On an NFL football field, ‘The Red Zone’ is the space from the defending team’s twenty-yard line to the goal line. This term refers to the intensity of the action that takes place in this area of the field. Red is also seen as a warning color for the defense.
Some obvious Red Zone facts:
Expectations are high for the offense in the Red Zone. Not only are they within field goal range, they only have a short distance to go to score a touchdown.
This intense pressure is also felt by the defense. Stopping any points from going on the board or a turnover in the Red Zone could have a significant effect on the momentum of the game.
The Red Zone doesn’t come into play during every scoring drive and maybe not even in every game. However, no team has ever won a Super Bowl without having spent some time in this hot seat. So, like other essential football skills, learning to handle the heat is an art all great players must master.
A Red Zone fact I NEVER knew until recently:
The Red Zone is not limited to the gridiron.
Really?!? Yup. It’s true. Whether your goal is to run a marathon or start a business, there is a Red Zone before Every End Zone.
As explained in Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art, the intensity of the Red Zone comes into play in the form of resistance every time we set out to accomplish something important.
And, this resistance is actually a GOOD thing! For every dream, there is resistance. The resistance comes second; it wouldn’t exist if you didn’t have a dream. Plus, pressure always peaks before big breakthroughs. Meaning, the more important the activity is to the evolution of your dream, the more resistance you feel.
So, what can we take from the NFL playbook to help us in real life?
Strategies for Real Life Red Zones:
Know where you are.
The NFL Red Zone is a physical space so players know they are in it. Off the field, unfortunately, it’s not always easy to recognize. When the heat gets turned up, remember the end zone is right in front of you.
Don’t underestimate your opponent.
Just like a safety blitz, resistance can appear out of nowhere. Resistance also comes in a multitude of formations. It can be anything from negative thoughts to serious health issues to the loss of income. Many view these setbacks as failures and give up. Don’t! Stand your ground and push forward.
Visualize yourself in the end zone.
To quote the great Joe Montana, “Winners, I am convinced, imagine their dreams first.”
Another game changer: “Live by vision, not by circumstance.”
Living in a vision successfully got NFL head coach Chuck Pagano through a real life Red Zone that could have cost him everything.
Be prepared to use every offensive weapon in your arsenal.
There are many ways to score a touchdown. Try them all, as many times as necessary, until you make it across that line.
You did it!! Without fear of getting flagged for excessive celebration, break out your best moves and invite friends to join in!!
Congratulations on a well-played victory!