These thoughts are to help and inspire people like you and me to reach higher and strive for greater things, to stand for a cause more noble than self serving, seeing the good in others and seeking it for their sake. I unashamedly weave my faith, biblical insight and life experiences into a sporting context to illustrate my personal journey to this point - I hope in a small way, I can help you on your journey to being all you were intended to be....

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Friday, 2 March 2012

opting for the blind side

Open side or blind side? Contact or pass? Offload or go to ground? Cross field or down a direct channel? Pass or kick? Do you feel exhausted just reading those options? Most sports present players with a myriad of options at every point of play. Making very speedy assessments, evaluating the options and making a good choice are what marks the top players out from the crowd. In fact, making smart decisions is at the heart of how most things turn out.

One of the things young players take time to understand is, you've always got more time than you think you have. I guess if we looked at life in the same way, we'd probably conclude, we've made some rash decisions or leapt to a conclusion very quickly. If only we had time to consider the options.
So, why do many teams persist in playing down the blind side - put another way, why do teams look to play down a narrow channel rather than the much wider option presented by the open field of play? You see it often when there is a scrum or a lineout (throw in) - a team will set off down the narrowest part of the pitch. Why?

Here are three simple observations - the blind side:

a) its an attacking option in its own right - there is an element of surprise, especially when the defence are on the back foot, or they are spread across the open side. As an option you run the risk of taking more than a fair share of contact or being knocked into touch, but its attacking potential is great.

b) its a tactical play for widening out the open side even further - teams will continually go to the blind side and run the narrow strip of the field to draw defenders away from the open side and into contact, taking them out of the game - by releasing the ball quickly the potential for an open side attack can be siginficantly improved

c) its sometimes the only option available - when the defence is stacked against you, this may be the only option open. Sometimes, you've just got to commit to it and go, prepared for the impact.

Taking the obvious, wide open option is the route that many take.The bible has an interesting take on the blind side. Looking for and finding the narrower way is described by the man's man Jesus Christ as the way that leads to life. Who wouldn't want to follow a route that leads to life? Taking a different route certainly wouldn't be a smart choice.

Jesus Christ understands the narrow way, after all, its the route he followed. Yes he was a great teacher. Yes he was an outstanding person. Yes he did some outstanding things. But perhaps the most outstanding thing was when he stepped across to the narrow way, the blind side. In taking the blind side, he wrong footed his critics, opposition and the wrecker of humanity. It is recorded that the man's man put his reputation to one side, took up the role of service and in incredible humility took the full impact of our failings. His blind side, was a cross.

What a choice. But, just like a player going down the blind side draws the opposition defence, he opened up the field of play for us to make progress. That's impressive. Back to those sporting and life choices. We could simply roll with the crowd or we could look for a narrower way. The blind side. If we're prepared to find it, it leads to life - now that's stand out from the crowd stuff - but are we prepared to look for it?

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