Character & Mental Toughness- An Address to An Incoming Freshmen Class

I don’t want to waste your time.  And I don’t want you to waste mine.  So please be quiet and this will be over in 90 seconds.

We are born ignorant.

It may not be pleasant to hear, but does that make it untrue?  Ignorant means not knowledgeable or unaware.

At birth we are totally dependent.  We certainly have instincts, but we don’t truly know anything.  All we know is what we want. We want fed. We want changed. We want burped.  Hug me.  Babies are all about themselves….me, me, me.  Infants don’t care if others need sleep, or if others have something that needs to be done.  Infants only care about their own needs.

If we work hard in school, in sports, in becoming a good citizen in our community, we are, in reality, becoming less ignorant.

We are becoming more enlightened.

We begin to become aware of the concerns and needs of people other than ourselves.  We learn perspectives other than our own.

One has a choice in life.  You can choose to remain ignorant.  Or you can choose to become enlightened.

Remaining ignorant is easy.  Do nothing. Learn nothing.  Listen to nobody.  Do whatever you want. Question nothing you currently believe. Worry only about your own needs in the moment.  Your wants, your needs.

Becoming enlightened is difficult.  Do as much as you can. Learn all that you can.  Investigate if there is a better way. Recognize that there are other people in the world. Become aware of their wants, their needs, their accomplishments. Rise to the challenge of each new day.

So before we step onto the field, or into the classroom, or get behind the wheel, or talk to someone who is not as strong as you, realize something very important.

You have a choice to make.

Remain ignorant


Become enlightened.

You make that choice every time you walk into a classroom, or suit up for practice, or drive a car, or interact with your fellow students.

You may not appreciate my tone but four years from now you will appreciate what I just told you.

Too many people would just let you find that out for yourself.

In the last 90 seconds you made a choice.

I hope you made the right one.


About coachbillmoore

Educator/Author/Speaker/HS & NCAA Coach Character Coach Read Coach Moore’s book “On Character and Mental Toughness” Paperback available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. "The measure of your character and mental toughness is the space between what you are doing and what you could be doing." -Coach Bill Moore
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