Mike Singletary and The Power of WHO

10 Aug

I had the opportunity to hear Baylor University football great Mike Singletary give a motivational talk to the Baylor basketball team as the season was about to begin. Baylor’s outstanding basketball coach, Scott Drew, asked Mike, “When you first came to Baylor, you weren’t really expected to make the football team. So, when did you decide you wouldn’t just make the team, but you’d be a starter? Not just a starter but an all-conference linebacker? Not just all-conference, but someone who achieves all-American status? Not just all-American, but an NFL player? Not just an NFL player, but an all-pro eight times, going to the Pro Bowl ten times? And finally, not only that, but becoming a Hall of Fame linebacker recognized as one of the ‘top three’ players to ever play the game at your position? When did you decide all that?”

Mike responded, “Day one! When I got to campus the first day, I went immediately to the defensive coach and asked him if he would write down exactly what I needed to do to become the best defensive player who ever played at the university. The coach laughed and said, ‘That’s nice, Mike, but let’s not worry about that just now. How about just trying to make the team?’ I wouldn’t take that for an answer, so I said, ‘Coach, please, write down for me exactly what I have to do, and I’ll do it!’ The coach was stunned, and I’m not sure he knew exactly what to put on paper.” After thinking about it for a couple of days, the coach came back with a list.
It was broken into three parts:

  1. Robust Physical Goals. This would mean lots of training time in the weight room. (If completed, it would make Mike the strongest player on the team.)
  2. Nutrition. Eating the right foods in the proper amounts and not eating certain other foods.
  3. Study. Extra time spent in order to understand all facets of Baylor’s defensive schemes. (This would require Mike to spend hours and hours watching film on the teams he would face, dissecting their offensive strategies.) Mike then stopped and told Scott’s team: “Everybody wants things and has dreams, but that’s not enough if you want to be the best.

Power of WHO Tips

  1. All jobs have competency standards that require a fundamental knowledge, ability, or expertise in a specific subject or skill set.  Attaining these basic standards of competence requires a price to be paid. It takes study, practice, and a strong work ethic.
  2. Be Like Mike! Be willing to pay the price. This requires vision and a plan with specific goals written out. Once Mike saw the plan and the specific goals the coach wrote out for him, he knew it would be tough. There just weren’t enough hours for all this plus the study and social aspects of college life.  Something would have to give, and it couldn’t be his studies. The rest is sports history.
  3. Resolve today not to let competency be a hindrance. Start working on your gifts and talents now. Enjoy each step in the learning and growing process and be willing to pay the price.
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One Response to “Mike Singletary and The Power of WHO”

  1. alisonlewis August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    great post! Will share with my kids!

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