KICKING (and SCREAMING)
Like you, I entered this world kicking and screaming. No one taught me how to kick—it's all my little legs could do once I took that first gulp of air after leaving the warm and watery safety of my mother's womb.
Being alive on the outside, however, is harder. There's gravity, for starters. Rules and regulations. Stop signs and dividers. People! It's not always easy to get where I want to go. When I think about how I arrived—kicking, and probably screaming, I realize that's exactly what will get me through this physical life intact and on point.
It’s why the K in LIPSTICK stands for KICK. And it’s why NFL Wild Card playoffs is the perfect time to think about this LIPSTICK Football Principle.
WILD CARD MENTALITY
Scruffy, determined, hanging on by a thread—who are these teams that kicked themselves into the playoffs? They got banged up and knocked around all season—yet they never gave up. They were relentless. They persisted. And that makes them the six luckiest teams in the NFL.
Although they didn't win their division, the Wild Card teams won more games than other losing teams in their conference. So, in each conference, AFC and NFC, three teams get to keep playing at least one more week. As a wild card team, they step into seeds 5, 6 and 7 to compete in the playoffs against seeds 2, 3 and 4.
(If math isn't your thing, I break it down in my book, LIPSTICK Football, and you can download the NFL playoff chart on the www.LipstickFootball.com/extras page.)
THE BEST OF YOU
Why do I want you to care so much about the NFL Wild Card games? It's not just because playoffs are fun and exciting. They are. It's because Wild Card teams represent the best in each of us. Sure they're scruffy. But their determination to win can be contagious. And following underdogs can be rewarding, especially if you feel as if you're an underdog in your own life.
Wild Card teams represent the best in each of us.
Watching the Wild Card games is a way to remind yourself that anything can happen—that you can achieve your dreams and reach your goals. Of course, this is where the LIPSTICK Football KICK Principle comes in. Wild card players have to dig deep, kick their efforts up a notch or two (or ten), and give it all they've got. You have to give it all you’ve got!
FORCE and POWER
The KICK principle is 100% action, but there’s a lot more to that action than a foot hitting a ball.
To kick is an act of force. A kicker kicking a field goal takes a few steps back, gauges the wind, takes in the playing field and the players lined up on both sides of the ball, then runs up to the ball and kicks it. Even a punter gets into stride by taking a few skipping steps before drop kicking the ball downfield.
Sometimes you ready yourself to act on something but then step back, let go or don't connect with the opportunity. You don't complete the kick. A forceful kick is one where you connect the run up to the kick itself.
To kick is an act of power. While a human punch has been clocked at about 44 mph, the velocity of a human kick has been recorded at 136 mph. Bruce Lee's kicks were so fast, a film camera couldn't capture the motion and, on the screen, it looked as if he hadn't kicked at all. In order for viewers to actually see his powerful moves, he had to slow down his kick. It was still so fast, the footage had to be slowed down as well.
The KICK principle isn’t just for “do-or-die” moments in life. On the field, or in a film, kicking is much too valuable to reserve for those times alone. You should exercise the KICK Principle every day, but only if you use the power of your kick for good—for your good. Don't look back or kick yourself for not taking action.
Kicking at what's past is wasted energy. Your power lies in this moment.
You've already taken a leap to start your journey. Kicking is what you do every day to reach your destination. Face forward, chin up, metaphorical shoulder pads on, give yourself a running start, then kick yourself into action. As former NFL 49ers Asst. Coach Katie Sowers says, “...continue to grind, continue to work, and show everybody what you're capable of.”
Even a small internal kick, which may take a huge kick-ass effort on your part, can be powerful enough to change your course of action— the same way a one-yard gain can turn around a football game.
Remember, it's not always the distance you move the ball. It's the impact of the effort.
What does it take for you to kick yourself into action? A gentle whisper? A nudge? A swift kick? If you're on the playing field, then you still want what's in the end zone, so keep kicking forward.
I invite you to walk on the wild side and do what no one expects you to do. Do what even you don't expect you to do.
Stand up and show up. Don't focus on obstacles blocking your path. Kick forward in the direction of your dreams.
When wild card mentality rules, it means you get to keep competing—in football and in life! And when you think about it, isn't that what really matters?
So suit up and exercise the KICK Lipstick Football principle. You've got some kicking to do.