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The Wet Ball Drill

For Our Monday Blog, I again start with a picture to just get us going. It could be a leadership theme…right? Plus Uncle D reminded me that I have been posting a lot of dog pictures lately. So the streak continues!

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As a lead-in to the blog, I reference a line from the poem written by Samuel Coleridge in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, (Wikipedia) He wrote about the men on the ship, after the Mariner had shot the albatross that was going to lead the ship out of danger, as it headed toward Antarctic waters.

They had a plan and expectation to survive, because of the albatross. Then, that plan was gone. One-by-one the men on the ship began to die. The poem describes the ship as “Corpses man the ship; dead men pull the oars; dead men hoist the sails; dead men steer the vessel”.

They had no plan. They had no purpose.

Without getting too crazy into the analysis of the poem (you can read the poem and the analysis in the attachments) that was published in 1798, I only borrow from it to make a point. The blog today is about a picture that I see, as I sit in my study at home:

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Above the picture is a framed poster that summarizes the football season of the Indianapolis Colts. That year, on February 4, 2007, they won Super Bowl XLI by beating the Chicago Bears 29-17.

The weather report for that game in Miami was indicating a probability of constant steady rain. As part of that season’s preparation, Peyton Manning and his center, Jeff Saturday, would practice the wet ball drill. Saturday didn’t like it very much because he always ended up soaked by the time that practice had ended.

The Colts managers  would soak several balls in water to make them a bit soggy. That way, the practice exchange between center and quarterback prepared them for rainy games.

The morning of the Super Bowl, Manning woke up knowing that their rainy day preparation, with the wet ball drill, was going to be important.

During the game, there were six fumbles between the two teams. But, Saturday and Manning had no problem from center to quarterback. They followed their preparation.

I remember the excitement I felt when the Colts won that Superbowl. I also remember how proud I felt, when I saw the picture of the Colts, all huddled in prayer. It’s what I see in my study.

It’s going to be a great Monday! And speaking of planning… our pic o’day:

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