Win at Home: Homefield Advantage

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WILLIE SPEARS

By WILLIE SPEARS

How important is a home-field advantage?

Over a large sample size, it is documented that the home team wins the average NFL game by a score just below three points. What is even more telling is that home teams usually win between 55 and 60 percent of the time in the NFL.

Do you have a home-field advantage?

We should have a significant advantage on our home turf. However, we often take the people closest to us for granted. When we do this, we are losing at home instead of winning. The truth is it is easy to win away from home. We can put on a face of gratitude, respect and humility when running errands, working or at school. At home, we do not put on a face. We are real and sometimes not so nice or pleasant.

When I was a football coach, I enjoyed playing on the road more than playing at home. When we played home games, there was too much time and space to fill before the game. There was also a lot of work to prepare for the arrival of our opponent.

For home games, we often had a pep rally. Pep rallies are fun, but they have nothing to do with the game and immature teams cannot handle the excitement and attention that comes with a pep rally. The rally is over at 3 p.m., but the game does not start until 7 p.m. What are we supposed to do for four hours? Should we watch more film, put on a movie, let them relax, use the restroom, tape, warm-up or review the scouting report? All these are good ideas; however, our players are in familiar surroundings, which can cause them to let their guard down and lose their focus.

I would have moms bringing food and Gatorade to their spoiled sons. I would have players trying to say goodbye to their girlfriend and get a hug before the game. Some players would sneak off and walk around campus looking for something to get into.

I needed each player to focus on the game, not all the distractions.

The same is true in our residential homes. It is easy to lose focus and get distracted by our jobs, television, cell phones, social media and other forms of entertainment. Our focus should be on serving those in our household.

When was the last time you showed your appreciation to your spouse, children, parents and loved ones? Have you folded the clothes, washed the dishes, swept, vacuumed or mopped the floor? When was the last time you cleaned out the tub or changed the linen?

My player’s focus was the game; our focus should be to serve one another at home. As a coach, I realized there was much more work to do when we played at home than on the road.

We would get on the bus at 3 p.m. and ride to the game when we played away. It was easy and convenient. The same is true when we are outside our home; we do not have to show much effort. When we are home, we have to work hard at not taking our family for granted.

If you are married, single, have children or live alone, I believe you can win at home by having a house of hope and joy. A dwelling place where people feel loved and appreciated. A place where visitors leave and feel the love your house provides.

THREE WAYS TO WIN AT HOME:

1. Be intentional about not taking those in your home for granted.

2. Create an environment of joy and love in your home.

3. Do not treat the people outside your home better than you treat the people inside your home.

Win At home is a series of opinion articles written by author and keynote speaker Willie Spears. Be sure to catch the Win At Home Podcast in January 2022 and order the Win at Home devotional for leaders now at www.williespears.com.

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