Daily Dose of Coach #200: One Step Closer

"All life is an experiment. The more you make the better." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Your path to where you want to go rarely starts easy. Sometimes it starts in absolute disaster.

Take for instance the story of a boy from Columbia, Mississippi. He never played organized football. In fact, he was the drummer in the school band. But in 1968, his sophomore year, he made his way to the football field.

He said, “The first time I got the ball in practice and heard all those footsteps coming, I panicked. I had visions of getting ground into the turf. So I scooted to daylight and ran for my life.”

The boy ran and ran fast. But he ran the wrong direction, ending up in the other team's end zone.

His coach stormed the field yelling at the boy. He told the team to run the same play again. This time the boy got the ball and ran through the wrong hole. He was met head on by the charging linebacker and before he was drilled into the turf, he just froze recalling, “I just stopped, scared to death.”

This boy ended up becoming the player we now know as Sweetness, the greatest football player of all time. Walter Peyton finished his NFL career as the all-time leading NFL rusher with 16,726 yards and 21,803 combined when you add receptions. He was the NFL MVP in 1977, played in the Pro-Bowl 9 times, and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

You may be a few more steps away from becoming the greatest of all time. But, you're only one step away from the next step. That usually starts with lots of failure, lots of pain, disbelief and uncertainty.

Whatever goal you are trying to achieve, embrace the failure you're going through. Get back up, learn from it, take the next step and keep going. I'm sure the drummer boy from small town Mississippi would have never thought by taking the next step, his name would be mentioned as the greatest of all time.