Jack Welch

Jack Welch

From the Bleachers

Thinkers disagree on almost everything. But one thing most deep thinkers agree on is the fact, people become what they think about.

With football season about to begin, I guarantee you many players are thinking of a district and state championship season.

I know how hard it is to win championships. The team must have talent, leadership, and stellar coaching. It is not easy to win championships unless these ingredients are prevalent.

We need to be careful of what we think about because it becomes reality in our lives. My Bridgeport High School English teacher, Jane Coggins, told me if I did not change my thinking, I would never make it in college. She told me the truth. After getting to college, I realized she was right. I am thankful she scolded me in high school. Mrs. Coggins said man becomes what he concentrates on.

People accomplishing great things concentrate on their desires. I have coached lots of champion athletes. These players were special. They did not have to be persuaded or coerced to work out. They wanted to work out and get better.

I will always remember two young junior high kids. As the head high school coach, I would occasionally talk to the junior high kids, and these two kids were always front and center. Both were on a knee and at attention, looking directly at me. They heard every word. As they grew up in the program, they never changed. They were two of the hardest workers we ever had. They grew up winning most of their games in junior high, freshmen, and eventually varsity. Their junior and senior seasons produced back-to-back district championships and 11-1 records. Not bad for a school district with a history of perennial losing records.

What happened to these two young men? Vontez Duff, running back, went on to star at Notre Dame and played in the NFL for several years. T.J. Hollowell was an All-American at Nebraska, played several years in the NFL, and now coaches at Michigan State University.

These young men were an example of thinking right thoughts. They dreamed, worked, and dreamed some more. Great businessman, Henry Kaiser, said you can imagine your future and believed a huge part of his success was due to daydreams. President Harry Truman said he used daydreams for rest and recuperation. This reminds me of Proverbs 23:7,”As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

I believe one of keys to success is to think we can accomplish our dreams. To think I am poor in math will only encourage me to be poor in math. Since 90 percent of the brain is subconscious, it is extremely important we train our minds accordingly. Think about the 114-pound mother who comes outside to see her son pinned underneath a car after a jack has fallen. Without even thinking she lifts the car enough for her son to slide out. This is impossible many would say. No one ever told her that, and her subconscious kicked in and she performed the impossible.

Coaching special team play, I never tell a returner to not drop the punt or kick off. I tell them to make a great return. The coach telling a player to not drop the ball has the player thinking about dropping the ball. I want my player to concentrate on scoring, or at the worst, have a great return.

Thought for the week, “The biggest mistake an athlete can make is to be afraid to make one.” L. Ron Hubbard.

Jack Welch grew up in Osawatomie. He holds a Doctor of Education degree and has been a college and high school football coach for 39 years. He can be reached at jackwelch1975@gmail.com.

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