I’m sure it is no surprise that Longhorn football is an inherent part of the culture and collegiate experience at the University of Texas at Austin. I personally have been raised to understand and love the game, but I know not everybody has the same passion for the game that I do. I believe that football is so popular because it can be so much more than a game and I have learned a few key lessons about life and management from being a football fan.
Lesson 1 – You can’t control everything –as frustrating as it is, you just can’t. This ability to accept a lack of control is a good lesson for life, because as much as we try to, the future is inherently uncertain. Events will occur no one could have predicted, and it good to be aware of what you can control and what you can’t.
Lesson 2 – Odds are that there are people more skilled for a particular task than you are –no matter how frustrated I get, and think I could get the get the job done, it’s always wise to remember that I may not be the most skilled. I also have to remind myself that my Longhorn team is only human, and mistakes will therefore be part of each and every game, and I shouldn’t be upset when they happen. Each player had to have been very talented in order to make the team, and it’s important to rely on them and their skill sets and trust in their ability to do their job.
Lesson 3 – Success takes time –when a college football team wins a national championship, it’s easy to overlook the 3-4 years of building preparation and effort on the team’s part. National champions aren’t born overnight, success takes time.
Lesson 4 – Practice and preparation are key – I think two quotes can sum up this lesson pretty handily. The first is by Sun Tzu from the Art of War, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” The second is by our own beloved former football coach Darrell K. Royal, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Lesson 5 – Don’t let the odds get you down –my high school cross country coach always had this little gem of wisdom: “there’s a reason they don’t play sports on paper.” Upsets and unpredictable outcomes are an inherent part of college football and life. Just because success may appear unlikely, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Lesson 6 – Adjustments mid-game can make all the difference –many football games are won or lost during halftime based on the coach’s ability to make adjustments to his strategy based on how the opponent is playing. There seems to be a strong correlation between changes made at halftime and the outcome of the game. Play the game and make the adjusts needed along the way.
Congratulations to our Longhorns and their victory in the Valero Alamo Bowl!