Blocking and Tackling

Blocking and Tackling

I recently did a podcast with Ellerbrock Norris’ Encore Safety Network for whom I am a regular contributor.  This episode the topic of discussion was blocking and tackling.  The idea being until the basics are mastered no amount of advanced programing or processes will be successful.  In the reality of the safety world this can be a matter of life or death. 


The blocking and tackling metaphor stems from the game of American football.  The essence of every single play during the game involves an offensive player attempting to block a defender while that defender is working to stop the ball carrier by tackling the person to the ground.  Every single play involves those two basic elements with the advantage coming to the one who does it better.   

Regardless of elaborate offensive or defensives schemes the success of each play is ultimately determined by who blocks or tackles better.  The best offensive play could be called and thwarted by a missed block.  The best defensive scheme is rendered useless with a missed tackle. 

Beyond sports, the idea of blocking and tackling is very powerful.  How often have you felt completely overwhelmed with life or work?  Stressed out by the number of things you need to do.  The harsh reality is most of those needs are actually wants that only overcomplicate our already busy lives.  Part of the blocking and tackling concept is stripping away the fluff.  Get rid of the fancy formations and trick plays and focus on what is vitally necessary to win.  There is benefit in stopping for a moment to take stock in your daily life and ask yourself if you have gotten away from your basic needs and no longer blocking and tackling very well. 


How is your health?  How is your fitness?  What’s your relationship like with your family?  Those things are the blocking and tackling of your life.  A successful career is great.  Having money is great.  Nice cars, big house…both great.  But if those things are taking away from the basics, then you will likely start losing the bigger game.   

The oft used mantra Less Is More truly is an effective guide to life.  In martial arts we say Basics Win Fights.  Our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu room has a sign hanging that reads Simple Is Powerful.   All the fancy technique in the world is useless fluff when the basics aren’t mastered.  The simplest technique done at the right time can move mountains.   

So ask yourself, how happy am I and am I still blocking and tackling well? 

Every Day Is Training Day – Reap What You Sow