By Jim Tunney, Ed.D.
After Further Review
…As the nation celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this past Monday, I vividly recall his “I have a dream” speech in August 1963. Dr. King was only 34 at the time. During that month/year I was officiating in the NFL and remember the tensions on the field between black and white players. Colorblindness hadn’t progressed much in the early ‘60s. Some progress has been made 48 years later.
Dr. King’s speech was about “acceptance” of others — meaning all people. The sports world has made a good deal of progress in this area. A black offensive guard working alongside a white offensive tackle must NEVER consider the color of his teammate to create a successful outcome.
First, for a T*EAM to create a winning climate, it must have HARMONY. Coaches call it chemistry, which promotes the idea that the team comes first and “I” am only a part of it. Tebow (Denver Broncos QB) comes to mind — should we replace harmony with Tebowing? Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints QB), recently setting a single season passing record of 5,084 yards, said it loud and clear: “This is not about one guy, this is about all of us working together.”
Second, each player must believe in his abilities as well as that of his teammates – call it OPTIMISM. Fans’ signs saying “We Believe” appeared many times in support of their teams. While it may be trite (trite because it is true), failure is not getting knocked down; failure is not getting back up after being knocked down. Ya gotta believe!
Third, regarding setting goals, there must be a PATHWAY. The lack of a pathway, ie., goals, is like a ship without a rudder; there is difficulty staying on course. Write down what you want to accomplish, then follow that path.
And finally, you can’t do it alone — EVERYONE is important to a team’s success. The collective strength of everyone will always be stronger than any single individual. Closing your hand to make a fist gives strength to each of its parts — called fingers (try it).
Combining these four words: Harmony, Optimism, Pathway and Everyone creates the acronym HOPE, which is what Dr. King’s dream was designed to be. Keep HOPE alive!
Will you use HOPE as your guide in your next endeavor?
Jim Tunney is a retired NFL referee and currently a motivational speaker and author. For more information, go to www.jimtunney.com or email him firstname.lastname@example.org.