Across the United States, millions watched a particular popular American football game. A game that is a culmination of a season of wins, losses, injuries, and victories. A championship game.
As the game went on, it struck me as interesting. Some years, there are big plays after big plays in an emotional roller coaster of a game. This year was different. This year seemed to be a game of fundamentals.
The brilliant plays, one particular catch where the receiver got both feet inbounds before falling out of bounds with unquestionable possession of the ball will be tape shown to receivers at all levels–how to keep your wits about you, an example of knowing where the sideline is, the focus necessary to come out with the big play.
What also struck me about fundamentals was tackling. The team that ended up in second place had a number of missed tackles throughout the game–not because the runner shook them, but because the tackler went after them with a shoulder rather than wrapping their arms around the runner. Play after play, the tackler relied on power, ignoring the need to actually wrap the opposition up and take them down.
It was a game of calm fundamentals.
And after the game, the MVP (most valuable player) spoke of his confidence in the team and in the defense. Defensive players spoke of their confidence in the quarterback and the need to make the defensive stops.
Each player, focused on their own part of the game, confident in the ability of their teammates to take care of their end of the deal.
And I wonder how often I focus on the fundamentals of the faith. I have times where I seek to big plays, the big moments, the goosebumps. And there are times I miss the significant of the fundamentals, thinking that “the grind” is just something that needs to be done.
Truth be told: fundamentals win championships. Each moment, whether big or small, is an opportunity to get one step closer to the championship.
And our Teammate is the most faithful, most competent, and most deserving of our trust. He leads us to the endzone, time and time again, we must only focus on the job in front of us.
Focus on the fundamentals. The championship is not far behind.
Photo by Andrea Kratzenberg