Lessons From the Sidelines That Direct Your Future
Why coaching above talent is what makes the difference for many athletes both on and off the field.
Two of the most influential head coaches of my football career individually installed separate philosophies which amalgamated to create my mindset foundation, upon which I now attack life, professionally, socially and athletically, leading to my dream job and an ongoing international (American) football career.
A Late Starter
I only started playing football at university when I was 18 – something most aspiring athletes would consider much too old to create a high-level career, even though it had always been a dream of mine.
I was dubbed as un-athletic. My body was never meant to be used as an athlete but I decided to take up AmFootball anyway.
My first quarterback coach, and now fantastic friend, saw some potential within my lanky, lumbering, slow frame and stuck with me. He told me I had potential, something which always motivates me more than most things, so I decided to go for it and I set myself a goal: The Great British National Team.
I was then fortunate to be led by two great head coaches who brought individual philosophies to the table that mixed within me and created my attitude, commitment, effort and eventually my success.
Adopting Goals and a Delta-Driven Mindset
The first philosophy was – to always ask yourself the question ‘will this help achieve my goal?’ at every single life decision that day, and then repeat, every day. Like ‘will watching another episode of Peaky Blinders on Netflix really help me get on the national team, or should I go to bed?’ or ‘should I have the currywurst here, or the satay tofu wok?’
To achieve your goal, you know which the correct answer is, and there is no hiding from it, all it takes is that touch of dedication and discipline, then before you know it, you’re setting your next goal.
The second philosophy revolved around Delta. For those non-geeks amongst us, Delta is the fourth Greek letter that is used in science to denote a change, any change; a change in temperature, velocity, strength, ability or skill no matter the context. With this mindset, the principle is to take every opportunity you have to create positive in your life and ultimately guide you towards your goal.
So I took these two coaching approaches and melted them into a singular mindset that can be applied to every area of life and not necessarily just a sporting goal, but a social life, a career, a family or any goal that you want to take to the next level. Professionally, I had always dreamed of working at adidas, to create products with 3-Stripes; but it required me to go to the next level.
This philosophy can help you reach the next level.
With this mentality, any goal becomes feasible. Within three years of picking up the sport, this sluggish and lethargic body played for the Great Britain team twice. The second time I started and quarterbacked my team to a 40-0 victory. Professionally, well, here I am. My goals fully fulfilled, meaning I had to create new goals, strive for new achievements, but the attitude is still the same: Constantly Create Delta.
The "coach", who influenced me the most, was my high school math teacher (the best teacher I ever had). He showed me that with enough dedication, persistence and belief in myself, I am able to achieve anything I want. He believed in me before I did and I will be forever grateful for that.
Thank you for cementing the Attitude..!