The Quarterback Mentality
By Mr. Love
Everything had seemed so clear. With great effort and planning I had charted a course to achieve my life’s goals. I understood the necessary sacrifices and made them. Sure, I wasn’t perfect; but I had given everything I had. I overcame so many obstacles. Yet, defeat now glared me in the eyes with an air of cynicism. What did I do wrong? Where was my Rudy Ruettiger ending? Despair and indignation infiltrated my heart. Now what?
I wish I could tell you my first instinct was to get back up, dust myself off and fight another day. But I’d be lying. I embraced the myriad of emotions that followed. While this can be part of the healing, it did not change my circumstances. I had to move forward. But where to begin? I had no Plan B. I resolved to take one day at a time; sometimes one hour at time. I chose to focus on the present. With great effort over time I developed what I call the quarterback mentality.
Have you ever witnessed a quarterback throw an interception early in the game? You can almost feel his shame and frustration as though it were your own. This is a pivotal moment for the quarterback. He must choose not to dwell on this momentary defeat. He must accept that the play is over and dismiss it immediately. If he doesn’t, he will lose focus and confidence. A momentary defeat can become total defeat. The best quarterbacks get back on the field and approach the game one play at a time. They live in the present. “Football is a game of inches,” says Coach Mark Dantonio. So too is life. Our life’s success is not won or lost in a single play. So let it go, keep your head in the game and take it one day at a time.