TED talks have tackled a number of important issues ranging from "Why we do what we do" with Tony Robbins, to topics like why looks aren't everything presented by model Cameron Russell and how to speak so that people want to listen. They've tackled meaningful issues, fun issues, and a host of other topics that are interesting, outlandish, and yet captivating.
This morning I came across this recent TEDx talk featuring former professional football player Angus Reid of the Canadian Football League. In it, he talks about Why We Need High School Football, and how the game changed his life from a quiet, unathletic 15 year old, to an accomplished professional offensive lineman with two championship rings.
In the first few minutes of the clip, Reid talks about how his accomplishments in football and the championship rings mean absolutely nothing in the real world.
"I've been retired for three years now. You know what I look back on and I am proud of? That I can stand here and speak in front of you today. That I can look people in the eye when I talk to them. That I can speak about things that matter to me. That I can commit to something, and actually stick with it. That I can work hard for goals that I have set for myself. That I know how to be a good teammate. That I can work with multiple changing personalities and make things work together. That I can take coaching, and give mentorship from that once I've learned it."
"I've learned how to win, and I've also learned how to lose and how to take things from that loss and move forward. I've understood how to deal with pressure, and keep clarity of mind."
Then Reid got a little fired up.
"Winning championships is not going to make you a better father. Playing 200 games of professional football doesn't build a business for you. Owning two of these [rings] does not make you a better husband. Nobody cares."
"It's the qualities that you learn playing a sport that matter."
I can't tell you how many times I got chills listening to this talk thinking of all the guys I've played with, and coached over the years who weren't necessarily all-stars, but the game had shaped their life just as clearly as it did for Reid.
Take a few minutes and listen to the whole talk below. It's outstanding.