Coach Ronnie McClurg, my mentor, would say often, “Train The Brain Men!!” He always illustrated mental toughness and how powerful your thoughts were daily. The saying,”Your body can withstand anything, it is your mind you have to convince”, could have never been more true. Coach was a firm believer that one could extend their capacity for greatness far past their current mental capacity. Coach instilled a mindset that there was no challenge greater than the power of team. However, Coach McClurg may have said “Train The Brain”, but he was really “Training The Heart” of everyone. Coach had a unique ability to make everyone feel valued, encouraged, and believe in a purpose. His “Special Belief” for you not only made you feel valued but it became a driving spirit for something better. Leadership isn’t for others to follow your every step but paving a path that empowers people for achievement. Coach believed in being a servant to others above all else. Amazing How One Can Perform When Value, Encouragement, & Belief Exist…. My hope is to be half the person he was for me to whom I influence. Over the years, my best teams have mirrored his mindset with greater inner thoughts and beliefs than overall ability level. What we all think and believe most will determine our greatest level of performance.
Watch Your Thoughts, They Become Your Words, Words Become Your Actions
Training the Brain… train what you think, in the book Power of Positive Leadership, Jon Gordon tells the story of Dr. James Gills who completed a double triathlon in a 24 hour period. “I’ve learned to talk to myself instead of listen to myself…. If I listen to myself I hear all the reasons I should give up…. If I talk to myself, I can give the encouragement and words I need….” The point is you will fail if you listen to your thoughts, you have to tell yourself how to feel in given situations. As a coach we avoid negative demands and replace them with positive demands. Examples would be substituting “Don’t Quit” with “Finish the Drill”, “Don’t Walk” with “Run on the Field”, or “Don’t drop your Head” with “Stand Tall”. Don’t beg or put your thoughts in a democracy, Demand Excellence out of yourself. Each day replace “I have to go to work today” with “I get to go to work today” and replace that Self-Doubt with a Little Courage. You are going to talk to yourself more than anyone, make sure you’ve planned the right message. I can hear Coach saying right now “Stand Tall Men!”…”Train the Brain!”… but most importantly “Men, You Just Have To Believe…”
Training the Heart.. train what you believe everyday. Coach had the ability to make your belief stronger no matter the circumstance. If you needed belief in action or a situation he said to “W.I.N. – What’s Important Now.” Do what is right, the right way, right now…. If you needed to believe you were tough enough, then all you needed was “Crunchy Peanut Butter”. If positivity was needed, then a player might be called upon to recite a poem on enthusiasm. If a player lacked belief-of-self, he would tell us, “That young man just needs a little bit of encouragement”. Coach always believed in doing right for the players and to deal with everything else. He was always seeking to serve, be your partner, and “Train the Heart.” Surround yourself with people that not only make you feel valued but that walk you toward higher standards. These “Workout Partners” will be critical as you move through your life journey. So everyday just “W.I.N.”, eat some “Crunchy Peanut Butter”, read something “Positive”, and seek someone that needs “Just a little bit of Encouragement.”
The longer time passes, the more I value his everyday example. In actuality, we talked very little football, Coach poured into you as a person. He taught you how to be a professional teacher of the game, serve others, show kindness, treat people, value the human spirit, work to a high standard, and that joy can exist with success. I firmly believe he would have been a great pastor, military leader, senator, or anything that involves influencing people. He was a master of coaching people not just a mere game. Not a day is gone by that I do not use his lessons in this business. “Training the Brain” is just a small piece of what I learned in our time together. A book would be needed to express my love and gratitude for Coach. Amazing how one’s legacy lives on through others and am glad he is still personally influencing others to this day.
Everyday Seek A Needed Workout Partner With A Plan To “Train The Brain & Heart” The Two Muscles Of Thoughts and Belief.
There is more in you than you can imagine…
I Love You Coach
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23