Four Yards a Play

I was very fortunate to be exposed to some wonderful coaching during my football career. Perhaps the most influential coach of my career came from my high school experience in Arizona.

Bernie Busken had a unique approach to winning football games. Yes, we watched film. And yes, we practiced hard; his practices were the hardest events I have faced throughout my entire life.  He did his homework on the opposition, and expected a lot of his players. 

He had no "Hail Mary" approach to any game. He had no trick plays. No gimmicks. We didn't have fancy uniforms; in fact, anything that would distinguish you from a teammate was  not permitted, down to you spray painting your cleats black. The only distinguishing feature was your number.

He made us a promise at the beginning of each season. It was simply this, "if you can get me four yards a play, we will win every game we play." This philosophy led his teams at Mountain View to a 82-9 record. 

  I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle- victorious. ~Vince Lombardi

 

I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle- victorious.

~Vince Lombardi

We all set goals to "win all the games we play in", but winning is not a goal, it is the culmination of a series of smaller goals. Coach Busken was/is masterful in his approach. He never needed us to get 80 yards in one play, we did several times, but the goal was always four yards. 

True and lasting success comes from winning the grind. Lots of teams and individuals set goals to win, but they fail because they do not see the power of accumulated success.  We knew that by winning the grind, the momentum would shift. In the first quarter, those plays gained four yards, but in the fourth quarter, those same plays were gaining eight, ten, twelve yards. 


You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace, not in denial, but in victory.
— J. Donald Walters

As you look to tackle new challenges in your life, whether in your professional, personal, or family life, find a way to get those four yards. You are in the first quarter of changing your life. Win the grind. Accumulate your success and in the fourth quarter of your change, each play will yield those eight, ten, or twelve yards. 

You may hit a few big plays, enjoy them, but do not rely on them. Success awaits those who win the grind- four yards at a time.