With the start of the fall sports season just over the horizon, it's time to gear up mentally for demands of life on the playing field.
Through many years of coaching, I've gathered a collection of proverbs that at one time or another have appeared on a locker room bulletin board.
I know who authored some of them; the others, I have no idea who uttered them.
One of the most poignant I've gathered was spoken by legendary football coach Vince Lombardi.
"After the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after you are back in the quiet of your own room, the enduring things that are left are the dedication to excellence, the dedication to victory, and the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place to live."
Others I've found especially meaningful in the world of youth sports are:
"You always pass failure on the way to success."
"Use what you got, because that's all you get."
"The only way around is through."
"I've learned to live each day as it comes, and not to borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow."
"We confide in our strength without boasting of it: we respect that of others, without fearing it."
"Do not let what you can't do interfere with what you can do."
"All things at first appear difficult."
"You play the way you practice."
"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits."
"There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, just don't respond with encores."
"Don't find fault, find a remedy."
"There has never been a great athlete who dies not knowing what pain is."
"The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it."
"In great attempts it is glorious even to fail."
"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."
"What is defeat? Nothing but education, nothing but the first step toward something better."
"Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the 'me' for the 'we.'"
"In life, as in football, fall forward when you fall."
"Play like you've got guts coming out of your ears."
"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle."
"When we have a good team, I know it's because we have boys who come from good mamas and papas."
"Sweat plus sacrifice equals success."
"No one has ever drowned in sweat."
"When people keep telling you that you can't do a thing, you kind of like to try it."
"The key is not the will to win ... everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important."
"The biggest dog has been a pup."
"Be courageous. It's one of the only places left uncrowded."
"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
And finally, this one comes from Bill Cosby:
"When the child is 12, your wife buys her a splendidly silly article of clothing called a training bra. To train what? I never had a training jock."