Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Japanese Football Coach Named Fritz Otto

I played football in High School, not that well, but I did play. I enjoyed it, it was a fun thing to do. I started playing football because my friend Tyson wanted me to do it with him.

Our football coach was a short Japanese man named Fred Sato. He was a great guy, a good coach, and had a great sense of humor. He would tell us stories about how he used to train martial arts with Bruce Lee in Seattle and his days growing up in the Midwest playing football. He told me once how they used to announce his name over the loud speaker as "Fred Sato", but because he was in the Midwest, and there weren't any Japanese people there at the time, everyone thought his name was "Fritz Otto". Pretty funny if you think about it.

Coach Sato used to always give us nuggets of wisdom during football- 'no excuses- get the job done' and 'put your face in his numbers' were some of my favorites. What I remember him talking about the most to us in football was the idea of having 'pursuit angles'.

What does that mean? In football, if you're going after the guy who has the ball, you have to choose an direction to go after him that will result in you meeting him on the field at the right time to stop his forward progress. To have an 'angle of pursuit'. It enables you to ensure that you are going to get the other guy, and have a better chance of stopping the other team.

I was thinking about Coach Sato today and I thought about how true that is in most areas of our life. We should have intense direction towards our goals. To have a mindset that is able to look forward and decide where we need to be to be able to get what we want.

Is there something that you're trying to accomplish? Is there a goal that you're trying to meet? Look forward and think about where you need to be and go towards that point. Looking around, sitting around, and going different directions doesn't help. You have to have a very distinct angle of pursuit, and then go for it.

The Bible talks about this- I love that verse from Philippians 3:14-
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

That's a great pursuit. That's a powerful direction. That's a pursuit angle that we can all strive towards.

Thanks Coach.


1 comment:

  1. Wow awesome word thanks!! There are so many lessons from sports that of course come from the bible. Dani