Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tebow's Belief in Tebow Keys His Success

The Denver Broncos are in the second round of the NFL playoffs and divine intervention has nothing to do with it.

It's become cliche to talk about Tim Tebow and his faith and what role it may or may not have on his athletic successes and failures.  The Broncos quarterback's belief in God is not why he and his teammates are two games away from the Super Bowl.  It's his belief in himself that's helped them get to this point.

Tebow is an average quarterback.  Actually, according to his season numbers, which were some of the worst EVER among NFL starting quarterbacks, he is below average. But, as any player, coach, or analyst will tell you, skill is only a part, albeit a very important part, but only part, of being a successful quarterback.

The other key piece is being a great leader and while there is plenty left to be desired from Tebow's throwing motion, accuracy, and timing, his ability to inspire is elite.

And I don't mean inspire in a religious sense.  I understand Tebow's religious beliefs and morals have helped enhance his reputation and notoriety, but I don't think he is getting any special treatment from the man upstairs.  (Although I'm not entirely ruling out a Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd 'Angels in the Outfield'-type situation).

Timmy Touchdown inspires through his confidence in himself.  He has been scrutinized, and praised, more than any  player in the League this season. Yet, he never lost sight of himself or belief in his own abilities.  If he did, it never showed.

His post game press conferences were always the same.  Tebow, rocking a b-boy winter hat, talked about Team Unity, Focus, Getting Better, and Continuing to Work.  It was boring and predictable, but unlike guys like Bill Belichick or Tiger Woods who are intentionally vague, it appears Tebow really buys into these concepts.

He has proven it throughout his career.  At Florida he stepped in and played a specific role on a National Championship team as a freshman.  He let the senior Chris Leak lead and he paid attention and learned.  The following year he became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy and, the year after that, returned the Gators to another National Title.

He was a first round draft pick in the NFL only to sit the majority of the early part of his career on the bench being told he should convert to a tight end or running back because he didn't fit the mold of the traditional quarterback. But, Tebow never wavered from his belief that he could start and thrive at the position he's always played.  He put in the work and vowed to be ready when his opportunity arouse.

This year, he got his opportunity and even though there have been ups and downs, Tebow is one of eight starting quarterback still playing this season.

His overtime winning throw against the defending AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers is his signature career moment.  He was not expected to excel against the Steelers' vaunted defense.  In the game, he didn't complete 50-percent of his throws, but he made plays when it mattered most.

As a teammate, that's inspiring.

Quarterback is considered the most difficult position in ALL of sports.  When a QB can get the job done with the game on the line, it encourages those around him to continue to fight harder and dig deeper because they know there is always a chance to win.

Confidence is contagious. Tim Tebow oozes it.  He is as mentally tough as they come.  He doesn't let critics change how he approaches the game and doesn't buy into the praise either.  He exemplifies balance and those who are balanced rarely stumble.

A basic theme of Christianity is "Love Thy Self."  Tebow lives up to this message by trying to get the most out of his abilities and because of that, believes he can achieve whatever he sets his mind to.  That's the mark of a leader.

A football player doesn't part seas, walk on water, or turn water into whine.  They play a game one day a week.  But, Tebow proves obstacles can be overcome through resiliency and faith in oneself.    That message resonates on and off the field, for everyone.

That is inspiring.

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