Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Catching The Ball

With a thundering applause I knew my eyes were not deceiving me, Alshon Jeffery really did just make that one handed grab in a critical juncture of what might have been the most important football game I’ve ever attended in my life. The University of South Carolina standout wide receiver had just helped propel his team to a monumental upset. The crowd went wild.

Flashback five days prior when a baby faced Jeffery boldly predicted a victory against the number 1 team in the nation to an ESPN reporter, before smiling ear to ear with an optimism reserved for only our bravest youth. As the video clearly shows, Mr. Jeffery did in fact do his part to beat the top ranked Alabama team.

The ball was thrown to this budding receiver because, no matter the blanket-like coverage by the man defending him, his quarterback knew he was prepared to catch the ball. In business, often we are faced with great obstacles that are directly in the way of catching that shimmering sphere of success that so few businesses ever obtain, and if we aren’t fully prepared, fully capable, and in a place where we can excel, no matter how hard we try, we won’t be able to succeed in building a business to a successful state.

Jeffery had spent countless hours preparing himself mentally, physically, and emotionally for that moment. No doubt, his natural gifts are far superior to most in that realm, but no matter, he prepared like he was trying to catch a ball with no hands. In business, we must prepare that way. Shortcuts don’t work, outsourcing everything doesn’t work, making excuses, blaming technology, or undermining business partners surely won’t help. We must, at the end of the day, keep our goals crystal clear, and work wholeheartedly at achieving them.

Twelve years ago, as a high school senior, I was excited for a game against our at-the-time archrival, Vallaha. I remember vividly coming out of the end zone for player introductions at the start of the game screaming with excitement as I nearly sprinted to the rest of my teammates standing on the 20-yard line. As fast as I could run out of that end zone, my coach was there to greet me with some loud and clear advice, calm down. At the time I didn’t know why, I was ready to go, isn’t that how we’re supposed to come out to play the game? Years later I realized, no, we aren’t to waste our energy on worthless introductions, but rather keep ourselves quietly primed, to, when the call is made, late in the game no doubt, catch the ball no matter what’s in our way.

Here is video courtesy of Rivals.com of Jeffery’s blog-post-inspiring catch.

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