Looks like Quarterback Johnny Manziel, AKA: Johnny Football, is going to be released by The Cleveland Browns.
"Why?" you ask? Let me tell you why...
I heard a saying once that over the years has made much more sense than when I first heard it in my twenties. The saying was, “Money will only give you more of what you already have in your life.” So with that being said, if you have misery in your life, a lot of money can enable you to have more misery. Yet if you have a lot of kindness, money can enable you to have more of the same.
Some of us wish for money. Dreaming of winning the lottery, we seem to think it will make our lives the way we always wanted. But that’s the equivalent of running 600 volts of electricity through copper wire and grabbing on for the ride. If you don’t have respect for that energy, it can zap you.
Similarly, so is rewarding a young man like Johnny Manziel with millions of dollars for his capacity to play a game over a series of years in the future. Most young men have no appreciation for how money can change their lives. Like electricity, money is an energy. It attracts all types of attention, and demands respect and discipline. When there is money involved, there are all kinds of agendas on what can be done with those resources, and everyone thinks differently.
Preparing a young person for the life lessons money can teach is almost impossible. You can teach a class about theories, but until the student is able to apply those theories in the real world, it’s always going to be hypothetical. That’s where the learning and growth come in the form of experience.
That’s why having a mentor or life coach is so important to these young players. The athletes have the talent and ability to play in the game, but the business side of the sport is an experience they lack. The players are completely unprepared for the road ahead of energy vampires, taxes, sex, booze, drugs and other potholes in life.
If one could look ahead and see the potholes of life, one would be able to work around them, and continue onward. However, these young players can’t recognize the potholes ahead, and the impact it will have on their lives. Being able to recognize the potential issues ahead means navigating around, and not hitting them. Truly, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And just like how money will simply deliver more or less of whatever you place on top of it, the impact of a mistake at that level can be catastrophic.
So if you look at the Cleveland Browns releasing Johnny Manziel from their team, I can see two things. The first is, a lack of support from The Browns organization in how Manziel needed to be directed away from a life of distractions away from the game. A professional sports organization is in the business of developing athletes in ability and mental toughness, and in this experiment with Manziel, it was not successful.
The second, is poor scouting on behalf of The Browns. Scouting these days cannot be directed toward talent alone. Talent is simply the ante into the game. The real art to scouting is recognizing talent with an attitude, which can be developed into solid character traits with the proper mentoring. When identifying talent, a scout has to take into account many factors, including the athlete’s upbringing, attitude, coaches, education, and a host of other parts to the equation.
But to find all of these is not realistic. It is up to the scout to take their organization’s culture, and recognize that fit in the athlete’s attitude, and then invest in him to deliver the proper tools for success. To expect an athlete to be how we would want him to be, is only setting the organization, and the athlete up for failure.
And in the cases of athletes who have not lived up to expectations, these two reasons are the cause. In the perfect sense, an organization with the proper culture to support and empower the athlete with a workable set of abilities and attitudes will produce an individual for success.
It’s just that simple. Anything else is how we complicate this equation with our lack of perception, tools and clarity.