I recently read a Washington Post article which analyzed when the majority of points are scored in a football game. The writer broke down average points scored over the last ten NFL seasons by each minute. Interestingly, 7% of all points scored took place in the final minute before half-time with the second most scored two minutes before half-time followed by the last two minutes of the fourth quarter. As an endurance coach, I see a parallel to our sport.
I believe we can always do more. When we are up against the wall with no options – especially close to the end of a battle – we somehow find a way to put more effort into something than we thought possible. This applies to all areas of life. With the time ticking down in the closing minutes, motivation and risk-taking soars resulting in more success.
Upon reflecting on this, I am left wondering what would a football team achieve if they played every minute like the last two minutes? Is this possible and is this simply why the highest performing teams succeed? What would an endurance athlete look like if he or she was able to do the same and is this what separates the best from the average? More so, what would we as a people look like if we approached life this way – to view life as short and there being no time to waste?
I believe much of success is wrapped up in these questions. How can we live today, train today, work today, care for others today like it is the final two minutes? Therein lies your secret to success.