NFL Players and Emotional Control
If you are a Giant fan you are most likely amazed by Odell Beckham, Jr’s talent but very frustrated by his lack of discipline with his emotions. What does Mr. Beckham need to do? In the eyes of a football coach he really needs to start thinking like an offensive player and stop reacting like a defensive player. Simply put: Odell Beckham, Jr. thinks he can play wide receiver like he is middle linebacker. As a Defensive Coordinator on the high school level for 20+ years I can say this: he can’t! To be successful at this game at any level, a player must adapt a mindset that is conducive to the side of the ball he is playing. Why? Simple. Defensive success depends on a player’s quick reaction time to offensive advances as the play is unfolding; while offensive success depends on a player’s mental discipline in controlling their emotions after the snap to insure the play is run as designed. In my self-help book, 4 Downs to Anger Control (Finish Line Press, 1999), this concept is described in the chapter “Thinking Offensively.” This book uses the game of football as a metaphor to teach the reader easily remembered skills and new ways of approaching problems. By thinking offensively, the reader is encouraged to maintain mental discipline during stress and avoid the tendency to react spontaneously with reckless abandon to problem situations. This is a formula for emotional mastery but practice is the key: whether it involves a football player on the field like Odell Beckham Jr., or you taking on all your daily stressors each and everyday. To help master this thinking skill the following exercise is easy to remember during emotional times:
DON’T R.E.A.C.T. REMINDER
Just as practice drills better prepare players for success during the game, the same holds true for practicing thinking skills. Make no mistake, players like Odell Beckham Jr. can benefit from using the Don’t R.E.A.C.T. Reminder on and off the field AND so can you!