I broke a vow. I swore to never return to high school. I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of high school for a number of reasons. I celebrated when I left. I kept my promise until recently when I broke down and broke my promise. I engaged in a “you’re stupid/no, you’re stupid” sand fight on Linkedin over the value of huddles. I repeat – the value of huddles.

Yesterday, I wasted time off my life that I can’t replay exchanging insults in a Linkedin football coaches group about the all-important matter of whether football players should huddle or not. I wrote, “Huddles are a waste of time” and I explained valid reasons why. Hardcore evidence. My blackberry started humming. Many press ‘like.’ Many disagreed. One guy shouted – “huddles are NOT as waste of time.” He was offended but didn’t explain why. Another guy shouted, “It depends on personnel!!!” What does that mean? One of the biggest myths in football – “it depends on personnel.” They repeat what they hear on TV. According to that theory, only certain humans can line up without a huddle depending on size, shape, age, IQ, genetic predisposition, etc., while other types of people apparently have to huddle together to call a play for some unknown reason.

After my last Linkedin mud-slinging last month in a writer’s group, I vowed it was my last. I got scolded for typing my website as a response to a question I was asked about publishing. My website had a relevant free blog article that answered that question. How else was I supposed to explain where I posted the article? Regardless, the moderator placed me on ‘probation.’ The equivalent of sitting in a corner. Writing out lines. My grade 3 teacher assigned me 500 lines once after a wrongful accusation. I honestly believed my world fell apart. A guy behind me called another guy a name, and any one near the offender got nailed. Guilt by association. No due process. The probation notice set in motion a series of belligerent comments. I started it by trying to defend myself. I ended it with, “Thank you for your time. Hope all is well.” The moderator became indignant and wrote back a reminder of who “started” the group and that I was NOT the moderator. About 20 minutes of my life was wasted with that recess-style dispute. Doesn’t seem like much but it adds up. So I vowed to stop the social media foolishness.

Until the capitalized NOT. Long story short, I fell off the wagon and wrote an essay-style answer defending my sacred no-huddle. I posted that we haven’t huddled in 20 years with all types of players – all shapes, all sizes. We never had to huddle because we didn’t have “the right personnel.” I still have no idea what that means. No one explained it. The ‘right personnel to huddle’ is another example in the long history of conventional thinking myths that people regurgitate out of habit but without any supporting evidence. Then I posted that “what you say in a huddle is the same as what is said without a huddle.” I ended it with “Thank you for the forum. Hope all is well.” Several people pressed ‘like.’

That wasn’t enough. The next day, I posted, “Huddles are a waste of time PART 2” listing more reasons. Many people pressed ‘like.’ Many people disagreed. One guy wrote a long comment that he, “laughs at NFL and college coaches who say they can run more plays with a no huddle.” That did it. I wrote back – “Go ahead and laugh. It works.” Many people pressed ‘like.’ The discussion ended.

Here’s my point – who cares? In the grand scheme of the universe, who cares if my offense doesn’t huddle and yours does? I have almost 1,000 Linkedin connections and have no idea why. I get request for connections. I press ‘accept’ and send a cordial greeting. They write a cordial response. Then I post stuff. Some people press like. Some people get enraged. It’s high school all over again. Unproductive time just hanging around Room 100 (that was a student ‘lounge’ that we were awarded after we petitioned our student counsel.) Honestly, not one word was ever spoken in Room 100 that ever mattered. It was a place where we were putting in time.

The difference between winning big and losing big is productive time versus unproductive. This Friday is opening day of my football team’s spring practice. The Oakville Longhorns 2013 seasons starts. A football field is sacred place where we can all unleash our true selves and dig deep to bring out all that locked up potential that we store away like mounds of accumulated fat. It’s a place where we don’t waste time and don’t waste potential.

Peace.

Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc, Level 3 NCCP
owner – X Fitness Inc.
head coach – Oakville Longhorns football team
author – Soul of a Lifter