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I never played football before high school. But as a freshman, it seemed to be the thing to do. 

I remember putting on the uniform to play. I’d walk through the locker, feeling a level of connection. 

At practice, I would give it my all. But running was not for me. I’d be happy doing anything else. 

A deep desire pulled at me to play. Unfortunately, I was not good at football. I was “The Waterboy” bad with no one there to say, “you can do it!” lol.

It wasn’t a matter of being unathletic. It was more not knowing the tactics to be effective.

Yes, I watched the game on TV and imagined I was a star quarterback or wide receiver. But I had no frame of reference for the work ethic and level of detail it took to play the game well. Let alone become great. 

One of the issues was a lack of experience. Another factor might have been because my parents divorced. My dad lived in another state, and my mom could not be active either. It was not the ideal family home. 

After completing the season, I’d never play again. 

At the time, I allowed myself to be a product of circumstance. It was my parents, a lack of experience, or the unnecessary running. 

Secret Number 1: Choices

Looking back, I only could see my circumstances. We didn’t have much, even to cover equipment. I had to take the bus to get to practice. 

The way I saw things made it impossible even to make choices to learn. I didn’t think I had a locus of control over my life. Instead, I let circumstances decide for me. 

I now see choices that could have affected my circumstances. 

Secret Number 2: Limiting Beliefs

I allowed the fact that I didn’t have the experience to limit my learning. Every time I came to a technique I didn’t know, I’d shut down my brain. 

I felt as if I was past learning the basics because I was not exposed to it earlier. I never made an effort because I thought other players were way ahead of me. 

These limiting beliefs ripped away my ability to change and learn. I know of an NFL player that started playing in High School—Ben Roethlisberger. 

Secret Number 3: Work Ethic

I often start with my work ethic. Yet, mentally it seems to work the other way around. 

First, understanding my locus of control and seeing how choices can change outcomes. 

Then, stripping away limiting beliefs that hinder making choices to bring forth change. 

Finally, working hard to make necessary choices that lead to change. At the time, I didn’t see a purpose in working hard. 

In hindsight, I see many reasons why I quit football. The logic seemed justified at the time. But, I also understand that different choices could have changed things.