Yep, you know what I am talking about. I am still getting goosebumps from Michigan State’s Cotton Bowl Game victory.
If you are a Michigan fan don’t worry, I’m not here to brag about MSU, rather I want to talk today about two extraordinary examples of hard work.
So let me take you back a few years to when I was working as a graduate assistant with Michigan State Football. I would get to work around 5:00 am and not leave until around 7:00 pm. The days were long and grueling and I never made a dime of money, but I was able to witness some of the best athletes in the nation come in and work their butts every day. Some working harder than others.
Two guys really stuck out in my head. One guy was from Detroit, not the biggest guy on the team, but had speed like you wouldn’t believe. He was a wide receiver/defensive back. The other guy is from Georgia, bigger guy with similar speed and same position.
At the time, neither of these guys that I am talking about had starting positions on the team. Far from it actually.
My first example took place during the college spring break. Nobody on campus besides a few sports teams. The football team had a week-long break and no requirements to work out. Now me being on the bottom of the totem pole meant that I had to work the weight room that week while everybody else had vacation. Very fun days of maybe 2 or 3 people coming in there all day. Oh well, I couldn’t afford a vacation anyways so I didn’t mind.
Every single day of that spring break week, there was one guy in there who asked me every day to throw him passes in the indoor football field. For 1 hour straight I would fire balls at him from every direction trying to make catches impossible to catch. He was never satisfied until he caught 30-40 passes in a row. I couldn’t believe it. He very well could have been relaxing and taking it easy.
While his friends were on the beach, he was inside putting in extra work.
The second example comes from the dead heat of the summer. Everybody knows how grueling 2/days are for football players. The days are hot, long and demanding. At the end of every practice most of the guys couldn’t wait to go home and chill. All besides the guy from Georgia. He would stop me on the way out and ask me to fire footballs at him using the throwing machine. Poof! I would sit there and fire balls away at him until he caught 30 passes in a row from the front, left and right. Keep in mind this is after a 2 hour practice!
Let me remind you, neither of these guys were the starters!
Well 2 years later who do I see making the two biggest plays of the game during the cotton bowl? You guessed it. The two guys from my examples. It seriously brought tears to my eyes watching that game.
Now were those examples I just gave you the only reason why they were able to win the game for the Spartans? No, there is a lot more too it, but I know that those moments of hard work definitely helped.
Those two examples go hand in hand with this quote:
“You can’t win a title today, but you sure as heck can lose one.”
There are going to be so many times in life where you are doing hard work and don’t know why. Sometimes there is no answer for doing what you’re doing other than that you know it’s the right thing to do.
Right now we are in the dead of winter. Most athletes are just now starting their offseason training.
As an athlete in the offseason, You’re not going to be scoring touchdowns or seeing the friday night lights for another 8 months. Is that going to take away your motivation?
Don’t let it.
You can’t win a title today, but you sure as heck can lose one.