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Focus on the Goal

Many statistics are recorded in the National Football League to help evaluate team and individual performance. Sportscasters and their analysts seem to offer an endless array of these figures during every broadcast of every game. Yards per carry is one of many stats is that is recorded for running backs. For receivers, one of their measures is yards after the catch. The better these numbers look, the more valuable these players are to their teams.

The ball handlers who excel in these two positions seem to have one thing In common. They are clearly focused on their goal of moving the ball towards and into the end zone. They know where they're headed. They see the defenders moving on the field. They change their direction of travel based on what the defensive players are doing. Once they’ve caught the pass or received the hand-off, they are focused on their goal, not necessarily their pre-planned path.

" While our situation is not a game, it can have life and death consequences."

These professional athletes are competing in a game that can yield large monetary rewards for those who enjoy the best statistics. While our situation is not a game, nor does it have huge financial benefits, it can have life and death consequences. Just like the best football players, we need to focus on our goal as well. Our goal is a safe path of travel so we can return home safely to our end zone of our driveway.

Similar to game conditions, our playing field is always changing. Depending on the time of day we can be in the midst of hundreds of other vehicles or suddenly encounter a construction zone with narrower lanes and heavier traffic. The weather can be blazingly bright and toasty or the temperatures can abruptly plummet dropping us into frigid environs. The clear blue skies could quickly darken with menacing clouds that promptly open up, gracing us with an unexpected cool shower. We might cross a single line where the surface of the road changes in a heartbeat from a newly repaved highway to one that is well past due for replacement.

Amongst the ever moving blockers and defenders, the player running with the football is thinking about where the opening is, how he can get there and which defender could stop him. With the constantly changing conditions we face, we need to keep asking ourselves three questions. “Where is our safest path of travel?” “What do you need to do to get there?” “What could make your path less safe?” These questions require our complete focus and concentration. We can’t take your eye off our goal even for a moment. We must think about what can get in our way and block our goal. We have to search aggressively for stoppers; the things that can tackle us and end our run.

The more we focus on our goal, the less we'll have to deal with bumps along the way. The circumstances that could lead to a problem seem ever ready to present themselves. The sooner we see things that could keep us from our goal, the easier it is to deal with or avoid them altogether. Without goals we can't win, but we can only achieve those goals by having the motivation to make them a reality. Let’s focus on our feet scoring a touchdown in our driveway.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!