By Jennifer Garrett

Baseball may be America’s favorite pastime, but football is America’s passion. From players’ Cinderella stories to teams’ spectacular comeback victories, football affects people’s lives in a constructive way. It teaches us the strategies needed to be successful both on and off the field.

As an only child, I didn’t have any brothers to familiarize me with the game. I started following the sport when I was four years old and fell in love with the game immediately. It was easy to get fired up about Chicago Bears football. As I got older, my hunger for football only grew.

In high school, while other girls fiddled with makeup and fancy hairdos, I consumed myself with the game. They stressed out over homecoming dresses while I focused on what football teams were playing the next weekend. Football became my way of life.

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While all sports highlight the importance of teamwork and leadership, only football emphasizes principles such as recognizing the blitz, being aware of the blindside, getting the next first down, and more. No matter what the situation, football provides the tools necessary to scramble through a field of defenders, move the ball forward, get into the end zone, and achieve life’s goals. My recently released book, Move the Ball: How the Game of American Football Can Help You Achieve Your Life Goals, draws these connections and shows you how to win in life.

Both in football and life, the players need to define the goals, invent the playbook, and execute the plays. Move the Ball draws upon the football playbook to show you how to do this and realize your dreams. As a thirty-four year old quarterback on my life’s field, the lessons I learned from the game helped me complete five college degrees while raising four children along the way. It showed me how to overcome teenage pregnancy and single parenthood, as well as reach a myriad of educational and career successes, including advancing to the executive level at General Electric, a Fortune 10 company.

On game day, I was not just your run-of-the-mill sports fan. I used the struggles and victories on the field to figure out how to play the game of life. In the business world, I have worked in many challenging positions, demonstrating that I could lead teams, inspire others and deliver results. I set high expectations for myself, never made excuses, and always held myself accountable. These lessons also helped me to distinguish myself as a Judge Advocate officer in the Michigan Army National Guard Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. Football helped me succeed.

Great players in football and in life don’t settle for being ordinary. They have a strong belief in themselves and strive to be extraordinary. They have what I call M.A.D. P.R.I.D.E. Move the Ball shows you how you can use the elements of M.A.D. P.R.I.D.E. to overcome any obstacle and win. The time is now to realize greatness. Are you ready to move the ball?

You can read more about Move the Ball and Jennifer at www.jenniferagarrett.com. Move the Ball is available in Kindle and in paperback editions on Amazon.com. Follow her on twitter: @getintheendzone. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/intotheendzone.