What It Takes To Be A Winner – Part 9

First, a Short Story

On Labor Day my wife and I began our vacation by heading for Charlotte, NC. We stayed there a couple of days and met for lunch and dinner with dear friends we were blessed to know during our six years there. On September 5th we headed for Pawley’s Island, SC, which is about twenty miles south of Myrtle Beach, where a condo we rented for a week awaited us.


This vacation was our gift to each other celebrating our 48th wedding anniversary. WOW, how time flies when your still having fun with your best friend and high school sweetheart!

By the grace of God, we had beautiful sunny rain-free weather the entire time! A few days before we were scheduled to leave we began hearing the weather reports concerning hurricane Florence. We decided to eat the cost of our last day at the beach and leave a day early hoping to get a head start on vacationers heading out to beat the approaching hurricane which was labeled a CAT 4 storm heading straight for Myrtle Beach!

Before heading out of town, we stopped at a favorite new inter-coastal restaurant for lunch. Our server announced that all meals were half-price compliments of hurricane Florence and that they would be closing early that day for the rest of the week.


As we were enjoying our delicious half-priced lunch, I got a phone call. It was the resort we were staying at announcing all visitors had to evacuate immediately. I told her we were already on our way out. She surprised us by saying the resort would still honor our entire stay by not charging us for our last night there even though it was our decision to leave a day early! Blessings come in all sorts of different unexpected ways!

We slowly made our way out of Pawley’s Island, along with many others, and headed northwest to our daughter’s home in Lexington, SC. It took about an hour longer but we were very thankful to be out of harm’s way. We enjoyed a few days with our daughter and her family before heading back home to Boardman, OH.

Needless to say, it’s good to be home, and our daughter and her family have been thankfully spared from the horrible ravages of hurricane Florence! Other areas in North and South Carolina were not as fortunate and we continue to pray for God’s grace and mercy upon all those still facing an unknown future!

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.


Try to forget yourself in the service of others. For when we think too much of ourselves and our own interests, we easily become despondent. But when we work for others, our efforts return to bless us. – Sidney Powell

Unity is the great need of the hour, and if we are united we can get many of the things that we not only desire but which we justly deserve. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Together Everyone Achieves More

The nicest thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side. – Margaret Carty

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a process; working together is success. – Henry Ford

Coach Tressel reminds us, “If we really desire success, if we want the inner satisfaction and peace that come from knowing we did all we could for the group, then we’ll begin looking at the teams we’re part of in a healthy way.

This is absolutely one of the most difficult things to do in today’s society. We are fragmented and individualistic. Our personal computers and iPods and TV screens isolate us in our own little worlds.”

Either we’re pulling together or we’re pulling apart. There’s really no in-between. – Kobi Yamada

A man became lost while driving through the country. As he tried to read a map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Thought he wasn't injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. Seeing a farmhouse just down the road, the man walked over to ask for help.
"Warwick can get you out of the ditch," the farmer said, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the haggard mule, and then looked back at the farmer, who just stood there nodding. "Yep, old Warwick can do the job."
The man figured he had nothing to lose, so the two men and Warwick made their way back to the ditch.
After the farmer hitched the old mule to the car, he snapped the reins and shouted, "Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!" With very little effort, the lone mule pulled the car from the ditch.
The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, "Why did you call out all those other names before you called Warwick?"
The farmer grinned and said, "Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he's part of a team, he doesn't mind pulling."

When your organization operates like a strong family, you can’t be knocked out by one punch. – Mike Krzyzewski

There is no delight in owning anything unshared. – Seneca

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. – Proverbs 17:17

Teamwork is a constant balancing act between self-interest and group interest. – Susan M. Campbell

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 the conclusion of The Winners Manual, and more Wisdom Matters from coach Jim Tressel.

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