One of the many lessons my high school defensive coach taught me literally changed my life. Coach Mule Kaiser didn't have a name for what he taught, he just taught it by speaking and living it. However, I call it "The Key to Success," because it was the key that unlocked within me the potential to succeed as a student, athlete, and as a husband, father, coach, and leader.
Coach Kaiser was a rough, hard-nosed football coach who happened to be a Renaissance man. He taught me that is was ok for a country boy to enjoy classical music and poetry. Coach Kaiser told me that my greatest asset was not my physical skill, but my mind. The simplicity of his theory was that if you control your mind, your mind controls your will, your emotions and your actions. If you think about it, most of the failures an individual has in life are attached to a lack of control in one of those three areas - your will, your emotion, and your action.
In ancient times, huge pillars of stone were the foundation supporting enormous buildings, so I came to the conclusion that there were four pillars of support for my life's goals that I must master in order to guarantee the success I had dreamed of. The four pillars are: attitude, effort, self-discipline, and the capacity to care.
Once you master the four pillars, your life will become an open book for your players to read, as they will see in you the success that they want to attain. Teach the key to success as the foundation for your players to reach the goals they set for themselves.
As you teach the Key to Success to your athletes, they will clearly see what you are talking about mirrored in your own life, through your attitude, your effort, and your self-discipline, and how deeply you care.
Coach Kaiser never defined the mind for me. I used a dictionary for that. Mind defined: the mind is the complex element in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and reasons. The mind, therefore, is what separates man from all the animals on earth. Many greats in the history of
mankind have been quoted with different words, but all had basically the same meaning, "What the mind can conceive, it can achieve."
Another affirmation for me regarding controlling my own mind was what I found in the Bible. My discovery was shortly after Coach Kaiser impacted me with The Key to Success. I read in Romans 12:2 these words, "Let your mind be remade, then your nature will be transformed."
A few years later, I found a book written by Napoleon Hill that pointed to controlling your own mind in a different vernacular. Mr. Hill said, "To be successful, we must master our own tongue." For me that was a clear message, because what we say is formulated within our mind. How we communicate with others has a lot to do with leadership abilities. He also said, "Think before you talk, and listen carefully before you speak." In round about ways, he also said, "With your mind, control your emotions: love, hate, fear, sex drive and what you put into your body." That would, of course, include diet, drugs and alcohol.
Another great gift of the mind is that we can control
what goes into it by controlling who we talk to, what we read, what we view and what we listen to.
I love this direct quote from the Napoleon Hill, because for me it is clearly stated what happens when you are not in control of your mind. Hill said, "The line of least resistance makes all rivers and some men crooked."
This chapter on the key to success is three-fold: to allow the reader the rationale and the method by which mind-control can be achieved. It clearly points out, if we are able to control our attitude, our effort, our self-discipline and create a sincere capacity to care, then we ourselves will be able to achieve our own goals, and then in turn, teach The Key to Success to others.