Monday, September 7, 2015

Lessons of the Game

Rolling Stone September 10, 2015
Ah, the NFL season. It's a great way to begin the school year and move into the colder months. Since I am back at school, I've had a lot to think about. Last year, for lack of better words, sucked, and this summer was particularly charmed. The universe seemed to know that I needed a good one to recover from the bad school year.

Back at school in what will be a transitional year for me. I am teaching a different grade level, moving on from some school-wide responsibilities and going toward others. Transitions can be tough. And I want to learn how to manage it without fear.

I was talking to a friend of mine after the first day of teacher back to school business, and he asked me how it was going. I told him that I had decided that if I didn't have anything good to say about my job, I wouldn't say anything. He asked, 'so what was good?' I replied, 'I don't have much to say.' And I left it at that. Before, I might have gone into a 15 minute soliloquy about this and that and the other thing. But to what end? Complaining about ... well, anything, isn't really very productive or satisfying. I know that the next time that he asks me this, I will be able to say something good. Not after the first day, no. The re-entry was brutal, but as time moves, so will I.

And then I read Rolling Stone's NFL issue. I had the mind to just flip through and look at the pictures, but I got caught up in reading about Andrew Luck, Dez Bryant, and Russell Wilson. I love to read about how athletes, especially elite ones, think. I was particularly interested in Russell Wilson. One of my new responsibilities at school this year is Athletic Director. I have watched Russell Wilson speak before, and the thing that I always noticed is his 'Go Hawks' whenever he steps off of the podium. I decided to copy him, so in all of my correspondence, I end with 'Go Eagles.' We are the one of the most rinky dink sports school around, but we can puff ourselves up and learn to live the whole sport experience. Team, pride, and spirit are essential skills that athletics can teach. You don't have to win to learn that.

In the Russell Wilson article, I found exactly what I had thought is how I am going to approach the school year. I watched the Super Bowl, of course, and I rooted the Seahawks because of Wilson. I saw the fumble at the goal line with seconds left and the Hawks' exquisite loss to the New England Patriots. In the article, it is clear that it has become the question that is posed to Wilson, 'what happened?' He typically responds, 'I don't know.' And why not leave it at that. It can be analyzed and explained  until it becomes the only thing that happened in the game. In a career. But not Wilson. Like many professional athletes, Moawad has a motivation coach, Trevor Moawad. In the article, it said: "Wilson and Moawad didn't spend the off-season rehashing the interception; instead, they spent hours watching video medleys of Wilson's best plays. "A lot of people catastrophize things and fall off the mountaintop," Moawad says, "Russell doesn't."

A lot of people catastrophize things and fall off the mountaintop. That is it exactly. He and I are thinking the same thing. Yeah, I'm only going to watch, or talk about, the best plays this year. There's nothing to say about the fumble.

No comments:

Post a Comment