Beach Ball Football -- How to Level the Business Playing Field

Susan T. Spencer

Women often complain that there is no way to get in the “good ole boys club” in business. As the only female that has been a general manager of a professional football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, my personal experiences say quit complaining and find common ground with men.

I was recently asked by Tracy Byrnes, of Fox Business News, if the world is still dominated by men and my short answer was yes, but that does not mean women are not in the game—they are.

Finding common ground is a simple concept but somewhat more difficult to accomplish. What it requires is to understand the fundamentals of a sport that millions of men love—football.  A woman does not have to dress, talk, walk, and act like a man in order to fit in, but what she needs to do is learn enough about football to talk the talk.

Despite predictions to the contrary, the NFL football season is upon us. With a little basic training on the beach and some audio coaching you will have all the tools you need to get into the game of football.

Using a beach ball to play football is quite a challenge but will help you understand the basics of football generally and more specifically what professional quarterbacks do on the field. Quarterbacks are the CEO’s of the team and handle the ball more than any other player during a game. So here you are—the quarterback on the beach.

As the quarterback you can run with the ball, throw (pass) the ball to someone else or hand the ball to another player on your team to run with it. For the beach I suggest you pass the ball to a teammate more than half the time you have the ball. Quarterbacks in the NFL pass the ball 56% of the time.

In beach ball football you need at least 3 players on each team. You are the quarterback and the other two players on your side can catch your pass or you can hand the ball to one of them to run with it. Call one teammate the runner and the other the receiver but either of your teammates can catch or run with the ball.

On the opposite side are 3 defensive players who are trying to take the ball away from you or your teammates. There is no tackling, tripping, or shoving in this game but don’t be surprised if you get a mouthful of sand once in awhile.

You score when you or a team member carries the ball into the water and then you switch sides—the offense becomes the defense and vice versa, so the offense is always facing the water.  Your team gets 4 tries to reach the water, which is the goal. If you fail to reach the water or you lose possession of the ball, then you and your teammates switch places with the defensive side and now you are the defense trying to prevent the other team (now the offense) from scoring when they have the ball.

Learning football is a rare business opportunity that you can master quickly and at same time, have lots of fun—especially on the beach. Once you start to get into football there will be lots of men who will want to join you and “teach” you the game. So take advantage of the rest of the summer to get into football…it will make your life richer,  impress your loved ones and you will be well on your way to adding a new, exciting  and interesting dimension to your career by making every Sunday—football Sunday!

Knowing football is your ticket to leveling the business playing field. Stop whining and get in the game—it’s a small investment of time to achieve success.