If you watched the Dallas Cowboys play the Detroit Lions Sunday you know what I am getting at. The Lions had all but given us the game. Four turnovers and about a minute left. All the Cowboys had to do was run out the clock. I even told my wife, “The game is over.” WRONG.
Matthew Stafford, QB for the Lions may have been the only one that believed they could still win the game. Even the sportscasters were talking about the concession speech the coach was going to have to make in the Detroit locker room.
I had the opportunity to see Matthew play in High School when he led Highland Park High School to the Texas State Championship. He was unbelievable back then, and he was unbelievable Sunday. With about a minute to go, he moved his team down the field and to the one yard line. With no timeouts left, he motioned to everyone like he was going to spike the ball, fooling even his own team. He then did a QB sneak and won the game. Nobody saw it coming…and you could almost hear the cries of despair coming from the Cowboy’s owner’s box.
Lessons from Matthew Stafford:
- It isn’t over till the last click of the clock. That applies to sports, to business, and to life in general. Keep playing with all you’ve got till the game is over. As long as you have breath, it is game on till the game is over, and that includes the game of life.
- It’s not how you start that matters, it is how you end. Matthew and his teammates made a lot of crucial mistakes. NOBODY thought they would pull this one out….except Matthew and his team.
- Trust your gut as a leader and be willing to take a calculated risk. That QB sneak was brilliant….and it worked.
- Believe in yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. Learn from them, and don’t give up on yourself.
- If you are in a leadership position, your confidence and drive (or lack of it) will lift your team to excellence, or sink the ship.
- Skills and natural ability will take you so far, then coaching, conditioning, and training come in to play. In the end, they all play a part in winning. Hone your skills, get under a great coach, and work hard. It is funny how lucky you get when you work hard at something you love to do and have a coach that you respect and follow.
I hope that you don’t give up on your dreams when you encounter bumps in the road. There are difficult days ahead. How well you traverse the obstacles and persevere in spite of the potholes will determine your success in the end. I hope you reach for the stars….and beyond.