way to always play big.