What’s Your Two-Minute Drill?

At both the end of the first half and the end of the game, football teams, especially quarterbacks, test their ability to manage the clock while simultaneously executing the game plan to march down the field and score before the half or the end of the game. Some quarterbacks self destruct under the additional time pressure; others seen to play their best football.

On Saturday night, ABC & ESPN TV commentator and college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit (a former Ohio State quarterback) noted that Colt McCoy, quarterback for Texas, played his best football of the first half during the two-minute drill, pointing out that McCoy seemed to be “thinking too much” during much of the game, but “just played ball” during the closing minutes of the half.

Like McCoy and other football quarterbacks, we can think too much about all we need to do, the responsibilities on our shoulders, and the possible ramifications of any actions. When we do this, we stumble and underperform. Then, like magic, when put into a situation where we don’t have time to think, our performance peaks.

In many situations, thinking about possible negative and positive outcomes is best done before we’re called to act—in practice or in preparation. We need to trust that our brain and body have absorbed all of the possibilities and let them work their magic in the moment.

What’s the “two-minute drill” in your career? Do you freeze up or over think? If so, take time to practice how you’d handle any possible scenario and then deliberately put yourself in some challenging situations that force you to respond in the moment (no time to think).

The more you practice whatever rapid-fire situations you’re likely to be called on to deal with, the more at ease you’ll be, even in the face of a surprise scenario or “attack.” You’ll be able to trust your ability to respond. Why? Because you’ve already successfully dealt with other, similar scenarios. Your brilliant mind has seen this before and knows just what to do. Trust it.

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