Mental Health and Addiction - Gametime
Updated: Aug 31
"We win our games in practice. We learn and follow the fundamentals of our game better then anyone in the league. All of our games are won in practice." -Vince Lombardi
Vince Lombardi knew a thing or two about winning. He coached the Green Bay Packers to five NFL Championships and victories in the first two Super Bowls. The trophy they give out to the winning Super Bowl team each year is named in his honor.
You may be thinking, what does this have to do with mental health and recovery? I'm glad you asked...
During a recent recovery coaching session with one of my clients I asked him, "What is your favorite sport?" He replied, "football." I said, "OK, if your team has the ball on the fifty yard line with one minute left and it's a tie game, is the game won in that moment? Or is the game won during preseason workouts and the week of practice and preparation prior to the game?"
Being the smart guy that my friend and client is He immediately understood where I was going with the analogy. The game is won in both of those moments.
The game is won in the weight room during training, in the film room while studying your opponent, and the game is won on the practice field. Even with all the practice and preparation execution of the game plan is still a much needed piece to the winning puzzle.
When it comes to the struggle of depression, mental health issues and addiction our time in prayer, reading, writing and getting help is where the battle is really won. Being 11 yrs into my own recovery I can say that the more diligent I was, and am, with my personal growth and time with God the easier it is to handle the moments that can potentially trigger me.
These days I start every day before the sun rises with reading, writing and prayer. I do this for multiple reasons, one of them being that I don't always know what the day is going to through at me. I consider it my practice time, in a sense.
I have noticed that when I don't start my day this way I'm not as clear headed, confident, peaceful, and aware of God on those days.
When NFL football players practice all week long for their Sunday game they are doing everything they can to fill their mind with the winning strategy. That way when game time arrives they are prepared, confident and focused.
We have all heard of Bob Marley, but before anybody knew who Bob Marley and The Wailers were they practiced nonstop. At times Marley even made his band practice in a cemetery at night. His thinking was that if they could play good in the cemetery at night it would be easy to play good in front of an audience.
Any football fan knows who Jerry Rice is. He is considered the greatest wide receiver to ever play football. His resume includes winning three Super Bowls, and holding every single season and career receiving record available. He also happens to be the NFL’s all-time leader in yards, receptions, and touchdowns.
Rice was very serious about his preparation. "He would typically continue practicing long after the rest of the team had gone home. Most remarkable were his six-days-a-week off-season workouts, which he conducted entirely on his own. Mornings were devoted to cardiovascular work, running a hilly five-mile trail; he would reportedly run ten forty-meter wind sprints up the steepest part. In the afternoons he did equally strenuous weight training. These workouts became legendary as the most demanding in the league, and other players would sometimes join Rice just to see what it was like. Some of them got sick before the day was over."
I've found my early rising and quiet time help me prepare for the game time of the day. When I start my day by praying about it, writing about it, and filling my mind with good things I position myself to conquer the day instead of the day conquering me.
I can't really expect to be continually victorious in my life if I'm not putting in time to personally grow on a daily basis. I can't expect to be able to lead people further down a path then I've ventured down myself.
All the practice is needed in order to position oneself for victory in the real time situations life throws at us.
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