Do you love football season? I do.
I had a great football weekend. Our local high school upset a local powerhouse with a last minute field goal. We hadn’t beaten that rival since 1959.
My Florida Gators upset the 3rd rank Ole Miss Rebels 38-10. The games was at night and the crowd, fueled by a whole day of tailgating, was as loud as any I’ve seen. Few expected a Gator win. None expected the total rout that took place. It is rare to be in a place where 90,000 people are all surprised at once. It was electric.
By now, you realize that one of the joys I derive as a sports fan is the special lessons I learn about team success.
One lesson affirmed this weekend is the importance of achieving a quick start and creating momentum.
Ole Miss was a favorite, but the Gators set the tone early. The defense kept the Rebel offense pinned down while the offense scored three first half touchdowns and created an insurmountable lead.
Momentum is a powerful dynamic.
Teams with momentum create enthusiasm. Each success created more energy among its fans and its team.
Momentum inspires confidence. Fueled by success, players were making plays that they hadn’t made all season. Success begat success.
With added confidence, the team raised the level of its competence. We will see what happens as the season progresses, but you had the sense that the great game accomplished the effect of raising the stature of the whole team.
Some players who weren’t sure of how good they were changed their identity.
They moved from “wanting” to be some of the best to “knowing” they are among the best. The difference between “wanting” to be the best and “knowing” you are the best is often just one day, one play, one game, one shift away.
The high school game was even more of an upset. Bartow beat Lakeland 26-25.
Lakeland had better players. A Hall of Fame coach. But, on this particular night, Lakeland was penalized more than 20 times for over 160 yards.
Penalties killed drives for Lakeland and kept them alive for Bartow.
In football, penalties reflect a lack of discipline and concentration. It shows no appreciation for detail.
That lack of discipline, failure to concentrate and ignorance of details will let a weaker opponent steal your victory.
Do you bring momentum to work with you? Do you inspire your team to a great start every day? Is there someone around you follow to pull hard for us?
Be a game changer.