The Motivation Of Second Half Thinking

Football matches are won or lost in the second half. It does not matter what code of football is being played, and it does not only apply to football. It is how you finish that counts – in any sport or competition or campaign. It applies to your life. Look at your life as one complete match or look at your current circumstance and assess where you are in terms of the half time break and begin now to strategize the finish.

I saw this very clearly on one occasion when I was playing a game of top level Rugby. The coach pulled us aside as a team at half time. This was now the quietest time of the match, not the time for noise and action. but the time for strategy for the next half.

We knew we could win, but we were behind at half time. We all felt we had something to say but the coach told us to shut up and listen. He reassured us that they had not penetrated our defense, they had just been lucky on penalties. He told us not to try and score points but to give them the ball and to run them down and then do our scoring.

That was when I learned that half time was the time to listen to that quiet inner voice, not the yells of the crowd or even your team mates. Let the coach talk. It is on the inside, in the locker room where you get the advice. It is on the inside, deep inside our hearts that most people either win or lose. It is on the inside that most organizations either fall apart or become strong, not from attacks from the outside. Usually we get stronger when we are attacked from the outside. I have never worried about that. It is the inside I want to keep safe from the attack of its own lack of faith and wisdom.

What I learned that half time was that what had got us to where we were was not the thing that was going to get us any further. It was now time to apply a finishing strategy.

We had, as a team been doing things right. We were good at executing the elemental skills of the game. But doing things right is a lot different to doing the right things. Doing things right is efficiency, but doing the right things is effectiveness. The coach did not guarantee us success, but he guaranteed us we would fail if we gave up, or did not adopt the right approach.

Whatever you do, always play hard. There are no soft games. And the goal is not always the score on the scoreboard – it is to reach your full potential. That is called destiny – and everybody has one. Second half play begins with low cost probes. You don’t try to win recklessly and end up losing. You will win when you are well set. So slow down and be deliberate – this is the second half. You will make it.

Half time is the time for inner motivation to drive you, not just some external reward. It is like seeing it in terms of a career and saying ‘I would do what I’m doing for no pay, rather than, ‘as long as they pay me enough I’ll do what they want’. That is when you know you want to do it and reach your potential.