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I’ve always been smaller than the majority of my competition ever since a young age. This motivated me to work harder on my techniques and fundamentals in order to compete with the “big boys.” Being vertically challenged was actually a blessing in disguise in that it forced me to compensate with great footwork and technique. I strongly believe that next to every “perceived” limitation, there is a hidden strength lying right next to it. Now, I take great pride in my agility and quickness because I focus on the strength in my size rather than the limitation of my size.

“No one lacks potential. You can lack will or skill, but everyone has potential.” -Unknown

In the first ever China Arena Football League (CAFL), I was fortunate enough to be selected as the 3rd overall pick in the draft and the 1st pick for the Shanghai team. I can confidently say that I wasn’t selected because of my size, that’s for sure. Actually, due to the rule that half of the players on the field must be Chinese, my coach informed me that we would not have a very large offensive line unit and that he drafted me because I can get the ball out quickly.

Well lack of size on the offensive line was an understatement. Once I arrived in Beijing for the first practice sessions, I quickly realized that I was the second tallest player in our offensive huddle. Needless to say, that was a new thing for me. My scrambling ability was put to the test early, and often, in that inaugural season. And I have my size to thank for being able to avoid sacks and be elusive for opposing defenses. The season was a success and I took home the CAFL Offensive MVP award.

Success is all about where you direct your focus. Would you rather focus on the “perceived” limitations in your life, or uncover the potential right next to it? If you choose the latter, it takes a focused effort to turn that potential into a strength. Otherwise, potential will lie dormant and never help unlock your true success.

Shane Austin
Extreme Focus Certified Coach, Twitter/Instagram: @shaneaustin10,