Tag Archives: football

It takes first downs to score a touchdown

By David Tepera, October 3, 2017

In the game of football, the goal is to drive the ball down the field to score a touchdown. As we all know, it’s typically not an easy task. So really, the offense is more focused on getting first downs in order to reach the goal line.

Now, some teams can put together a strong run and march down the field within minutes. Other teams might take almost an entire quarter, but they still accomplished a touchdown. This took patience, perseverance and teamwork.

For those of you trying to score touchdowns in life, making first downs is a must. We all have a set of goals we’re trying to accomplish. What are yours? Have you reached the ideal weight? You must make first downs by giving up bread, then sweets, start exercising, drink more water and so on. It takes all the small accomplishments to reach you goal.

How about those of you in business or sales. It takes first downs in order to land that big account. I was in medical sales for 20 years, and I ran my territory like a football game.

When I made sales calls to clients, I knew it was possible to not score a touchdown and win the business. But, if I did my homework and came prepared, I could at least score a first down and get their sincere interest. Of course, I would regroup another plan of action, revisit the same client with additional information to meet their needs.

My planning and customizing a program per client gained me integrity and character.

They learned to appreciate my dedication, and after many first downs, I would score a touchdown, then my bank account grew. Are you starting to understand?

Let’s get more personal. We all deal with negative influences in life in which some of you might be battling addictions. You recognize there’s a problem because you keep fumbling the ball which prevents from making first downs.

Remember, even in the game of football, you’re given four tries to make a first down. So, don’t beat yourself up for dropping the ball. Yes, life can sack you and set you back, but hang on to the ball and believe in yourself.

You might have lost the game yesterday, but today, it’s a new set of downs, along with a new determined attitude. So, get back up and keep pushing forward because it’s you who will score in this game of life.

Be a Scrambling Quarterback

By David Tepera, August 9, 2017

In the game of football, the quarterback’s decision-making and execution are the most crucial factors. Remember, quarterbacks are the first to have the ball in their hands once it’s snapped.

The sole purpose of the quarterback is to execute a designed play with precision. But sometimes, the defense disrupts the play and the quarterback has to take off running with hopes of turning a disaster into a gain. This usually means they’ll throw to an open receiver or tuck the ball and run for their lives.

Quarterbacks who are good at this are known as “scrambling QBs.” They are good at decision-making on the fly.

During my youth, Fran Tarkenton of the Minnesota Vikings was known as the “Mad Scrambler.” Randall Cunningham of the Philadelphia Eagles dominated the 1990s and forever changed defensive strategies.

Today’s most known scrambling QB is Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. He holds the most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

If you think about it, there are multiple events in our lives where we had to become a scrambling QB.

We typically try to live our lives on a set schedule and routine. This lifestyle reduces unnecessary stress. But, sometimes, life brings disruption and forces us to make quick decisions or we are going to get sacked.

What’s your immediate reaction when a family emergency occurs, unemployment or a life threatening situation?

Of course, we would all like to not think about these situations because it’s depressing, but we must, at least, be mentally prepared.

Do you just fall down and let the opponent sack you? Do you look to pass the ball to someone else? Or, do you tuck the ball away and bust through the defense because you’re going to control your own destiny?

No one likes to face adversity, but you can’t escape it. We’ve all been through life’s challenges which should develop a stronger determined character.

Now look, if this is you, let the steam blow through your nostrils like a rodeo bull. Accept what lays ahead and bust through the defense because the goal line is waiting on you to score.

You got this because you are the world’s best scrambling QB on this field of life.

Get to the ball

by David Tepera, April 16, 2017

I once heard from a football defensive coach, “Get to the ball fast as possible and be mad when you get there.”

Now, his words actually had a few more adjectives, if you know what I mean.

Hopefully, you understood the coach’s message about how to develop successful reactions.

The whole concept is that sometimes you’re in critical situations and must confront it immediately to defend yourself or take control.

Of course, this determined attitude is useful in almost every sport. But, let’s think about other areas of our lives where we need to develop a stronger mentality.

You must learn to pull that warrior deep in your soul. It’s in there and has probably been suppressed over the many years.

Maybe you’re way out of shape and obese, and you recognized every diet has led to failure and depression. You must now take on a “mad attitude” with determination to no longer live in this rut.

That’s it. I’m throwing away all this junk food, eating healthier, drinking more water and will start my exercise journey. I’m lacing up my sneakers and walking out this door — now.

Eventually, we will all face a family crisis and immediate response and decision making is critical. Someone will need to take control and lead the family in the proper direction.

There’s many of you who’ve been taken advantage of way too long. Yes, you’re a kind and generous person who loves helping others, but there’s lazy, undisciplined people who constantly drain you. It’s time to step up, have a serious conversation to let them know — no more.

Webster’s definition of a warrior is someone engaged in struggle or conflict. Other definitions state that men and women are fearless, strong and ready to battle.

What’s your definition today? Yesterday’s definition no longer exists. The only moment in time is now. How much better is the near future because you’ve decided to take back life?

As a wise coach once said, “Get to the ball and be mad when you get there.”

Are you ready?

By DAVID TEPERA – February 15, 2017

How about in sports? How many times have we seen a starting player get hurt or pulled from a game and the second-string player needs to step in?

If you are a Houston Texans football fan, over the past few years, we’ve seen this happen many times with quarterbacks. From 2002 to the 2016 season, Houston Texans used 14 different quarterbacks. This is more than any other team in the league. Plus, I think most people are hoping for a new quarterback this coming year.

What happens if a job promotion becomes available with your company? Have you been doing your homework, acting and treating other co-workers as a professional? Are you the person they want to hand over the new responsibility? If you’re ready, then how much more income could this produce?

This might be meaningless to most people, but I teach my kids to keep our house “company ready.” There is nothing more embarrassing than to have an unexpected guest, and your house is a complete mess. My house is always ready for the unexpected, except my daughter’s bedroom. I’m not sure, but I think that’s a female thing. You ladies have a lot of stuff.

A scary, but understandable, statistic is that most Americans don’t have at least $1,000 in savings. All experts agree that we should have enough savings to cover six months worth of bills.

Do you have an emergency funds account? I know we are all scared to lose a job, have unexpected vehicle expenses or a serious medical issue.

Today is the time to re-evaluate your life. What steps do you need to make in order to be ready?

Let others point the finger for their downfalls. You’re better than that. Take ownership for your faults, learn from mistakes, and keep grinding forward.

Practice your craft like you’re the starting player. Develop the character needed at work to prove you’re worthy of promotions. Be the role model for your kids in order for them to learn leadership skills.

You have complete control of your life, so be ready. It’s coming.

A tribute to a coach

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 

Recently, a former high school head football coach and good friend, Tom Williams, was laid to rest.

I was just 7 years old when my family moved to La Marque, Texas in 1968. My dad, Ray Tepera, was hired to coach football by the legendary Orville Etheredge. Coach Williams was one of the other coaches already on staff.

In 1970, La Marque consolidated the black school of Lincoln Eagles with the white school of La Marque Tigers to become the La Marque High School Cougars.

Those of you who remember, the years around the 1970s were very challenging in moving this country forward.

Coach Williams was handed the responsibility as head football coach to bring two communities together. This included not only players with two different backgrounds, but coaches as well.

I’ll let you in on a secret — Tom Williams was an amazing coach, mentor, leader and a friend to all.

How do I know? Because through all those years, I had the privilege of being a coach’s son. I was there almost every weekend when coaches were watching film and planning next game strategies. I was the ball boy at football games for many years. I heard all the pregame, halftime and postgame speeches. And yes, being a sneaky kid, I heard all the private conversations as well.

Coach Williams didn’t see black and white. He saw a bunch of teenage boys taking steps toward becoming men. Coach Williams told me that he believed football brought a brotherhood amongst his players. They all fought for victory as they leaned on each other in the trenches.

Once I became a man, I look back over the years with my dad and coach Williams. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that childhood experience made one of the biggest impacts in my life.

Once coach Williams and my dad had finally retired, coach would frequent my dad’s house each week. They maintained a close relationship to the end.

I would sit back and listen to these aged coaches reminisce about all the old football stories and incredible players during that special era.

For those of you who are still around, I want you to know that coach Williams remembered all of your names and truly loved each and every one of you.

Really, I could write a whole book about coach Tom Williams. I’m going to miss that old rascal and his infectious laugh. Thanks coach for helping this snotty little kid to become a compassionate man. I love you.

Throw a Hail Mary pass

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 

If you’ve been following professional football, then you’re aware of the Hail Mary pass becoming popular again.

I wonder how many of you right now are shouting Aaron Rodgers’ name. The quarterback of the Green Bay Packers has made this sandlot football play into one of the most spectacular events in the game.

To date, Rodgers has thrown two Hail Mary passes last year for touchdowns, and another one this year.

You see, typically, a Hail Mary pass is used when there is only enough time for one more play, so you give an “all or nothing” effort, hoping for the best. But the cool part is — you have nothing to lose by going for it. That’s why it’s called Hail Mary, because it’s truly a prayer effort.

This makes you wonder why other teams won’t try this pass more often, at least near halftime. Most teams will just take a knee to end the play, then run back to the dressing room to regroup for the second half of the game.

Why not just go for it and throw the Hail Mary pass? You could possible score and, in the end, win from it.

How many of you want to change careers? Do you feel stuck in the everyday grind with no purpose or promotions in sight? Have you lost your ambition because you’ve been deflated with current status?

Well guess what? Today, you’ll take on the Aaron Rodgers mentality and throw a Hail Mary pass. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. So, what does that mean? If you really want to change your life, then you must go for it.

If you want a better career, seek the CEO and set up a meeting. Most people get caught up thinking they aren’t qualified enough to meet or talk with the top brass of companies. I’m here to let you know, if you’re persistent and professional, you can have the career you most desire.

Why not you? Educate yourself. Don’t just answer questions, ask them. I’ve taught plenty of people how to conduct themselves during the interview process. If interested and needing advice, email me.

You have complete control of your destiny. No, it usually doesn’t happen overnight, but preparing yourself and going for it will eventually change your life.

Opportunity only comes to those who seek it. You must put yourself in position for a touchdown. Be the quarterback with an “all or nothing” attitude and throw the game-winning Hail Mary pass.

Get off the sidelines

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 

In my youth, I played football for many years, but in ninth grade, I found myself standing most of the time on the sideline. I wasn’t the only kid, but I wasn’t happy about it and became discouraged.

Now, I didn’t fault my coach too much because, at that time, I was definitely not one of the bigger skilled players.

Right then I recognized, when it comes to team sports, coaches make every decision of players, plays and strategies. It’s a game of chess hoping to outsmart the opponent’s coach.

The most frustrating part of hardly ever playing was realizing that I had no control of it. As a player, you can only hope that all your efforts in practice would give you an opportunity.

Whenever our team would win, everyone was celebrating and cheering. Not me. I was embarrassed and ashamed, as I stood there in my clean uniform.

The lesson learned was that if I wanted to play the whole game and dictate the outcome, then I needed to pursue individual sports.

Once I was out of high school, I taught myself to surf, ran a marathon, became a triathlete and competed in martial arts.

Not only in sports, if I wanted to dictate my life, then I needed to pursue happiness and success to live the life I wanted.

Yes, I got knocked down, had stitches, broken bones and multiple surgeries to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. But, that only excited me because I knew I was giving my all, and the lessons of failure are only part of the process.

So, what about you? Are you standing on the sidelines of life? Are you just flying under the radar hoping to one day retire? Why have you given up?

As adults, you shouldn’t be happy with a participation trophy.

That lesson in ninth grade was a defining moment and taught me to never want to be on the sidelines again.

Now get up and recognize there’s a lot of life to live. We are fortunate to live in a country where it is possible to not only chase dreams, but to accomplish them.

One day we will all cross the pearly gates of heaven. If you walk in unscathed without scars, then you didn’t give life your best.

I plan on tumbling and sliding into heaven head first like Pete Rose. I’ll jump up and yell, “Wow, that was a crazy ride!”

Life in the red zone

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 

If you’re not familiar with the red zone in football, it’s an opportunity to score from the opponent’s 20-yard line into the end zone. All football teams have a strategy within the red zone because the playing field becomes much smaller.

Really, a team only has three tries to score a touchdown, or at least, hopefully, settle for a field goal. So, there’s a very specific set of strategic plays according to the team being played.

Remember, a touchdown is worth 6 points, along with a possible 1 to 2 extra points, compared to only 3-point field goals.

Teams are particularly not happy with a field goal, but will be somewhat satisfied because it at least puts points on the board.

Now, I believe many parts of our lives are like being in the red zone.

How many of you set a goal to lose 20 pounds, and once you lost around 8-10 pounds, you couldn’t find the discipline to lose the extra 10?

So, you settle for a field goal, and told yourself, “well, at least I lost some weight.” But that didn’t matter because you ended up losing the game, for within a few weeks all the weight came back. I know that last statement hurt.

How many of you settled into a relationship because it was convenient. You thought to yourself “well at least they have a job.”

You can say this about occupations, bad habits, religion, education and so on.

You must dig deep and find a way to not only reach goals, but to blow past it.

When I was teaching karate, I spent many hours showing people how to hit punching bags. To truly develop punching power, you can’t just hit the front of the target, you must put your fist through to the other side. Every muscle within your body has to be behind that punch.

So, come on now, let’s not settle for field goals any longer. We live our lives in the red zone. As we get closer to our goals, the reward is within reach, and strategies become crucial.

It’s time to pad up and strap on your helmet because today you will score a touchdown. No opponent, anyone or any situation can stop you. The ball is in your hands as you fight through all adversity.

Now spike the ball, yell at the top of your lungs and do a crazy end zone dance because you just won the day.

Make it a great day

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Recently, I was listening to a radio interview with Troy Aikman, Hall of Famer and former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Aikman was asked about his former wide receiver Michael Irvin. His response was how Irvin can turn an average practice into a great one with his enthusiasm and work ethic.

Let’s all think about how we can apply that same mentality and turn our average days into something great.First, start by recognizing and being thankful for everything you already have. I sometimes remind my kids that there are thousands of other kids who would love to trade places, so appreciate what you have.

Take your average day at work: complete unfinished projects, help a colleague or decide to treat others with more respect and make everyone’s day better.

Maybe when you get home this evening, instead of plopping on the couch, take a brisk walk and enjoy the outdoors.

Take the family to the park, their favorite restaurant, get ice cream or just find time to interact with them. Kids want parents to listen to them and be loved. I sometimes try to be sillier than my kids. They think I’m the biggest dork, and I love it.

When’s the last time you surprised your spouse with a random heartwarming hug along with a passionate kiss? Look at them and say “just because,” then walk away and leave them in shock. This could be your lucky day — wink wink.

Listen, we all battle the brutal world during our average days. Don’t let yourself get caught up going through life just making ends meet while being stuck in the same old routine.

Tap into your creative mind and start thinking outside the box. Find what you truly have a passion for and apply it into your daily life.

I have a passion for many things, but I get the biggest kick out multiple acts of kindness throughout my day.

I typically work in a variety of hospitals each week. So, I interact with complete strangers all day long via parking garages, elevators, offices and operating rooms. I always hold the door and greet people with a smiling, head-nodding hello.

At least I know, for one brief moment, that person had an opportunity to smile. They might be having a bad day, and that one smile helped them get back on track to a great day.

Now go for it and make it a great day, too.

What will you do on 4th-and-1?

 By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Every football team has faced the situation of fourth down and 1 yard to go to get a first down. The decision of going for it or punting is based on a few factors like the score, time on the clock and field position. Sometimes the outcome can determine a win or not.

How many times in our lives have we faced fourth-and-1? Sometimes we develop issues, problems or important situations, and we have to make life-changing decisions. 

The choice is to either punt and take the path of least resistance or create a strategy and go for it. This outcome most likely will be life-altering.  

You might be in a bad relationship, and something needs to change. It might be time to ask for a pay raise or position advancement. Maybe you’ve made too many bad decisions and need professional or spiritual help. 

Years ago I was working in the biotech industry making a decent living, and another startup company made me an offer with less money, but the future potential was huge. 

I had to make a decision to continue with my comfortable life or to go for it and challenge myself to become more successful. Believe me, I wanted to punt, but with only seconds left on the clock, I chose to grip the ball hard and go for the win. 

Eight years have passed, and it was one of the best decisions I made in my working career. 

Now, next time you’re facing fourth-and-1, go for it by putting a winning strategy together, and score in the game of life. No matter the outcome, you’ll never have to say “if only I would’ve.”

If we all learn to embrace confidence, then winning championships will become a way of life