Character & Mental Toughness – Why?

In the state where I coach, we have pretty strict rules about how often we may meet with our teams. As such, I frequently send articles or notes to them via their homeroom teacher. Here is a recent one.


Why do I send you these articles?  If you don’t learn how to be successful, you can’t be successful at anything unless you have great natural talent in that specific area.

You can’t succeed at football, lacrosse, math, relationships, etc. until you learn how to succeed. Once you learn how to succeed, how to win, then you can win at just about anything. Very few people will teach you this. Instead they will try to teach you football, lacrosse, math, relationships etc. first.  But that way does not work. You will struggle to learn those things, and do them well, if you do not first learn how to succeed. Learn how to be a winner and you will learn how to win at anything.

Success takes sacrifice to learn. You have to sacrifice some time and effort to learn success.  You learn success by studying success, just like you study your plays, or your subjects in school.  You have to read about success, watch videos on success, and learn the vocabulary of success. It takes practice, but you can get really good at it and then succeed at almost anything.

If you are unwilling to make the sacrifices to learn how to succeed, then you will sacrifice all of the good things that you get from becoming a success. Either way there is a sacrifice. It just depends on which one you choose. Sacrifice your time and effort now or sacrifice the rewards you could have earned later.

It will take you a long time to learn these lessons through trial and error if you are unwilling to make the sacrifice. So I try to pass these lessons on to you now, so you can speed up the process and reap the advantages of success before the opportunities to succeed pass you by.

Football is not a situation where most of you are blessed with tremendous talent, however you can still succeed.  Most situations in life are like this.  In learning success, you learn that you can rise above & defeat those with more talent.

So in order to succeed, we have to rely on more than just our natural talent.  We have to gain an edge, and that edge is that we teach ourselves to overcome fear.

If you are a true success, you are not afraid; not afraid of the amount of work, the pain, the hours, the weather, the contact, the competition, the alarm clock, the city, or having people count on you.

You can end your fear through your commitment to build your character & mental toughness.  You can become stronger in the 11 Core Character Traits of humility, caring, teamwork, courage, initiative, discipline, perseverance, commitment, leadership and awareness. You can become mentally tough. That takes year round work, but you get a little less afraid each day. That is the great part of this game; you become fearless compared to others.

Think of all the things you were once afraid of: remembering your equipment, carrying the water out to practice, running extra sprints, getting assigned a research paper, having your parents ask you to help them around the house. When you build up your character & mental toughness, these things no longer scare you.  People who don’t build up their character & mental toughness remain afraid, and run or hide when these things come their way. The simplest things break them and make them run or hide on a daily basis.

Football teaches you to be fearless and not just of pain and contact.  You also learn to become unafraid of work, inconvenience, responsibility, and working with others.

If we do it right, we approach each day with an attitude that others can’t understand, and that allows us to do things that others are too afraid to do. We develop an attitude: NOBODY/NOTHING CAN BREAK ME. No teacher or coach or boss or friend or enemy or situation can stop you from trying or make you complain or quit.  You learn to fight past these people and events in everything that you do.  In the meantime, other people stay mediocre. They are too afraid to try or too busy complaining.  These people settle for being mediocre because they are afraid of the simplest and easiest things; stepping foot in the weight room, completing a homework assignment, getting wet in the rain, etc.  We want to win, so we teach ourselves and teach each other to overcome these things and accomplish so much more in life as a result.  Eventually, you can learn to see that in all things, you fight, while others flee or freeze.

Get Better! Together!

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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