I played for coaches who constantly harped, “Don’t lose your poise.” The shouted at us on the practice field, in the film room, and woe be unto us if we needed to reminded during a game. Football, like life, is full of experiences where every fabric of our being wants to lash out. We want to scream at officials, swing at somebody who’s in our face, or take advantage by hitting them in the back or below the belt. I can’t tell you how many times I watch modern athletes lose control, celebrate a simple tackle or sack, or rough the passer or kicker that I find myself thinking, “don’t lose your poise.”
I have always admired the attribute of poise. Think of the men and women you know who carry themselves with poise. So I find myself wondering how do I develop poise.
Poise is harmonious life; it is balance, — the whole person in harmony – physical, intellectual, and spiritual harmony. Before it is acquired we feel helpless, and at the mercy of all that surrounds. We are afraid because we have no real sense of power. We feel tossed about. But the glory of it is that each and every one of us has the power within, the divine spark, that is in us all to obtain that balance. We merely have to acknowledge it exists. It will lead us straight to it.
One of my smart-aleck teammates once responded to the coaches scream, “don’t lose your poise” with the question, “Coach, how can I lose it if I never had it.” The coach didn’t hesitate. “If you didn’t have it, I wouldn’t waste my time yelling at you.” Walk with poise and grace.