Valdosta State University has won its third football game of the season. The quarterback looks great enough to take over at the Atlanta Falcons. The offensive line is looking like they are fighting to protect a sleeping newborn baby. The special teams have meticulous measures and plans. The defense did not come to play games. If you put a quarter in, you will not win.After watching this team struggle in many areas last year, this year has been off to a phenomenal start. The progress they have made got me thinking about some similarities of not only winning in sports but winning in life.  Watching them grow as a team from just last year has truly been informative and inspirational. I have learned so much but have been reflecting on a few key points:

1. Have the backs of those who have your back.

Quick stay at the Hampton Inn, Valdosta Ga.

One thing I can say is that the players who are on the team are looking out for each other and it shows on the field. It’s obvious by the way that they salute each other on the sidelines.  In life, there will be people who bend over backward and go the last mile or last dollar for you. Appreciate those individuals and acknowledge them, daily. Sometimes they might need you but can’t really express that. Be proactive in looking out for those who help you. Try and be the help that you need someone to be to you. As the photo implies make someone else happy!

2. Play your role.

When I watch the Valdosta football games, there are no loopholes. The center is hiking with perfection. The offensive line is giving the quarterback protection…and everyone is doing their JOB. We all have jobs and obligations in life. The magic happens when we truly embrace where we are, what we have, and do everything with excellence. We might be a child, a parent, a sibling, or a friend. DO those things by intentionally stepping away from what you have going on and PLAN ACTIONS that truly help you to demonstrate your role in life. Pick just one role that you have (because we often play many) and plan to do something that relates to that. Ex. As a friend I will call two of my closest buddies this week, to ask them how they are feeling.

3. Be Intentional About Your Growth.

One of the commentators mentioned that the coaches made a strategic move to invest the bulk of scholarships in the team members who were already there versus those who were coming in as new players. They retained a solid sophomore class and it ultimately made them stronger this year. Just like in our lives we can make plans to ensure we reach our version of personal success. When was the last time you looked ahead and said to yourself, “Next year, I want to be in a better position so I have to make plans for this?” We are in a world where long-term planning is not talked about as much among my peers, but it should be. The coaches of this team “got” that concept and it clearly shows.

4. Fight through it. 

I saw a few players come off of the field with busted up skin, or limping. After taking a break and resetting a few things they were back at it again.  While traveling down to the game my stomach was extremely upset. Like, turn around and go home upset. But I fought through it or as my momma would say “roll with the punches”. In the end, I eventually made it. I saw my family and soon afterwards I felt better.In order to win and continue to win you have to push through whatever temporary battles you face so that you can come out as victorious in the end. This is true for any and every life circumstance!

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