Why We Play the Game
Why We Play This Game

Let us look at the word

I am sure you have heard the word before as I am sure you know the word means inner drive. Let us look at the word inner. That means that the will has to come from inside you. Very seldom does a coach come into study hall and say "Hey, does

anyone in here want to come and play football?" Programs are rarely promoted through open recruiting of the classes and hallways. Good programs promote themselves. That is not to say that they don't need a little help from time to time but if the program is made to be fun and special people will want to be apart of it.
Ultimately the decision to play a sport must be made on an individual basis. Good coaches are good motivators but once you decide to play the game you should be a promoter of the program just as the coach is. I know that when I played the game the only motivation I needed was for someone to say "Hey, let's go play some ball." That always did it for me. I know that kids today have so many more options than they used to. However, I am not ancient, and I enjoy playing some Playstation, Nintendo, and busting off some Temple Run from time to time. I grew up in the video game revolution. As an old game player I can tell you that when you boil it all down all those things are entertainment and there is nothing wrong with entertainment. One thing about football that a lot of kids and adults alike fail to understand is that being a part of a team is real. Playing for a team is real. Getting the job done and feeling good about it is real. These things are not pretend. They exist in the real world and make you a better person. We do not have to dream that we are someone special. We do not have to live the life of someone else to enjoy it. Football gives you the chance to be a part of something special. It does not matter what others tell you, the team belongs to the team. It is not just the coach's team. It is not the quarterback's team or the starting linebacker. The team belongs to everyone who pays the price to be on it. The freshmen who comes out and does not see the field on Friday night but goes through practices and yells for the starters from the sideline has a part of it just like the coach. The game was not designed for the personal benefit of the few. When I talk to anyone about our team I always make sure to emphasize the word "our." The reason I do this is to make sure that whoever I am talking to will understand that I do not own the team nor do I claim to. Our team belongs to everyone who has taken the time to become a part of it. I am a firm believer in this. An enormous amount of effort goes into a team. Most people do not even have a concept of what goes into just one season. Even the players do not usually fully understand all that goes into a single season. Make sure that you do your part for the team. You have chosen to play one of the greatest games that has ever been conceived. Do not be a selfish player. Play the game like it was meant to be played, hard. Do not play the game because everyone else is or the "cool" people in the school are doing it. Play because you love the game and because you want to be a part of a team. I know that in our day and age it seems that a lot of people have forgot about team. However, I can assure you that coaches, on any level, have not forgotten it. Those that have are not successful for long despite the amount of talent that they have on the team. I can also assure you that college coaches are much more interested in those players who have proven that they are team players. You can shine as a team player. I have seen so many young players motion to the crowd after a big play or perform some silly act let everyone know that they are "great." I can tell you first hand that most of the people in the crowd just shake their heads and think to themselves "How stupid." Desire is a word that can mean many things as well. On a football field it is the word that counts. I have been watching and playing football for years and I have always studied players in the game. I have been looking for the little things that make them great players. Let's face it, in the NFL everyone can flat play some ball or they would never have got to the point where they are. However, I look at those who seem to succeed even when they are outmatched. I look at the players who get the job done even if they are shorter, smaller, and slower than the other players. Almost always the word desire is brought up. You have heard the word so many times. "Does he have desire or what?" It means something really great. When I look at all these greats they seem to have a common approach to the game. Something just snaps in them and they decide that they are going to get the job done and then they do everything in the word to make sure that they get it done. It is almost like they make a decision that they are going to make something positive happen and then they do. You can think about certain plays in your past where you just decided in your head that "This is my play." And it gave you a charge and then you played better. You raised your level of play. You made yourself better than you had been. You focused on making something positive happen for your team and yourself. Can you imagine playing like that every play? How good would you be? Can you imagine every play lining up before the snap and having the thought in your head that no matter what happens on the play you will prevail? What if you played every play like it was the last play you would ever have. Imagine yourself lining up with the desire to overcome despite pain, adversity, or being outmatched. In your mind you will get the job done no matter what. No one can stop you. You are not only the best football player at your position but you also happen to be the meanest hombre to walk the planet Earth. You might get knocked down, someone might drop a pass over your head, or you might miss a tackle and give a big gain but it won't happen often and the next time they try it you will make them pay. Desire to play the game hard from the start to the end as it was intended. Desire to make your team and yourself a winner. Desire to get the job done no matter what and without giving excuses. This is how you should play the game. Don't be scared or tentative. You will get beat this way. Attack the game with all you have. Don't wait on it to come to you. That will never happen I promise. When your opponent thanks you don't have anything left fox him. Push yourself when the chips are down or when you really think you are tired. What do you have to lose by playing this way? I promise you that you will show your opponent and everyone around you that you are not only a good player but someone that will never give up at anything. I think one of the biggest problems facing people today is that they don't want to push themselves. It is impossible for a coach to succeed at making you the player you can be of you don't meet him halfway. You must have that in yourself. You have to want to be a success before you can be one in the "real world." I know that sometimes young kids excel at early ages because they are just heads and tails better than everyone else. However, it does not take long for this advantage to be overcome by other kids who just "want it more" as they say. I have seen this so many times and it just makes coaches sick. A kid comes out to play in 5th grade and looks great. In 7th grade he is just cutting through the pack like a human torpedo. High school rolls around and where is he? The excuse is almost always the same. "Well he just could not deal with the coach." Or "He felt he was getting the shaft by the coach." Another one for the record, "The other players were just not treating him fair and the coach did not do anything to stop it." Those things make me sick. You should never quit because you don't like the coach or someone on the team. That is a sellout. A coach might get a bad opinion of you but it will change when he sees the kind of winner you are. And to quit because you have problems with others on the team, now get serious. Football is the one sport where you can either win your teammates respect or force them to respect you. Remember football is not a popularity contest. You are not trying to see who is the best looking or who should be prom king. Those things do not matter in football. You're willingness to put it all on the line for your team is what matters. I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out why kids quit. To be very honest, I am not that interested in quitting. I believe that football is what you make of it. If the game means something to you there is no way to quit. You may not like the coach and you may not like all the players on your team. However, you need to learn to play with them and you should do what you have to do to improve the team's chances to succeed. I have seen many kids quit. They almost always wish they hadn't in the long run. I realize that times have changed over the years. I know that entertainment is much easier to find than it used to be. I also know that things are more available than they used to be. However, being a part of something special has no substitute. When you are part of something special it becomes something that you never forget. A day won't go by that you don't think about it. Entertainment is good. Everyone loves entertainment. Just don't let life pass you by while you are trying to amuse yourself. It would be better to be a part of something and fail in your goal than to never have tried because it was much easier not to.

Copyright 2013 Robert B. Babcock
1010 10th St.
Snyder Ok. 73566
Robert B. Babcock
IGWT t 2013