What It Takes To Be A Winner – Part 3

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.


The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. – Vince Lombardi

Excellence is not an act . . . but a habit. – Aristotle

Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. – Cadet Maxim, U.S. Military Academy

It isn’t hard to be good from time to time in sports. What’s tough is being good every day. – Willie Mays (I believe this quote by Willie applies to life in general as well).

Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skills to do difficult things easily. – Jim Tressel

The foundation of excellence lies in self-control. – H. L. Baugher

Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort. – John Ruskin

If you can’t win, make the fellow ahead of you break the record. – Author Unknown

I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. – Michael Jordan

The hallmark of excellence, the test of greatness, is consistency. – Jim Tressel


  1. You have made friends with your past, and you are focused on the present and optimistic about the future.
  2. You have the love of friends and the respect of your enemies.
  3. You are filled with faith, hope, and love, and you live without anger, greed, guilt, envy, or thoughts of revenge.
  4. You know that failure to stand for what is morally right is the prelude to being the victim of what is criminally wrong.
  5. You are mature enough to delay gratification and shift your focus from your rights to your responsibilities.
  6. You love the unlovable, give hope to the hopeless, friendship to the friendless, and encouragement to the discouraged.
  7. You know that success (a win) doesn’t make you and that failure (a loss) doesn’t break you.
  8. You can look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion, and up with gratitude.
  9. You are secure in who (and whose) you are, so you are at peace with God and in fellowship with humanity.
  10. You clearly understand that yesterday ended last night, that today is a brand-new day, and it is yours!
  11. You know that “he who would be the greatest among you must become the servant of all.”
  12. You are pleasant to the grouchy, courteous to the rude, and generous to the needy, because you know that the long-term benefits of giving and forgiving far outweigh the short-term benefits of receiving.
  13. You recognize, confess, develop, and use your God-given physical, mental, and spiritual abilities to the glory of God and for the benefit of humankind.
  14. You stand in front of the Creator of the universe, and He says to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

If you heed your fears, you’ll die never knowing what a great person you might have been. – Dr. Robert Schuller

Coach Tressell concludes his discussion on this fundamental by encouraging us to, “Use whatever duty you’ve been assigned today to exemplify excellence, and see what that does for your own peace of mind as well as for the good of your team.”

I’ll continue to mention each week that The Winners Manual is an excellent book to recommend to your children and grandchildren whether they are active in sports or not. This book is filled with a lot of great life lessons and wisdom you can pass on to those you care about!

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

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