Mention autumn and many people think of Friday night lights, favorite teams, tailgating, and football. As a long-time football fan, I’m right there with much of America, spending Sunday afternoons around the TV rooting for my favorite team.
My husband’s favorite team is the Oakland Raiders, so in August we watched HBO’s Hard Knocks. Hard Knocks takes football fans behind the scenes of training camp, to see how young rookies, free agents, and veterans compete to make the team.
While watching the Raiders choose the players that would hopefully take them to the Super Bowl in 2019, I noticed mental discipline, unwavering confidence, resilience, and tremendous faith.
They used their words to create their experience; they kept themselves mentally focused regardless of appearances.
One of the players whose consciousness resonated most with me was Keelan Doss. Keelan was raised by a single mom in the Oakland suburbs. He played college football for UC Davis and was expected to be drafted to the NFL between the third and fifth rounds of the draft, but never got the call. He became an undrafted free agent and walked into the Raiders training camp with a dream and faith.
During training camp, Keelan played exceptionally well. My husband and I both thought he would definitely get a position on the team; the media thought he would be a Raider, and HBO thought he would get a job.
Then the news broke:
“Despite having one of the best preseasons for any player this year, the Oakland Raiders have decided to move on from undrafted receiver Keelan Doss from UC Davis, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. Doss led the team in receptions and receiving yards in the preseason, but it wasn’t enough to save him a roster spot.”
We were stunned. I’m sure he was shocked and extremely disappointed, but to the world, he remained faithful and confident in himself and his dream.
When asked about training camp, he said, “It went by fast. You get there, the first day in Napa and get to practice every day and meetings; it goes by fast. But it was a good experience and a fun time. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I feel extremely blessed to even be in this position.”
All this reminds me that we are always at choice. We get to choose our perspective, our self-talk and our judgment about circumstances.
This month, the Center will host a three-hour workshop on Sunday, October 20, at 12:30 p.m. featuring the philosophy that Lousie Hay lived and taught.
If you’re not feeling mentally in the game with your life, this would be a wonderful way to realign. And the next time you watch a football game, let it remind you of all the ways your thoughts create your experience. Share any demonstrations with me. I’d love to cheer you on.