The Clemson Tigers won the National Championship game Monday night and with it brought a few lessons for us all.
1. Encourage those around you and they will play well. Many people, especially in the African-American community, believe in tough love. But my Great-Grandmother always said you can get more flies with honey than with vinegar. I have been guilty of speaking harshly, especially to those I love, but the way to get people to believe in themselves is to speak life to them. Find their strengths and speak to those strengths.
This is what Dabo Swinney empowered his team with: “Let the light that shines within you be brighter than the light shining on you.” He spoke to the goodness within. He let his team know that he trusted and believed in them to win it all. What are you saying to the people on your team? Are you letting them know that you trust and believe in them? Do they feel empowered or beat down? Lift up your team!
2. Your Quarterback can win or lose the game. Analyst who predicted Clemson for the win, did so solely based on their faith in Quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson has been a stand-out athlete for Clemson this year. In the game of life- you are the Quarterback, the Lord (or the world) is your Coach, and the people in your circle make up the offensive and defensive line.
You must trust your Coach and the plays He calls but ultimately it is up to you to move the ball. Your ability to see an open man and make good decisions can mean the difference between losing the game, tying the game, or winning it all.
3. It doesn’t matter what the score is going into the 4th Quarter! It looked like the game was over going into the 4th Quarter. Clemson could have easily started to emotionally pack their bags. However, they played in the 4th Quarter like it was the 1st Quarter- and playing undefeated and fearless- won them the game.
So no matter what you have been through- play this 4th Quarter like it’s your 1st. Don’t let the past keep you from taking chances and playing with energy and zeal for life. No matter what has happened, it ain’t over!
4. When you are down to your last play of the game, play to win! Coach Swinney and his coaches had a decision to make with just a few seconds on the clock: go for the field goal to tie the game, or go for the touchdown to win it all. There are times in life where we will be faced with decisions that will keep us comfortable or decisions that will cause us to launch out in the deep. Going for it all always means there is a chance we will lose, but if we win, we will win big.
No one ever made a difference in this World by playing it safe. Einstein, Edison, Steve Jobs and Gandhi were all ridiculed for their stands and beliefs, but those things that they had an instinct about, changed our worlds for the better. Go for the win!
5. The final lesson may be the most important: In all things, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Both Coach Swinney and the Quarterback, Deshaun Watson, gave thanks and praise to God. Coach Swinney said after the win: “Only God could do this!” They humbled themselves and admitted that it took a higher power to assist them in having the wisdom and courage to win the game.
It doesn’t matter if the statistics are against you- Clemson hadn’t won a game since 1983 and hadn’t won against Alabama since 1913! If you put yourself in a position to win by being disciplined and always doing your best- anything can happen.
And remember, if all else fails, and you try your best, and you don’t win, don’t lose faith for you serve a God through whom you can do all things. So even if it didn’t happen for you this time, He’s still able! Go Tigers!