As a Navy jet pilot, I was always aware of G-LOC (pronounced “gee-lock”), which is the abbreviation for Gravity (induced) Loss of Consciousness. G-LOC describes a loss of consciousness occurring from excessive and sustained g-force, which drains blood away from the brain and causes cerebral hypoxia. (In other words, you pass out.) Being aware of G-LOC is half the battle, and applying proven strategies to defeat G-LOC is equally important. Early in training, high-performance jet pilots are taught the Anti-G Straining Maneuver, which is used to force blood back to the brain. Pilots also wear g-suits that exert pressure on the abdomen and legs to force pooled blood back toward the heart. Ultimately, the keys to successfully defeating G-LOC lie with early recognition of symptoms and timely application of prevention strategies.
Why do I tell you this? Because as athletes and coaches we face a similar phenomenon I call C-LOC, or Cultural (induced) Loss of Consciousness, in which we allow culture to influence our character and we fall asleep to God’s greater calling. As competitors for Christ it is important that we understand when C-LOC symptoms are present and exerting an influence on our character.
To better understand where you stand today, reflect on the following questions:
- Do you honor the game? What about your opponents, your coach, your teammates, the officials and the fans? The bus driver?
- Do you exercise self-control in the heat of battle?
- Is your language acceptable?
- Is your verbal communication positive and uplifting or negative and demeaning?
- How about your Tweets and Facebook postings?
- Do you follow all of the team rules even when no one is watching?
- Do you play alcohol-, drug- and tobacco-free?
Do you exhibit a “win at all cost” mentality?
This last symptom is particularly troublesome. How often have you heard the phrase, “Winning isn’t the most important thing; it’s the only thing”? Compare that with Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s statement, “Winning as a goal is a disease and leads to compromise in every other area.” This is a strong statement from a very successful coach. Athletic competition doesn’t just build character; it reveals character. So, what does your performance say about your character?
Today, ask yourself if C-LOC is slowly creeping into your game. Does it have such a strong foothold that you’ve fallen asleep as a competitor for Christ, or do you daily hold strong to His Word and the Competitor’s Creed?
- Are you being honest with yourself about your character? Ask a teammate or friend to answer the above questions in regards to you, and then compare answers.
- In what ways are you affected by C-LOC?
- When faced with C-LOC, ask this one simple question: “Which action best honors God?”
- Proverbs 4:23
- Matthew 26:41
- 1 Corinthians 16:13