What It Takes To Be A Winner-Part 2

In The Winners Manual written by coach Jim Tressel during his tenure as head coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes he has identified ten fundamentals essential for winners. Applying these fundamentals can put us on track to becoming a winner no matter what we do in life and no matter what life throws our way.

This week we’ll briefly review the next fundamental and the resources coach Tressel has used to shape his character as well as his coaching staff and most importantly, his players.


It is not enough to get things done; they must be done right. – Arthur T. Hadley

Those who work the hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest. – Brutus Hamilton, Olympic Decathlete and Coach

Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – Saint Francis of Assisi

Coach Tressel states, “In today’s culture, discipline is considered a negative, almost foul, word. We associate discipline with a strict, narrow lifestyle in which we’re punished if we’re not obedient. We tend to think that a disciplined life is restrictive and controlled by some outside authority figure with a sour disposition. In short, we think that a life of discipline means no freedom, no fun, and no joy. But nothing could be further from the truth. The fundamental of discipline will actually help us live more freeing, invigorating lives.

Improving yourself is the best way to help your team. – Jim Tressel

A champion pays an extra price to be better thank anyone else. – Paul “Bear” Bryant

Only a fool despises…discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise. – Proverbs 15:5

“WHEN NO ONE ELSE IS LOOKING – Discipline is what you do when no one else is looking! It’s being considerate of the other person. Having good personal habits—you are polite, on time, and take care of business with pride. We must be disciplined as individuals first, and then as a team.”

Self-discipline is when you tell yourself to do something and you don’t talk back. – W. K. Hope


  1. Knows the importance of being on time.
  2. Has learned the value of regular hours and good training habits from working hard in practice.
  3. Has learned that the team comes before himself. This strengthens his character as he is sometimes called upon to sacrifice for others.
  4. Has learned to take orders; in taking orders, he learns how to give them.
  5. Knows that discipline is the essence of every successful organization; as a member of the team, he understands the need for it.
  6. Has learned that many of these things establish a degree of self-discipline.”

You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through. – Rosalynn Carter

It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through. – Zig Ziglar


Coach Tressel believes, “Focus is an important component of discipline. Focus is a critical part of discipline because there are many things going on around us that can draw us away from the singleness of thought we need to accomplish whatever the moment calls for.

  • Focus is when your mental attention is centered on what you need to do. Nothing else can get into your head.
  • Focus is when someone can resist temptation in the present to further pursue a goal in the future.
  • Focus means concentrating on your responsibility.
  • Focus means total concentration. Committing to something and staying with it until is is done and done right. Never giving up.
  • Focus is the ability to concentrate on something by ignoring outside important forces that can interfere with the task at hand. Taking advantage of all opportunities that facilitate the task and increase the chance of success.
  • Focus is disciplined and zeroed in on the goal and only the goal.”

Now is everything you have to work with. When you live it fully, it is more than enough. – Ralph Marston

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal. – Hannah More (1745 – 1833)

The man who succeeds above his fellows is the one who early in life clearly discerns his objective, and towards that objective habitually directs his power. – Earl Nightingale

Coach Tressel sums up the topic of focus perfectly by reminding us, “You can tell that you’re not focused when your brain and your rear end are in two different places.”

Now that’s WISDOM for the ages!

As I mentioned in my email, The Winners Manual is an excellent book to recommend to your children and grandchildren whether they are active in sports or not. Just a lot of great life lessons and wisdom to pass on!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters from coach Jim Tressel.





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