98 Out Of Thousands
Well this is it…
The final preparations are underway. Shirt and tie combinations are matched together; chalk lines and stick pins mark the points where the seamstress must nip and tuck in order to ensure the new suit fits his athletic frame perfectly. Family members and long-time friends peruse the aisles at their local Party City store gathering the decorations of streamers, plates, confetti, and balloons needed to transform his tiny childhood home into draft day party headquarters. The long wait is almost over-soon the NFL draft will be under way and 250 athletes will experience what many of us could only dream for-to have an NFL team ask you to be a member of their organization. Although the odds of going pro are slim, 98 underclassmen (not yet seniors) made the audacious declaration to become eligible for the NFL draft. Such declarations have no do-overs or my bad’s because once an athlete declares himself eligible he can never call himself a student athlete again. With such declarations, these young men have aborted the conveniences of college life in exchange for the courageous uncertainty of becoming a professional athlete. Out of the thousands of athletes “who could” do it, these 98 took the leap of faith and did do it. They did it, when will you?
- When will you shed your underclassmen mentality and declare yourself a pro?
- When will you cease to live your life by someone else’s definition?
- When will you stop taking advice from someone you wouldn’t gladly exchange places with?
- When will you stop saying, “I need to,” “I was going to” or “ I meant to,” but never did.
- When will you stop living in the 8th day of the week, “Someday.”
- When will you stop saying, “I’m just a [salesman/assistant/manager]” and start mentally living like an owner?
- Instead of blaming everyone and everything for how you finish (or never start for that matter) when will you grab the baton of responsibility and run your own race experiencing the blood, sweat, and tears of defeat knowing that if you keep climbing the mountains of obstacles, denials, and setbacks, you will one day reach your summit.
- When will you stop letting those who gave up on their dreams talk you out of yours?
- When will you declare that you will work while others play? Rise when others sleep? Read while others gossip?
- When will you pay now so that you can play later?
- When will you face the fact that you will forever be shackled to your past when you confide in the bottle or smoke that joint?
- When will you declare to come home to your family instead of running the streets with your friends?
- When will you study your craft instead of accepting your crap?
- When will you become your #1 fan instead of joining your troves of critics?
- When will you stop letting your memories be bigger than you dreams?
When will YOU?
The minute you declare yourself a pro and cease to think and act like an amateur. You’re never fully ready-it’ll never be “the” day, but…
Declarations don’t come by chance, they come by choice, but first you have to be bold enough to make the choice and then begin fighting for your dreams.
The odds say an athlete has a 3% chance of realizing their dream of becoming a professional football player. Sadly, the odds in society are much the same; 97% of people accept life’s scraps. The few percenters are richly rewarded because instead of waiting on life, they hunt her down.
The hospital, nursing homes, and graveyard is full of people who regretfully say, “I should have;” you be the one of the few who took the risk and said, “I did.”
It starts with your declaration.
I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.