A colleague friend of mine was updating me on her prize-recruit son who is destined to be playing football next year at a Pac 12 school. He plays on the offensive line. He goes something like 6’ 5”, 280 pounds and bench presses half-a-gazillion pounds.
She was explaining to me how the recruiting process worked and how her son (ultimately) would be spending more time with his O-Line coach than that same coach would spend with his own family. It was fascinating. Each group (linebackers, running backs, lineman, etc), she explained, had the own specialty coaches. “You know, the skill players have their coaches and each of the other groups have theirs.” In football parlance skill players are running backs, quarterbacks, wide receivers, etc.
I smiled mischievously. “What?” she asked. “What’s wrong?”
I couldn’t help myself, so I asked her “does that mean that your son and his fellow linemen are unskilled?”
She hesitated, then smiled knowingly. We both agreed that each and every player on the team was exceptionally skilled—each in their own way. And we further agreed that today’s distinctions between so-called skill players and the rest of the football team was unfortunate.
The same thing happens in the workplace. There’s the professionals and then everybody else. For those of you who have read The Power of Professionalism, you know we’re trying hard to change these unfortunate distinctions.
Always remember, you’re the one that determines whether you’re a professional or not –no one can ever take that away from you.
Next year I’m looking forward to seeing this young man play at the next level. Any football fan who appreciates athletes with amazing skill-sets will too.