Recently friend and colleague Dr. Chris Stankovich wrote about athletic transferable skills an athlete learns from sports, and how those skills can be used in situations such as a classroom, a future career, and in life. Dr. Stankovich gave a few examples of these skills including: discipline, being a team player, motivation, goal setting, and I’d like to add commitment.
We’ve all been on some type of team in our life whether it be a sports team, a work team, a family, or just a group of friends. Think back to that team you were a part of and recall if there was a true sense of commitment not only to the team, but also to team excellence. Vince Lombardi said, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of thier chosen field of endeavor.” Lombardi had a way with words that still echoes in every football coaches office in this country. Football coaches are notorious for one-liners and repeating slogans handed down from the generations… It’s not necessarily that current coaches do not have creativity or originality, rather the slogans and beliefs of the Vince Lombardi’s of the world were simple and believable, and maybe best described as motivational. I think Lombardi’s messages and certainly this particular quote resonates deeper than simply the locker room. The commitment that Lombardi is referring to is the same transferable skill Dr. Stankovich tells us we can learn from sports and use in other aspects of our lives.
After watching this video and listening to the greatest football coach of all time describe the game of football in his own words, I think we can relate to what Dr. Stankovich meant by a transferable skill. It doesn’t matter what field one is in, if you go about your work with the passion and conviction that Vince Lombardi did, you’re a winner. Vince Lombardi breathed, lived, and died football. Football was more than a part of him; football was in his soul. His voice still gives me goosebumps when I hear him talk about the game of football because for a long time, that was how I felt. Luckily I found another passion after football because I don’t know how a person can stop something they feel that strongly about.
Lombardi mentions twice in his speech the importance of having a commitment to excellence… He mentions this because it’s the right way to represent your family, the right way to coach and play sports, and it’s the right way to do our jobs. While I don’t believe I’m as good at sports marketing as Lombardi was at coaching football… (yet) I do believe having a commitment to excellence is a sure way of becoming the best at whatever it is any of us aspire to be. Whether it be a football coach, a marketer, a ditch digger, or a parent; listen to Coach Lombardi talk about the fulfillment and reward of working as a team to accomplish a goal and try to incorporate that same sense of unity in what it is that you do… Individual accomplishment is great, but “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi (1913-1970)