Work Through the Garbage

As I have mentioned before, my wife and I have an old schoolhouse chalk board hanging in our downtown loft. On it, among other things, are notes I have written to myself, football plays diagramed by visiting coaches, and a to-do list from my wife.


Awhile back I scribbled a list of “catch phrases” I have used (and still use) with my players over the years…. Ask any of my current or former players and I think they would attest that they have heard these more than once…

  • “You Can Do More”…
  • “Get used to being in front”…
  • “Do Things Right”…
  • “Expect More”…
  • “Hard Work Pays Off…”
  • “It is not a sin to get blocked; it IS a sin to STAY blocked”


“You have to work through the garbage to get to the prize”

The last one was a phrase I use(d) coaching linebackers… the “prize” being the ball carrier… making the tackle.

I explain that when playing linebacker you hardly ever have a play where you line up, the ball is snapped, and you go make a tackle without ever having to…

  • Play off a blocker…
  • Step over an opponent on the ground…
  • Step over a teammate on the ground…
  • Separate from a lineman holding (oh that never happens) you…
  • Redirect after initially going the wrong way…
  • Get up after being knocked down or falling down…

It is hard stuff… it is hard work… but the “prize”… getting to the ball carrier and making a tackle… is worth all of the hard work!

Last week when I looked up and saw that phrase on my board… “You have to work through the garbage to get to the prize”, I realized… really for the first time… that it was more than a coaching point for linebackers.

It was a metaphor for life.

And really… aren’t most things we teach, and many things our athletes learn by participating in athletics, really life lessons?

If they learn what it takes to “get to the prize” playing linebacker, doesn’t that set them up to get whatever “prize” they want in life?

If they know how to “get up after being knocked down” or how to “redirect after initially going the wrong way” won’t that put them ahead of others who have not had to opportunity to learn these lessons?

Ours is an awesome job, with awesome responsibilities.

Related Posts:

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd –

2 thoughts on “Work Through the Garbage

  1. Pingback: What Your Athletes Really Want From You | You Can Do More!

  2. Pingback: Courage | You Can Do More!

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