What It Takes To Be A Winner – Part 4

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.


Faith doesn’t mean the absence of fear. It means having the energy to go ahead, right alongside the fear. – Sharon Salzberg

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. – Hebrews 11:1

Coach Tressel states, “There are two components to the fundamental of faith and belief: (1) the faith people have in something bigger than themselves and (2) the belief they have in themselves and what they’re doing.

Faith is who you are. Belief is what you do with your faith.”

Champions believe in themselves even if no one else does. – Author Unknown

I think when you move past your fear and you go after your dreams wholeheartedly, you become free…Move past the fear. – L L Cool J

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt

To disbelieve is easy; to scoff is simple; to have faith is harder. – Louis L’Amour

Coach Tressel says, “Belief is centered more in the individual, and it represents a strong, internal feeling that suggests, ‘I can do this.’ At its core is an ability to move forward because of the evidence the person can see. He or she says, ‘I believe in the people I’m with; I believe in the preparation I’ve made; I believe in the plan that’s in place.'”

We are only beaten when we cease to believe what we can be. – Author Unknown

Nobody will believe in you unless you believe in yourself. – Liberace

There can be no progress if people have no faith in tomorrow. – John F. Kennedy

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This poem by Walter D. Wintle says a lot about the component of belief:

If you think you’re beaten, you are; If you think you dare not, you don’t. If you’d like to win but think you can’t, It’s almost a cinch you won’t. If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost, For out in the world we find Success begins with a fellow’s will; It’s all in the state of mind.

Full many a race is  lost Ere ever a step is run, And many a coward fails Ere ever his work’s begun, Think big, and your deeds will grow; Think small and you’ll fall behind. Think that you can, and you will; It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are; You’ve got to think high to rise. You’ve got to be sure of yourself before You can ever win a prize. Life’s battles don’t always go To the stronger or faster man, But soon or late the man who wins Is the fellow who thinks he can. It’s all in the state of mind!

Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt. – William Shakespeare, Measure For Measure

Coach Tressel ends this chapter on faith and belief by encouraging us that, “Regardless of what aspect of life you want to name, whether it’s about your faith or your family or a work assignment, nothing worthwhile is going to happen unless you believe. That’s why when we present success as a journey, we talk about having a plan and dreams. And then we have to go to work on those plans and dreams, all the while handling adversity and success. The key to all that is belief. Belief that we can do the task. Belief that we will do the task. Active believing reinforces the other fundamentals and helps make us winners.”

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 love and care about!

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

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