It is one of “those” classic coach phrases we have all had directed our way at least once. It just seems to be a right of passage…gym class, football, basketball, or soccer practice. Through a shower of spittle and frustration, the coach reminds us to “play through the whistle”. When the sport involves a whistle, you will hear the phrase. Their point: always give it your all…you never quite on the play. One never knows what might happen, so you try as best you can until the whistle blows. And as only the wisdom of youth allows, we acknowledge the coach and move on with life.
Last week we saw this great lesson of sport played out on the biggest possible stages – the BCS National Championship game and in the NFL Divisional Playoffs. The events are separated by only 5 days, and the players involved are supposed to be the best at their sport…a priceless example really. Never give up, never assume, and always play to the whistle.
First there is this gem from late in the Oregon and Auburn national championship game:
Then as if seeing such a shinning example from the best of the college players, the professionals have a similar moment in the Steelers – Ravens game Saturday:
Like so much of life, it is all about the fundamentals. Level, scope, title, or even the amount of money being earned do not change the basic lessons…it is after all why they are called fundamentals. And as it is in sports, so it is with business, and even life – never give up and never stop. At least until the whistle blows.