Goal Achievement – Is Your Daddy A Football Coach?

"goal achievement", "Gordon Bryan", "The Great Gordino"February 2013, and the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in the Superbowl. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, whether you’ve even heard of the Superbowl or not, it brings a great goal achievement lesson – from the touchlines…

Yes, it *is* possible that you don’t know about the Superbowl. It’s the self proclaimed ‘biggest show on earth’, but as an NFL fan in the UK, the coverage in the British press is virtually non existent.

Normally the media build up in the week before concentrates on the players, but this week the focus is on the sidelines, and that’s where I find the goal achievement lesson…

The Ravens are coached by John Harbaugh, while the 49ers are coached by Jim Harbaugh. Yep, brothers. Purely on a numbers game basis, it’s never going to be common that 2 brothers face off against each other as head coaches of opposing teams in any sport’s biggest game.

In an event as big as the Superbowl, the story is just amplified. Press conferences abound, with John and Jim holding a joint one. Their parents Jack and Jackie also held their own press conference! (bit of a ‘J’ fetish going on there?)

So, having read so far, if asked you to guess what Jack the father did for a job, what would you say..?

Yep, he was a football coach! For 40 years. That must have made it easy for the boys, right?

Well, yes and no – let’s take a quick look at their upbringing.

Jack says that he learnt all about enthusiasm and hard work from his own father Joe, and he always tried to pass it on to his sons, and his daughter Joani (yep, that ‘J’ thing with the name is definite!)

Each morning his mantra was ‘to attack challenges with all an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.’ Jim was told by teachers he was too competitive in sports, but his parents dismissed that as pandering to the weakness of the other kids.

Jack would take the kids to see team practice, and he had them sit with him while he watched films of games.

Jim went on to play in the NFL, no mean feat itself, and then went seamlessly into coaching. John realised he wasn’t going to make the NFL and was leaning towards a career in law before deciding that he too would go into football coaching.

Throw in the passing of many years, and here we are at the Superbowl, or Harbowl as it’s being called.

Wouldn’t it be easy if *your* Dad was a football coach? He’d know all the tricks, and have all the contacts to make it easier for you.

What if he was a pop star? That would make it so much easier for you!
What if he was an astronaut? That would make it so much easier for you!

You get the idea with that one.

Yes, Jack taught the boys how to watch football film, he exposed them to coaching, and he exposed them to a career in football being seen as the norm. He also taught them though, to work hard with enthusiasm – that suggests to me that they would have gone a long way in whatever field they chose.

If you wish you had a parent who was in the field of your goal, thinking it would make life easier, then think again.

It’s possible, probable in fact, that you would have learnt lots and made contacts, that belief in the goal would have been there from the start – but that wouldn’t guarantee success.

Think to the brothers’ father, Jack though, who did *not* have a football coaching father – it didn’t stop him, he just decided that’s what he wanted to do and set to work towards it.

Why can’t you be the trailblazer of the family? Why can’t it be you that goes out and does the learning, makes the mistakes, and goes on to achieve the goal? Of course that answer is that there’s no reason why not!

Don’t spend all that time and energy wishing you had a family member to make life easier for you – take the responsibility yourself, work out your plan of action, and get ready for some work.

That route to goal achievement can be seen all around the stadium at the Superbowl, on the pitch, in the media, in the owners boxes, and yes, on the sidelines too!

Let me know what you think!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. Here’s an article with a great tip on taking action – Is Your Goal Achievement Plan Still A Blank Page?
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    • Hi Anita,
      I love stories like this. I love the game but don’t follow a team in particular. That means I can just enjoy any game, and will be sat up in the small hours of Monday morning UK time!

  • Hi Gordon–I’m visiting from the UBC. I enjoyed your post. It is quite a convergence with the Harbaugh brothers both being football coaches, and both their teams being in the same Superbowl. I love to be affiliated, to be connected, and I always secretly wished my family was in a business I could get into as well. Alas for that fantasy, there was no family business. I was called to my own path and my own ever-evolving business. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

    • Hi Kebba,
      both my parents were civil servants, so unless that’s what I wanted to be (and surprise surprise I have done it for spells!) I too had to make my own path. I found it particularly when I chose the entertainment field as my parents were not happy with that choice!
      Sometimes the family connection works, sometimes not, and if not then it’s up to us!

    • Hi Roy,
      I was leaning more to the angle of people that wished their parents did a certain job so as to make it easier for them. Your point is a good one, as often when children try to follow, they find the pressure of emulating a star parent makes it *harder* rather than easier. That shadow you mention can be a big one indeed!
      Cheers, Gordon