Monday Motivation: Are you Invincible?

This past Saturday, my wife and I watched the movie, “Invincible“. The movie is based on the true story of Vince Papale. Papale was a die hard Philadelphia Eagles fan who played one year of high school football and was working as a bartender in South Philadelphia. In 1975, the Eagles were a horrible football team and a new head coach, Dick Vermeil, was brought on to coach the team. Vermeil announced that he would be holding open tryouts for the Eagles for anyone that wanted to try out. Out of all the men that attended the event, Vince was the only one that Coach Vermeil asked to attend training camp that year.

Even though he was asked to attend training camp, his journey wasn’t over. He still had to make the numerous cuts that occur during training camp. He did so, and made the team. Coach Vermeil liked Papale’s speed that he showed on the field, but he was also attracted to his character and his heart.

Papale went on to play 3 seasons for his hometown Eagles and was a standout on the special teams unit for the team. This is often times the proving grounds for players, as the only real rule is “if it moves, hit it”.

So, it’s a great story on it’s own, but let’s dig a little deeper for the motivation.

As with anyone who is trying to improve themselves and make their dreams a reality, Papale had his believers and his detractors. The laundry list of detractors included:

  1. During the story, Vince’s wife left him. She left him a note saying that he’d never amount to anything, make any money, or be anyone important. Vince kept this note in his locker at training camp and used it as motivation to reach his goals. On opening day, he ripped the letter up. Goal accomplished.
  2. One of his friends continually gave his chances of making the team no chance, at all.
  3. The current Eagles players didn’t believe in him, or even like him. Who did this 30 year old bartender think he was trying to play with professional athletes anyway?
Regardless of the who didn’t believe in him, he was able to use each of these negative forces as motivation to drive him to the results he wanted.
More importantly, he also had his believers.
  1. His dad continually believed in and supported him.
  2. His brother and other friends supported him and pushed him to go for the tryout in the first place.
  3. A fellow bartender believed in him, even talking to him on the phone while at training camp and sending him a package.
  4. Coach Vermeil stuck up for Papale and probably chose him over a better athlete because of his character, not necessarily because of his physical prowess.
As you look at your own life, you can probably fill in the blanks above between your believers and detractors. Here’s the takeaway from the story, you have to gather around and rally your believers, and ignore the detractors. Sometimes easier said than done, I know. Your believers are the ones that will support you no matter what, no matter what your profession is. More than likely, they like you because of who you are, not because of what you do. Keep these people closest to you and rally them around your cause.

As for the detractors, you can rip up their summations and feelings about you on your “opening day” when you achieve the goal(s) you worked so hard for. 🙂

You can watch some video of Papale in action below.

Make it a great week!


2 Responses to “Monday Motivation: Are you Invincible?”

  1. February 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I’m going to have to check out this movie. Interesting how many people doubted him. For many, changing or reaching for a dream seems so unrealistic. On top of that, doing so may make negative people in your life feel bad about themselves. These people will sabotage your goals and make you question yourself. It takes intestinal fortitude to persevere. What a great story!

  2. February 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. Dick Vermeil was coach of the Rams when they went from last place one season to winning the Super Bowl the next season, in the late 90s.
    His quarterback was Kurt Warner. Kurt was a 3rd string guy on the team (who had been working at a grocery store stocking shelves a few years before) Because of injuries with the starting quarterback, Kurt was picked to play -and the rest is history. It shows a little bit of faith goes a long way.

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