WHY NOT YOU?
Russ Wilson, the now legendary twenty-five year old quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, who led his team to an astonishing 43 to 8 win over the Denver Broncos in last Sunday’s Super Bowl, was used to being the underdog. At 5'11, many well-meaning people tried to steer him away from football into baseball. Good thing they didn't succeed. "My height doesn't define my skill set," Wilson has said. "God's given me so much talent...and I believe He gave me a right arm for some reason..." I think Russ always knew why. And now so do we.
Wilson attributes his positive attitude to his dad. "He used to always tell me, 'Russ, why not you?' And what that meant was believe in yourself, believe in the talent God has given you even though you are 5-foot,11 and you can go a long ways. That's why I decided to play football...and I guess I wanted to go against the odds a little bit...” He sure did.
Actually, Wilson's had plenty of doubters every step of the way. With some exceptions: "It was an easy decision." That's how Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll described his choice to go with third-round rookie, "career backup" Wilson. And interestingly, Wilson had pretty much the same attitude. Speaking with NFL Media's Michael Irvin for a feature that aired on last Sunday's "NFL Game Day Morning," Wilson said, "I knew the Seattle Seahawks were going to pick me. And I was going to make the 31 other teams regret it.” They did...
Michael Schottey, NFL National Lead Writer in BleacherReport.com wrote in a piece about Coach Carrol, "He realizes he's a bit of an 'odd man out' in terms of NFL coaches. It's not that he thinks outside of the box; it's more like he has no idea where the box is, what it looks like or why anyone would care what people in the box say." One of the guys who has advised Coach Carroll, according to Schottey, is a sports psychologist named Dr. Michael Gervais. "'Competition,' it turns out probably doesn't mean what you think it means, Schottey writes. Dr.Gervais explains how the original Latin root, competere.. means 'to strive together' and that it always meant a communal goal...not a one-on-one, dog-eat-dog mentality.” Boy, did that come through last Sunday. And boy, are Carroll's and Wilson's philosophies in synch. Wilson told his team at the start of the season..."Why not us?” Why not, indeed.
So what's your own particular version of being the "underdog" - your version of being "5'11" in a 6'5'' world?" Maybe it takes the form of "not quite smart enough" or "not really all that talented" or "not the one who gets chosen," or, well, you get the picture. This would be the time to dump it; to trade it in for a whole new view of yourself as "most valuable player."
And if you're playing on a team or leading a team of "players," remember the true meaning of the word, “competitive” is "competere..” to "strive together." There's really nothing in the world better than being part of something bigger than yourself. In fact, that's usually when you discover just how powerful and how critical to the world you truly are... By the way, it's worth noting that Coach Carroll extricated himself from the adoring crowds right after the end of the game and rushed over to his team...to hug every single one of his players.
So ask yourself this question: "Why not me?" "Why not us? Why wouldn't we be the ones to take the 'championship?'" According to Wilson, Coach Carroll went into halftime, telling the team to "bring it!" and have "an unbelievable second half!" And "Sure enough," Wilson said, "we came out strong....We just kept playing better and better and better..."
Why wouldn't they? Oh, and just for the record, there is no “box,” okay?
To get a sense of Russ Wilson - the person and the player - click the link below..
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