The Game

As I watched the NBA post season, being from Akron,Oh. I was rooting for the hometown favorite to go all the way and bring home the title. As I watched in detail, game 5 of the second round, I was troubled by the play of my hometown favorite. I thought to myself that something just seemed to not be right with him during this game. Now there are rumors flying around and I am not here to talk about those rumors, but the nature of his game was different and it made me think about what takes you out of your game?

Our hometown sports hero is no doubt one of the best players around. He can change the outcome of a game just by stepping onto the court, but in game 5 he was not really present and he could not make it go his way in game 6. It’s sad that his season is now over.

I began to think about how his performance relates to me as a husband and father. In this role I should have the same impact on my family, as my star player does when his game is on and popping. I should set my family up to be a contender, a champion and a winner. So here’s my question: Men as the leading player on your family’s team what happens to our family team when our game is off? What is the outcome for them if I/we are a no show emotionally and physically? If I/we are the driving force, the motivator and the energizer what will happen to my family when I come up short?

Funny thing is that some brothers/fellas will run from this pressure, or ask to be traded in order to avoid being the go to guy. Not all brothers/fellas want the ball to be passed to them when the clock is ticking down. The kind of assurance that is needed to stay cool and deliver under this pressure comes from years of practice. Years of mental preparation, you know the kind where you play over and over this scenario: the game is tied with 2.5 seconds left on the clock, the ball is inbounded to you, you move around the defenders and with .5 ticks left you release the ball, you shoot and you score as the clock sounds at 0. As husbands and fathers do we ever play those game winning moments for our families over and over in our minds? Do we prepare for the tough games and have a plan of attack that will help us to win? Do we look to others who have come before us and won their tough games for guidance and advice?  

I believe our sports hero had practiced clock going down moments in his mind over and over. I believe that he had the mental toughness to win in those types of situations, but I wonder if he had received the guidance on how to recover from issues/things that may have nothing to do with the game. I wonder if he practiced in his mind, how to put his outside world far away when the game is on the line. Did he hear how to do that from someone who had been right where he was at, or did he try to work through his issues on his own? Something to think about fellas, how many of us trust no one because we feel that they do not understand our issues and therefore we tell no one and never ask for help.

So I know some of you are saying this is all good but what kind of moments should I be preparing for as the star player on my family’s team? Here are some: How does my family recover/survive or make it if I lose my job, my health or my life? Hard questions brothers but ones that we need to be look at address and plan for. I speak from experience on the job loss front, I’m sure a lot more of us fall into that same category but I can tell you that I had to have a plan to survive prior to my situation. I had to mentally see that my family would be ok; I had to see in my minds eye that I would be ok. I had to see that my family would not be damaged by the outcome of this situation. I had to talk to other brothers that had gone down this road and were able to bring a winning situation to their families in spite of it. I had to get out on the court, show up and perform at my best and do it not just for me but for my family as well.

Look, it’s like this our hometown sports hero will be fine he is without a doubt one of the best players in the world. He will learn, show up and deliver in the future. So to all my brothers/fellas/fathers/dads please do the same for your families, find someone that you trust to advise you. Learn to plan for things that may happen and then show up and deliver in those crunch times so that your family can be not just a contender but a winner in this game.               

Thank you for reading……

Marcus Whyte23
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