I know not all of you are football fans, but we can all learn lessons everywhere when we look for them. I am a fan of Tim Tebow, the rookie quarterback for the Denver Broncos and Florida Gator (like me). Tebow was a two-time college championship winner and was awarded the prestigious Heisman Trophy in only his sophomore year. In Gainesville and the greater “Gator Nation,” folks thought of him as a kind of football super hero. Great intensity, leadership, and a warrior on the field. He’s also a down to earth person who loves God and his family.
While he has amassed great accolades and went in the first round of the draft, Tebow is far from perfect. Many thought he would go in a much lower round of the draft due to his throwing style. Many questioned if he could play in the NFL at all as a quarterback. Hmmm, I seem to remember some of the same nay-sayers with former Gator and Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith (the NFL’s all time leading rusher). They thought he was too small, too slow. He was just determined and set records that still stand today.
Bottom line, Tim Tebow inspires me to accomplish things. One of his high profile team mates commented that his style and delivery may not be pretty, this guy is “magical.” I agree. He inspires his team mates. He inspires followers. The game this past weekend was in Miami and the Dolphins fans were cheering for Tebow (the other team)! His jersey, #15, is the #1 selling jersey in the NFL.
Here are a couple of lessons I’ve learned from Tebow:
1. You don’t have to fit the mold or have the best “mechanics;” be passionate and work hard— don’t let anyone say you can’t do something. You might just succeed and inspire others along the way.
2. In a “bad boy” athlete era, Tim Tebow is respectful talking with the media, respectful of opportunities and of his team. Kudos. Be respectful and you’ll get that back a hundred fold.
3. Being the best (as defined by others) or having the best grades doesn’t mean you’ll be the best leader. It also doesn’t make you the best producer. So what if you are a little different. Play your game. Work at it and play hard and with heart.
4. This guy would literally pick the team up on his back if he could. His most memorable speech came after a loss at Florida when he said he’d let the team down, but nobody would ever work harder than him. He took responsibility and then worked his butt off.
5. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Share your passion and you will find like minded people and earn respect. Tebow went on mission trips as a youth and still thanks God. Like it or not, you gotta respect him.
6. He is passionate about this game. Find something you love and commit to being your best. It won’t always be easy and you won’t always win, but there is joy in it.
Football fanatic (like me) or someone who doesn’t know what pigskin is, these are some great lessons. What have you learned from someone that you didn’t expect to learn from? I’d love to hear some other words of wisdom from unexpected sources!