Pay It Forward by Akbar Gbaja-Biamila
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila wrote his second article for all of us. Gbaja-Biamila talks about his defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips and his linebacker coach, Greg Manusky’s impact on him and his approach to the game. AGB also wrote about the common bond of receiving gifts. Finally, he touches on the issue that we desire to make insecurities become securities. Make sure you check out our interview if you want some background information.
Birthdays, Christmas, and Mothers’/Fathers’ day share a common bond and that’s receiving gifts. These gifts send a message of validation to the recipient. The human spirit is so tender that it needs affirmation for security. We share a common bond, and that’s we all want to matter to someone. This phenomenon prompts young kids to say “Dad watch this,” or ask, “Mom, am I the best in my class?” Validation is the gift that keeps giving. It feeds the soul that eventually will pay it forward to another person.
In sports, the leaders of a team are the coaches, they have the ability to speak life or death into an athlete (Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits…Proverbs 18:21). I know for sure as a former athlete I gained momentum in my confidence when my coaches spoke words of affirmation. In 2006, my Defensive Coordinator, Wade Phillips, and my Linebacker Coach, Greg Manusky, encouraged me that I could make the transformation from defensive line to linebacker. That year, I grew more as a student of the game. You would think, as a professional player I wouldn’t need it, WRONG! No matter the age, we all want to matter and know that we are good enough.
Pay it forward and give the gift that keeps giving. Kids, let your parents’ know they did a good job. Coaches, tell your players you believe in them and trust they won’t bag it after words of affirmation. Parents, let your kids know they matter. Watch their spirits go from insecurity to security.