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From Cockpit to Coach

Like many , my wife and I remembered 911 in our own way, a solemn way , sad and prayerfully and with hope for the future.


We also chose to get out and celebrate our country , it’s illustrious history and courageous people.


We went to a local contest on the football field between the United States Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy at the Navy Marine Stadium in Annapolis , Maryland.


We always try to get there early to see approximately 4,000 midshipmen march in formation ,a fighter jet flyover , six special operations parachutists jumping from a C-17 from 6000 feet and landing in the middle of the field.

And all this , before the game even starts.


The contest on the field with two low scoring teams who like to rush the ball , eventually lead to a chance to talk with those around us , many military families , veterans and active duty soldiers as you might guess.


Next to us was a young couple. She was recently retired active duty Air Force and he is 16 years Air Force, an F2 fighter pilot currently working in the Pentagon.


Turns out that when he is retired in four years he wants to coach football and is studying the game a great deal in his spare time.


So , I asked about his interest and the transition . It was very fascinating and a bit of a surprise to me. He said as a fighter pilot he learned something from every flight or mission. It was continuous learning , a challenge and very fluid.


The minute you thought you knew everything it was over.

He said the same is in football ; Every game, the strategy, discipline , decisions , winning , losing , adjustments and outcome were fluid and an opportunity.


Made sense - he was studying videos of coaches and formations.

I have dear friends who are coaches studying film at all levels, recommending books , ie “ Perfect Pass” by Gwynne and it consumes them and often their families if they are all in.


Battles , war strategy and combat often are compared to sports and here is another example of that .


This particular comparison I hadn’t thought of ; and at the heart of it is competitiveness , courage, perseverance and passion , plenty of opportunities running the gamut , from what some might say is a game to a battle of life and death.


We are thankful for many reasons to be remembering and honoring those who sacrifice and are dedicated to excellence and preserving our freedoms.

Those civilians on 911 were simply doing their jobs and going about a routine day having not chosen to be in harms way . We will remember and honor them forever .


This is why in life and financial literacy and planning , I firmly believe and continue to see evidence of the military analogies and similarities.


These similarities are to be found in many books , history and out there taking in a ball game in the neighborhood.

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