When we first taught tackling to high school football players we started off using the phrase “break down” as the expression for the player to get into a tackling position. Coaches of all ages and across the country use that expression. However, we came to realize that command made the player come to a stop to get into that position and he would lose all momentum. He would stop doing one thing – moving in a certain direction (pursuit, close the distance, run the lane) – to do another thing – sink his hips and get in the tackling position. But the real issue was he stopped his feet and lost momentum. We changed our coaching point to “come to balance”. Coming to balance is an act of change – settling momentum – and not two separate acts. While still moving in one direction the player settles himself into the tackling position. The positive impact was huge and we became a better tackling team.
Recently, I was hiking in the woods with my energetic dog who is always on point, alert for animals and often pulling me along. This can be treacherous when going down a steep incline where there are loose rocks. In that situation, I needed to come to balance, settle my momentum and create control while still moving in one direction . If I broke down and stopped my feet, I would end up on my rear end.
As I was putting together this blog and pondering the concept of coming to balance, I had a brain cramp (not sure what to really call it) and went back to my college days studying Chemical Engineering. Back then I learned about chemical reactions and mass balances coming to balance. The basic academics are around continuous process streams (i.e. no stopping or breaking down) and looking at the total system and what the net result is (i.e. fall on my rear or make a tackle). I was taught to look at the process from the outside, looking at what goes in and what comes out, not dependent on what was performed.
I have seen where “come to balance” is a powerful coaching strategy for life. In business, my company is seeing their industry make a significant change in technology. To be positioned for the future of the industry’s innovative ideas; new products and new approaches to the market need to be adopted. However, the momentum of the company is doing business where the market is today and that needs to continue. The company needs to come to balance, settle its momentum and direct energy in a new direction. The company cannot afford to stop and restart. Business requires a continuous process that measures itself on outcomes (profits) based on inputs (costs).
Coming to balance is not an either/or concept; it is ‘and’ concept.
In my life, what helps me come to balance is identifying and understanding all my roles, looking at them in total (the total system). I get an ‘on-paper’ look at my life with the roles of: husband, father, son, brother, son-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, coach, neighbor, friend, employee, etc. I get a sense of who I am on many levels. I can then see how they are related, how I can prioritize and find balance. It creates order in my life and clarifies the choices I can and need to make. It is much better than running from one thing to the next, allowing life to control me and putting myself in ‘either/or’ decisions.
When we look at the strength of Jesus we see that he emulated poise. The definition of poise says, “being in a state of balance, composed, dignified, self-assured, steadiness, stability.” To keep his poise and state of balance Jesus used prayer, reflected on scripture and took time to get away from the crowds and connected with God. Jesus modeled poise to us.
Coming to balance means you have a foundation to rely on as you move forward. In tackling it is having the technique to make the tackle, in walking with a energetic dog it is having strength and coordination, in business it is having the talent to execute the strategies. In life, it is having the faith and inner peace while moving forward. The more poised and balanced we become, the more we live with integrity and follow our true intentions. When we do this, we live out God’s plan for us and we find ourselves creating positive contributions to all the roles in our life.
Come to balance means you have a basis to rely on as you move forward. In tackling it is having the technique to make the tackle, in walking with a pulling dog it is having strength and coordination, in business it is having the talent to execute the strategies. In life, it is having the faith and inner peace while moving forward. The more poised and balanced we become, the more we live with integrity and follow our true intentions. When we do this, we live out God’s plan for us and we find ourselves creating positive contributions to all the roles in our life.