Halftime Conference Part 1: Why the second half matters

Word Count: 1391

Estimated Reading Time: 6.9 minutes

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, everyone can start now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard.

The Biggest Ad time in sports

Regarded as one of the premier TV ad slots, companies wrestle for an opportunity to market their products or services at the NFL’s Super Bowl halftime show. What is the cost of a Super Bowl halftime ad? It is in the vicinity of $5 million for a 30-second slot. But before your jaw drops consider that the return on investment for one ad company that bought a slot in 2015 was 172%!

The halftime show has also created some powerful moments during dark times. For example, the group called U2 led by Bono played in the first post 9/11 halftime show. It was an emotional performance as they honored the victims of that fateful terrorist attack.

Halftime is important for teams as well. While fans use halftime for a restroom break or to reload on snacks, teams use halftime for rest and make necessary adjustments for a strong second half. It is often been said that sports is a game of two halves.

This was true while watching Game 6 of this year’s NBA Western Conference semifinals matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets. After Kevin Durant, the dominant player on the Warriors team throughout the playoffs, went down with an injury in Game 5, most thought it was game over for the Warriors. But the Warriors held on to win. Still, with Durant out for Game 6, Houston were the favorites to win the game on their home court. After a scoreless first half, Stephen Curry reminded us all why he is perhaps the best shooter in the NBA. In the second half, the former MVP lit up the scoreboard with 33 points, en route to a resounding win. Former NBA coach Rudy Tomjanovich once said, “Never underestimate the heart of a champion.”

For June, I am inviting you to the Halftime Conference (no registration or fees required). Each Thursday, I will share a topic to help you make necessary adjustments for the second half of the year. Just like Curry, you may have come up scoreless in terms of not accomplishing what you set out to do but remember, the year, like sports, is a tale of two halves. The second one can be your best!

Here is a snapshot of the four-session conference:

  1. Session 1: Why the second half matters (today’s post)
  2. Session 2: Engaging in mental nutrition (Delivery date 6/6)
  3. Session 3: The possibilities are endless (Delivery date 6/13)
  4. Session 4: How to play from behind and still win (Delivery date 6/20)
  5. Session 5: Your blueprint for a better second half (Delivery date 6/27)

Let’s begin by finding out why the second half matters. Knowing this will help you use your half time wisely.

July 1st

Every July 1st, the second half of the year begins. Besides looking back at the first half and wondering how fast it went, we can look ahead to the latter half purposefully and thoughtfully. The purpose? To finish the year well with our character intact even if we don’t accomplish all our goals. The thought? To learn that becoming a better person this year is the most important focal point.

It’s time to hit the F5 (refresh) button in our minds, clear the clutter, lean out the fat, and ready ourselves for the second half. As coach and speaker Lou Holtz stated, “How you respond to the challenge of the second half will determine what you become after the game.”

The first half may have come with setbacks, mistakes, unknowns, and a few regrets but no one ever accomplished anything worthwhile without overcoming such challenges.

Here is why the second half matters despite the experiences of the first:

1. There is still time to get it done

There is a saying that goes, “If you are not dead, you are not done.” I like it because it lets me know that during halftime, I need not hang my head in defeat, but I can look up with hope and anticipation that I can do better. In fact, it would seem better to experience the setbacks and challenges in the first half. By learning from them, you are poised for a superb second half.

Many of us look back with regret mourning over the time we have lost. Instead of looking in the rearview, I encourage you to look through the windshield and see how much time you have left. We cannot go back and recover past time, but we can redeem it by making better use of the time we have now. Tell yourself, “I will redeem the time I have by using it to grow my life to the person I am meant to be.”

2. You might be down, but you are not out

After a dismal first half by my favorite NFL team, the New England Patriots found themselves down 24-0 at half time to the Denver Broncos in 2013. It looked like no Tom Brady heroics could make up for their first half atrocities. After halftime, a different team emerged. With a pep in their step and renewed resolve, my team chipped away at Denver’s lead. At the end of the game, the Patriots were victors. I had to pick my jaw off the floor.

Sometimes, it can appear you are dead in the water. Surrounded by mounting problems and challenges. Buried under the weight of mistakes and regrets after a dismal first half. The latest breaking news report served to only feed the hopelessness. At that moment the only choice you think you have is to throw in the towel and declare, “I am not good enough. I am too far behind. What is the use?” Such declarations come from our inner critic. And its voice can be loud, unrelenting, and condemning. What has your inner critic told you lately? Often that voice in our head serves to rationalize our greatest fears. The voice says, “Well if that is how the first half went, how can the second one be any different?” What our inner critic never takes into account is that change is possible. And this is where we win the fight with those voices. We believe that change is possible and then proceed to act on that belief rather than giving in to the voices. What you believe determines how you behave and ultimately who you become.

Yes, it will take consistent effort and energy to catch up and win, but it beats the alternative of folding and quitting when there is still time on the clock. Emerge renewed for the second half of the year. Tell yourself, “It’s not too late to get back in and press on to my destiny. No matter how far back I appear to be.”

3. Distance = Speed × Time

Success in the second half of the year is a factor of how quickly you decide that you can still have a great year, multiplied by the amount of time you are willing to commit towards seeing the change become a reality. In short, your response is critical to your reach.

The first factor is speed. How quickly are you willing to forgive yourself for the first half mistakes while also being grateful for what went well? Even in a losing first half, a coach can find something that went well to build upon for the second one. Also, letting go of grudges from the first half is necessary to save your strength for the second half.

This will bode well for the second factor which is time. Energy and time coagulate to create focus, which author Daniel Goleman calls the “most valuable asset of the mind.” The sooner your energy is made available for the half of the year you have not yet lived, the sooner your successful journey into it can begin.

Final thought: Life is about choice. And sometimes a choice can be explained using mathematical signs. We can choose one of the following when seeing the second half of the year in light of the first:

a. First half = Second half (things will never change).


b. Second half > First half (the second half will be better or greater).

Our choice will determine our outlook and attitude come July 1st. I believe Stephen Curry, as well as the New England Patriots, chose the second option. Which will you choose?

Keep on keeping on!

1 Comment

  1. Good morning Brother David, the blog is excellent, thanks!Will apply the knowledge that was shared! Have a good day, God bless!


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