Embracing Weaknesses: Lessons from a Missed Football Opportunity

An illustration of a high school football game at Giants Stadium during a night match. The scene is set under bright lights, highlighting a junior year football player, dressed in full gear, intensely focused on executing a fake punt play named 'Lusitania'. The player appears slightly anxious amid the tense atmosphere. In the background, an admired coach observes the play with keen interest. The stadium is filled with a vibrant crowd, adding to the drama and anticipation of the moment. The image conveys a mix of nostalgia, tension, and the significance of this pivotal play in the player's life.

The year was 2010, my junior year. We were one of the 20 teams playing for the many “state championships” of NJ under the lights at Giants stadium.

With an average talent set paired with above average effort I weaseled my way onto special teams.

The head coach (who I admire to this day) took favor with this fledgling footballer because I never missed a morning workout or practice. We had been practicing a trick play, a fake punt, since the summer. Direct snap to the punt protector, and the tight end (this guy) would block for a moment then release for a short dump over the line. We practiced the fake punt every Thursday, but ran it 0 times throughout the season.

In the beginning of the 4th quarter, on 4th down, this 4th string Tight end had his moment of glory. As the special teams unit jogged out to punt coach called out “Lusitania”. The trick play! Ball snaps. Young Kev is WIDE OPEN. Ball is tossed…right through my hands.

Hands like feet.

We lost by one touchdown.

Looking back on my average performances, football or otherwise, they have had the same things in common: showed up consistently, but never addressed my weaknesses. In this example, I would practice running routes – but never did so outside of practice with full pads on.

Today, any above average success I have in business, jiu-jitsu, or relationships have come from doing an honest assessment of my skills and deliberately improving them.

We are in the Golden Age of learning. There are books and courses cheaply available for anything you need. We even have digital interns at our finger tips to help us.

If I have one wish for you, dear reader, it is to address your “hands like feet” head on. Take advantage of the abundance of information we now have.

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