We have 4 Key Standards in our Program: 1) Get An Education 2) Be A Coachable Player 3) Be A Great Teammate 4) Play For A Larger Purpose…. When we talk to any group, “Get An Education”, is the first standard that is always discussed. Now, I know this sounds cliche, considering every coach mentions the importance of being a student-athlete. However, for us, it goes much deeper than the norm and stereotypical coach talk. We truly believe that the school day is the breeding ground for habits of excellence. A student is going to spend more time in the classroom, hallways, lunchroom, etc…. than anything else they do in a 24 hour period. All day long they are being mentally challenged to follow their convictions or compromise their abilities. Each time, a student is in their seat on time, says “Yes ma’am”, turns in their work, puts trash in the trash can, or picks up a classmates dropped books….. they have accomplished a great habit. The old saying of “How we do anything, is how we do everything” is so true. I have never seen a player have a bad day at school and have a great practice that afternoon. I have never seen a player with poor school habits, not have those same habits show up during the season. My mentor Coach Ronnie McClurg used to always say, “If you can be a C student, then be a C student. If you can be an A Student, then be an A student.” I have learned over the years, that we would rather have a player that gives everything he has just to pass a class, than to slack off and to make a B. Your habits have a lot more to do with your success than your genetics. As we go through life, we will meet very talented people, some with a lot more skill than us…. But it is those that have great habits, attitude, work ethic, and that are consistent that ultimately succeed. I have been privileged to witness many young people over the years overcome obstacles, and become an incredible success story. Everybody wants to win, but who is willing to live a life that is dedicated to do what it takes to win? We talk to our players about the 3 A’s: Attendance, Assignments, Attitude…… That successful students come to school, turn in their work, and have a good attitude with teachers. That unsuccessful students fail in one or more of those areas. They do not come to school, do not turn their work in, or have a poor attitude with teachers. That these 3 areas will always translate to other parts and windows of their life:
Successful Players: Do not miss workouts or practice, are dependable to complete their assignments, have a great attitude with their coaches
Successful Employees: Do not miss work, fulfill their responsibilities and job description without oversight, and have a great attitude with colleagues
Successful Husbands/Fathers: are present, take this responsibility seriously and follow through, have a can do and never give up attitude
This whole life is about “Getting An Education”, this just does not apply to our grade school or college years. We are constantly growing, learning from our mistakes, and needing to be challenged. We will never know it all or have it all figured out. That if we take this seriously, that our finished product will be a unique masterpiece. One that we know we lived life to the fullest and took advantage of everything it had to offer. No matter our age, we can always get better, we can always learn more, and we can always make a difference. That our choices and consistency will ultimately decide this fate. As Walter Wintle said, “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man, but soon or late the man who wins… Is the man who thinks he can.”
For it is never about us, but always about the next generation….