Project Description

ef•fort noun

1. exertion of physical or mental power: It will take great effort to achieve victory.
2. an earnest or strenuous attempt: an effort to keep to the schedule.
3. something done by exertion or hard work: I thought it would be easy, but it was an effort.
4. an achievement, as in literature or art: The painting is one of his finest efforts.
5. the amount of exertion expended for a specified purpose: the war effort.

In effort we find ourselves giving everything we have for a sole purpose, a final outcome, an ending that we in ourselves can be okay with. Nothing comes easy, we have to work hard, give 100% effort and never give up. When we do these things the end result is most likely a successful one, but in football just as in life sometimes it isn’t enough to win. That is okay. It is not about the victory. It is about what you did… If we work hard and give it 100% effort till the very end and still come up short we are still winners. We can walk away tired, dirty, bruised but not beaten. That is the difference in a winner and loser. A winner will keep going, will strive to be better, will work harder, longer, and never stop. A loser will quit and not try again thus sealing their fate of a loss every time.


“Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is” – Zig Ziglar

In football and life there are very few things you can control, fortunately the most important one is something you have complete control over. This “thing” is effort and effort can oftentimes overcome talent. When college football coaches are looking at high school players to put on scholarship, one of the first things they look at is how often that player “takes plays off.” Many people wonder why some great high school players with fantastic statistics and seemingly good size and speed don’t get a single college offer; the answer is sometimes because of lack of effort.

A youth football game is typically about 80 plays long, with the average play taking up less than 6 seconds. This means the actual amount of time played in a full game is 480 seconds or 8 minutes if a player played every snap of the entire game. Giving 100% effort for 8 minutes is not asking too much of any player, all it takes is a commitment.

When you watch youth football game film you see many players effort for just 4 of those 6 seconds. Those two wasted seconds are often times the difference between finishing off a block or making a second block or maybe assisting on a tackle that looks like is going to be made. Those extra blocks spring the backs for first down gains or touchdowns; those tackle assists save broken tackle touchdowns from being made. Those 2 seconds over the course of an 80 play game add up to just 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Less than 3 minutes and that is IF the player is playing for every snap of the entire game. Yet most youth football players are willing to trade those 2 minutes and 40 seconds in for the chance to catch a breather. Many youth football players expect their teammates to make plays instead of pulling their own weight, by taking off those last 2 seconds.

The amount of effort required to play all out to the whistle on every play is a tiny fraction of the entire amount of time played in a game, yet those that play to the whistle are far and few between. Almost all youth football coaches would take a team of players that effort to the whistle on every down over a team full of all-stars any day of the week.

What is your choice when it comes to effort? Are you going to play 4 seconds on every play or 6 seconds?