If you’re a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida State Seminoles football teams, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard or seen the phrase “Finish the Drill” and probably on more than one occasion.
Now I know most of you are thinking the same thing I was when I first heard the phrase: mat drills, weight lifting, running sprints… but I’m talking about another kind of drill here.
Former Florida State offensive coordinator and current University of Georgia head coach Mark Richt uses the phrase to motivate his players on the football field, or as I love to say “Between the Hedges,” in the fourth quarter to finish the game strong and preserve the win, especially against a tough Southeastern Conference opponent like Tennessee, Florida or Auburn.
It may sound funny, but “Finish the Drill” can also be used to motivate the players when they’re losing the game. What I mean is, the players may be tired, beat up, depressed and feel like they let the coaches and the fans down by losing, but they can also be motivated to not give up, keep fighting, give it everything they have until the whistle blows. They can be motivated to “Finish the Drill.”
I first heard the phrase “Finish the Drill” about two or three years ago, probably during the Dawgs football season, and for a while I was wondering what it meant. When I understood that it was a motivational tool to encourage and inspire the players on the field, I thought, “You know, ‘Finish the Drill’ can really be used in a much bigger game on a MUCH bigger field of battle.” What game is that? Well, that’s easy! It’s the game of LIFE!!! 🙂
I hadn’t really thought much about it until the past couple of days, but all my life I’ve been living by the motto “Finish the Drill.”
In an earlier post, I mentioned that I used to get stared at a lot by other students and classmates when I was going to school, but I have to be honest. Growing up, I absolutely loved going to school, meeting my teachers, making friends (although at first it wasn’t easy) and learning everything I could to make me a better student. As I entered high school and college, I still had that same excitement about meeting my teachers, making new friends and learning everything I could that would serve me well in the future. However, I found myself becoming frustrated because the work was getting a lot harder, and I had to study a lot harder if I wanted to receive my high school diploma and college degree.
I had to re-examine my attitude about school and keep my “eyes on the prize,” so to speak. I put myself in the position of a fighter going up against the heavyweight champion or the Georgia Bulldogs when they were preparing to face Florida in 1980 when they went undefeated and won the national championship with the help of Herschel Walker, Buck Belue, Lindsay Scott and head coach Vince Dooley. I had to “Finish the Drill.”
I hit the books really hard, studied, and focused my attention on writing term papers, making good grades on tests and earning the best grade point average I could. Receiving my high school diploma and college degree were two of the proudest moments of my life, but I still felt there was something missing.
I really wanted to be a writer at a local newspaper in the Atlanta area, so I immediately got to work on my résumé and cover letter. Seems like I sent 50-75 résumés to local newspapers, most of them small town papers I thought would hire me. Between the end of December 2006 and May 2007, I heard from maybe six papers, out of the couple dozen I sent résumés to, and all of them required anywhere from three to five years of experience. I kept asking myself and my parents “How am I going to get the experience if nobody will HIRE me?” I became very depressed and sad and even thought all the years of hard work, getting my education and receiving my degree had gone down the drain.
I’m not sure when it happened, but one day probably in April or early May 2007, I stopped dead in my tracks. I think I was in my bedroom on my laptop thinking of ANYTHING to land a job somewhere. I said to myself, “Jason, stop it. Just STOP IT!!! You are never going to get a job if you just sit here throwing a poor old pity party. Now I want you to get up off your butt, dust yourself off and Finish the Drill. You’ve come too far to give up on yourself, your family, friends, teachers and everything you busted your butt for all your life.”
From that moment on, I was more determined than I’ve ever been in my life. I refocused my attention and one day I came across the city of Marietta, Ga.’s, Web site. I thought “Well, I’m down to the last few bullets in the gun, might as well see if I can even get in the area code of the target.” I finally came across employment opportunities on the site, and saw an opening for a part-time public information intern. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I was already turned down by those five or six papers remember, I tweaked my résumé and cover letter and sent it in.
A couple weeks went by, and mom came in my room and told me I had a phone call. It was from the city of Marietta and they wanted me to come in for an interview! I couldn’t believe it. I went running into the living room and told mom and dad they wanted to interview me for the internship. I was really nervous but the interview went very well, and I was hired a couple days later. I had finally realized my dream, although it was a different one than I originally planned, but you know God has a way of making things turn out okay for those who will only trust and believe in Him.
I worked my tail off during the internship, learned everything I could, revised my writing skills, learned new skills and finished the drill. Thanks to all that hard work, determination, sweat and a lot of tears, I am now a part-time technician with the city. Looking back I would not change one thing about the path I took to get where I am today. I am very proud of my hard work and have found a new respect for myself I never knew existed.
What does this have to do with you and your life? Everything, if you’re struggling to find a job, feeling alone, have a disability or just feel like giving up.
I want everybody reading this to know you are special, and God placed you on this earth for a reason. You are unique and have so much to offer this world. I know you may be discouraged when things don’t go your way, but I want you to remember you have a friend in me who’s fought the battles and has the scars to prove it. I know you can do anything you set your mind to. Now get back up, dust yourself off, look yourself and your obstacles in the mirror, buckle your chin straps and do one thing:
FINISH THE DRILL!!!