An Amazing Football Philosophy

Let’s Play Football! (American)

The legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi once said, ” Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority”. I do not disagree with him, however I think a slight modification would work well here. For example, good football is like a good life, it requires perseverance, self-denial…and bad football would be an example of the lack of what is required by Lombardi’s requirements. 

Although, the requirements are essential there is more to football than the characteristics, there are some inspiring components to this game when we look at it thru the lens of life. Ok, every one of the components has a specific relationship to life and they are amazing when we connect the dots, but I just want to talk about a few, today. The common pieces to football are;

  1. The Field
  2. The Coaches
  3. The Players
  4. The Goals

These are consistent across every level of football, from the sandlot players to the professional athletes.

The Field

When I was growing up we did not have a formal football team or a field for that matter, we played in the streets in between cars passing by. It did not matter to us, the street was our field. It was our super dome, it was where we played touch or tackle. It was our field and it was the stage upon which we played. It was the place where all the action took place, even as sandlot players. The field at any level, whether amateur or professional, is where all of the off field work is put to use.  Everything else before this stage is a dress rehearsal or a practice, especially for the professional player. Yes, there is a practice field but it is only a place to prepare for the real field under similar but favorable conditions. However, in the real game the field conditions are subject to change at any time. In life, the conditions under which you play is subject to change at any time.

The Coaches

In football, the coaches are very important because they are often responsible for the on field strategy. In professional football, you will find a multitude of coaches but they are specific to different aspects of the game. For example, you can have Wide Receiver coach, running back coach, lineman coach and they are specialist in their area of expertise. In life, we need a series of coaches at different intervals and with different disciplines . The coach is ofter then one who challenges your choices and pushes you to get the best out of your talent. The coach is the one who will help you install a system of success in a specific area.  Do you have a coach? What is there specific area of coaching? Are you following their instructions? Are you seeing the success you want to see? If not, it may be time for a new coach (Dallas Cowboys) ←Sorry I could not help myself, but its true.

The Players

One of the most important components of a football team is the players. Why? Because, football like life and life is a team sport. That’s right, life and football are team sports. There are many people who are great solo players but they suck at team play. At the end of the day, it does not matter how good they are with an individual skill if they cannot, will not work within the concept of the team. It is important for players to know their roles and to fulfill they’re roll to the best of their ability. Imagine the quarterback trying to play wide receiver, while he may have some success in it, he will not be at his best because he is out of position. Life works the same way, we have people on our team who 1. do not belong on the team because they are not team players 2. they are on the team but out of position. Either way, this makes your team less effective, so this leaves us with a choice. We must make the choice to have the team that will help us have long term success in life.  Why is the right team important?


Every team has goals and they are strategic, personnel, team and in game goals. The strategic goals involve the overall plan they want to institute on game day. The personnel goals is creating opportunities for talented individuals in their specific area. The in game goals are short term goals like first downs and scoring. The team goal is to win, to have overall team success no matter what setbacks they encounter in the game. Famed football coach and commentator John Madden use to say ” Just Win Baby!”. In life we should be the same, where we have strategic, personnel, in game and team goals.

  • Strategic- Know what plan you want install and have success executing the plan.
  • Personnel- Know who you need and who you do not to have success. (No excess baggage)
  • In-Game- Know what you want accomplish specifically and short term.
  • Team- Get what the team is after, no matter the setbacks Win, Succeed, Accomplish, Complete

Life is indeed a teams sport because we are meant to live interdependent and not independent. The words from J. Donne’s poem come to mind “No man is an island, entire of itself”. This you will find to be true, because no matter how talented you are, success will be lonely if you succeed alone.