Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

The Power of Perseverance

Posted by admin January - 28 - 2012 - Saturday

Thanks again to Bob Gass ministries for showing me some things that I want to share with others…

Did you know that one of the great themes that runs throughout the Bible is— perseverance. Paul, who refused to give up, wrote in the letter to the Galatians: “Don’t ever grow tired of doing good. In God’s good time, we will reap a harvest if we do NOT lose heart.” Emerson said, “The great majority of men are bundles of beginnings.” Are you merely a starter, or are you also a finisher? When the enthusiasm for a new season fades, when the odds of a winning record seem insurmountable, when it looks like success is impossible— you MUST keep forging ahead.

I’ve shared that this past football season provided some new highs and lows for me in my coaching career. It was the first time as a head coach that a team that I coached lost 4 games in a row… and it was to start the season. In 3 of those 4 opening losses we had the lead midway through the 3rd quarter! Three of those first 4 games were against eventual play-off teams— one played in a state championship game and another one won the state championship in their division.

There was a time in my career that even losing just the opener would’ve thrown me in a tailspin. I remember my old high school coach saying, “Your opening game is worth the next 2.” In essence, lose the first one and it will probably take 2 more weeks to get you back on track. He was a prophet and didn’t know it! I knew that our Delaware Wing T offense worked. We’d won over 150 games with it at my last school. I knew that our 4-4 defense worked. We had good kids—not the biggest, but they were smart and tough. I kept going back to that verse in Galatians and one in Phillipians (3:13): “Press on towards the goal— don’t look back.” I was the leader. I had to show our players and coaches that we could not give up… we would not give in!

Quitting is more about who you are, than where you are or what you’re up against. The reality is, external things don’t stop us; it’s what happens on the inside that determines whether we press on! The old saying goes: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you deal with it. Most of us stop ourselves from reaching our goal or our full potential.

We can pretend that people, things or situations outside of ourselves are to blame for our failures… but, in reality most failures occur as a result of a lack of bulldog-like tenacity. da Vinci said, “Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed on a star, does not change his mind.” You must have a mindset to tenaciously pursue your dream. The only guarantee for failure is to stop trying!

Some goals are simply insurmountable. But, if you keep on trying… think how much further along you are than if you’d quit at the first roadblock. I’m reminded of a story I heard a number of years ago. It seems in parts of Canada they have marathon swim races instead of road races. In this one province, people would swim across this huge lake 10 miles wide. The gun sounded, hundreds of swimmers hit the water. As most races go… as they hit the halfway mark the pace had forced many to fall behind. At the 3/4 mark, it had become a 2 man race. One swimmer had forged ahead early and held a strong lead. But the man in second place looked strong. As they approached the finish line, the man in the lead faltered and the swimmer in second moved ahead and won going away. I was disappointed that the guy who’d worked so hard and held the lead for so long ended up only coming in second. Then I sat up straight as I read the next paragraph.

It seems that the swimmer who finished second had swum the race with one arm! A war veteran who’d had his arm blown off by an IED, the man still swam distance races with one arm. Had this guy failed?! In my mind… heck no!!! He’d given it everything he had. He had finished second, true, but he never gave up. He’d overcome insurmountable odds just to get across that lake. Think about how far he’d come (in life) just by not giving up when he awakened from that operation and had no arm! This is the power of perseverance. NEVER give up… NEVER give in!

One Response to “The Power of Perseverance”

  1. David Lovette says:

    Great post!

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