I was extremely fortunate to attend this past weekend’s Penn State vs. Michigan rivalry game at Beaver Stadium on the campus of Penn State University.
After recently having the incredible opportunity to spend two days behind the curtain observing Head Coach James Franklin and the Penn State Football program as well as the chance to speak to the team, I was excited to see them in action. If that wasn’t magical enough, my twin boys Luke and Jack and my dad were able to join me. In addition, everyone at PSU was so gracious and present, giving a chance to tour the facilities and thanks to my friend Rece Davis, enjoy taking in College GameDay up close and personal.
Here are a few quick thoughts I previously shared on Twitter:
You won’t find a better leader (or human being) than Coach James Franklin. He’s hosting two BIG TIME recruits and preparing for a HUGE game against Michigan and he went out of his way to visit with me, my dad, and my sons for a few minutes (he was fully present when he did).
If time is our most present resource, then our attention in the present moment is our #1 currency. If we can’t change the past and the future isn’t promised… all we have is the present moment. Where we choose to put our attention shows what we value and what we care about. Therefore we must develop the vital skill of giving some one or some thing, our undivided attention.
We must learn to live present in a digitally distracted world so we will become more connected, productive and influential. Giving someone your complete attention (unconsciously) shows that person that you truly care. And caring creates connection. And connection is the foundation of all relationships.
My #1 priority is to be a present, loving, and supportive father to Luke, Jack, and Lyla. My primary responsibility is to raise well-adjusted, self-aware, and confident children that grow up to have high character and integrity, and who have developed the skill sets necessary to make a positive contribution to the world.
I know that sports are an invaluable tool in accomplishing this. At the most fundamental level, sports should be fun platform to teach children values like teamwork, work ethic, accountability, respect, character, selflessness, loyalty, sportsmanship, leadership, competitiveness, how to deal with adversity, and how to earn success. But the key to doing that is making sure they have fun and enjoy the experience.
A very proud fatherly moment.
Communication is vital to organizational success. Only a part of effective communication is verbal. I was amazed at how the PSU coaching staff communicated through hand signals, color codes, and physical signage. Beaver Stadium was too loud for conventional communication!
In addition to this type of on-field communication, all coaches need to implement a Communication Rating System for practice like this.
To be a successful organization, you need the right people in the right positions. Many teams have the right people in the wrong positions (which is fixable). When this happens… morale, productivity and efficiency are low… and attrition is high. It should go without saying, but if you have the wrong people… it doesn’t matter what position they’re in!
The crew that erected and then disassembled the College Game Day set were remarkably efficient. Every single person knew their role, embraced their role, and busted their tail to star in their role. Everyone was responsible for their job and accountable to the team.
We got up at 5am that day.
We got home at 3am the following morning.
Everything in between was spectacular! A truly meaningful and memorable experience with my dad and sons.
I’ll be forever grateful to PSU Football!
Click here to watch a short clip from Penn State Football’s weekly show, Unrivaled (this from Season 6, Episode 1), for some behind-the-scenes footage of my previous experience.