Every human being is born with talents to help them to excel. However, it is up to that person to find out what that talent is. That was a topic I have currently come across reading a book of achievement techniques called "Goals." The most recent chapter explains how an individual has to identify those skills, but many times it is not clear to us what it is. There can be many different reasons why the talent doesn't stand out in our own eyes, but in most cases it can be realized by those who are looking from the outside in.
One reason for our talent being so elusive is because of our experience level. To find out what you’re good at you have to have used the talent before, not once or twice, but enough times that we recognize it as our strength. In most cases, especially while we are younger, we haven't utilized it to know it. That is why I believe that there is the need for every person working to achieve success to have a mentor or coach in your respective position. If you think about it this really holds true, not only in football, but in life itself. A mentor or coach is a person who we trust can give us advice and usually they have a gone through what we are currently experiencing or will face in the future. They’ve made mistakes and successes. So if you are lucky, you’ll find a mentor or coach who has also experienced your "talent" at work, if not from themselves having similar traits, they have at least gotten to see it in someone that they've coached or watched play.
In football, a talent or skill that you have not utilized may be the one thing missing that could to take your game to the next level or give you that all around game. A prime example that takes place in High School football all the time is when a coaching staff makes a decision to put a player at a position that is new to him or that the player has very little experience. If you are that person or know someone like it, the wrong attitude is to think you are probably being picked on by the coaches or that they have this “vendetta” or “conspiracy” against you. If you play HS football then you have to deal with that. We all have been part of the good ol' "switcher-roo" or at least witnessed the occurrence on a team that we've played for.
"I’m not a Runningback man, I'm a Quarterback!"...Listen, that’s life. Get over it! What are you going to do when life throws one of its MANY curveballs at you? Option 1: You can complain to teammates and other people around you. Stop working hard ruining any chances of excelling all together. And most likely force the coaches to make an unfavorable decision or Option 2: You could just step up to the plate and get the courage to face the challenge ahead knowing that this won’t be the last adjustment you will have to make over your HS career, nor college, nor in life.
If you easily give up and don’t believe you can adjust after a change like this on a small scale then that is the least of your worries. Depending on the knowledge/experience of the coach, moving the player to his new position, it could quite possibly have been what was needed for that player to earn a scholarship for college. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches or else lose out on an opportunity that you will regret for a lifetime.
I have seen too many of what I call "Deaths of a High School Football Star,” those would’ve/could’ve/should’ve guys. Both when I was a player and coaching, especially on the High School level. This is when the player gets trapped in what's called "learned helplessness" mode. The book I am reading describes it to mean a person believes that they can not excel or be good at something because it doesn't come naturally to them. So instead of stepping up to the challenge and performing they q...qui...quiiii...(you guys reading this just add a (t) to the end of the "qui". Sorry, I have a hard time even saying that word). But yup…That's what they do. They become another statistic “Death of a HS Football Star-the guy who would’ve/could’ve/should’ve...”
There are many morals to this story. I believe that as a player and a citizen, it is important and helpful to have a mentor. You need to be able to talk to person who has been through changes in life and have persevered through them. Your mentor does not have to be a football player, but someone who isn't afraid to give honest opinions, understands a team concept, setting and achieving goals, dedication it takes to make it to the next level, your talent level, and an understanding of the game of football is a plus.
I hope this article leads to the "Birth of a High School Football Star."
“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”-Vince Lombardi
"The great ones adjust." –A quote frequently repeated by one of my Arena Football coaches that has helped me throughout my life