As we approach another end to the football season 1,200 NFL players will retire just like they do every year. This number would multiply significantly if we added in the college and high school football players that will never take the field again. Football ends for every player at some point. No more Friday night lights, no more Saturday afternoon crowds and no more TV or radio for players. Football often comes to an abrupt end that very few, if any, players welcome. Regardless of the level you play when football ends the player is young with a lot of life ahead of them. So now what?
As players reflect back over their careers, what was it all about? Was playing football your life's destiny and was playing football meant to be your sole purpose in life? Do most players peak on the field in the game of football and their life is downhill from here?
You might be surprised by how many retired players would answer yes to these questions. The fact is nothing could be further from the truth! Even though players at all levels are told the most important quarter in the game is the 4th quarter. That is where the game is won and lost. The ONLY quarter that matters is the 5th Quarter and the real game is called life.
Football prepares players to succeed in the game of life because it instills the principles of success needed to win in the 5th quarter. The key to success is understanding and developing the skills to transition what was learned in the 4th quarter to the 5th Quarter. In the book, Winning in the 5th Quarter-Apply the Secrets of Football to Your Strategy Playbook,I explain football is a microcosm for life. There are very few situations that will happen during a course of a player's life, in the 5th quarter that they haven't already faced and learned to conquer in the 4th quarter. The ending of the game of football for all players is just the beginning of a new and bigger game. What players need to understand and embrace is; everything they have achieved up to this point in their lives has prepared them for much greater accomplishments in the 5th quarter.
There is a reason that many organizations give ex-football players a distinct advantage in a job interview or will often put their resumes on top of the pile. They know that if this player truly understands the secret of football and brings what they have learned on the field to their new job/career they will be a superstar! The truth be known, they are correct in that thinking.
If you are a retiring football player at any level, be clear the game NEVER ends. You might be changing uniforms, playing on a different type of field, and be on another team with a different playbook. At the end of the day the principles of success that helped you execute on the football field are the same in the 5th Quarter! Best of luck to you in your 5th Quarter!
Bob Beck www.WinningQ5.com
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