Poise Under Pressure

This past weekend I joined the ranks of many who watched #1 ranked Alabama take on #10 ranked Arkansas in a heated game of both pride and position.  The first half was dominated by underdog Arkansas with interceptions, incredible drives, and an energy that shocked even the commentators. When Alabama coach, Nick Saban, gave his assessment at half time, one comment struck a chord with me.

“My team just needs to get their poise back.”

I have never heard the word ‘poise’ used in an athletic context. Frankly, I think of lady-like behavior when I think of the word poise. However, I loved this reference. He was referring to their frenetic teamwork  and  lack of maturity under pressure. After Arkansas scored within the first few minutes of the game, everything was turned upside down for them. They had to ‘find their center’ again, pull together, and execute with poise under pressure.

Needless to say, they did. To the dismay of Arkansas fans everywhere, despite the Razorbacks leading the way the entire game and playing amazingly well, the 4th quarter proved to be Alabama’s Hail Mary quarter. They delivered in spades. They won the game 24-20 in front of a record crowd in Fayetteville of over 75,000 folks.

Once again, the old adage of ‘its not where you start, its where you finish’ proves true. Alabama found their poise under pressure. A lesson from which we can all learn.