“Begin with the end in mind. Have a vision. Is what you’re doing today setting yourself up for where you want to be in the future?” Versions of these words of wisdom are spoken nearly every day by Coach Simmons during our team meetings. They may be cliche, but they are cliche for a reason: They are true. And in 2020, they are truer than ever.
With a highly anticipated season cancelled — as we all watch teams around the country play with few to no hiccups on Saturdays — the easy and tempting thing to do is to complain.
The easy thing to do as we practice this fall with no hope of a pending game each Saturday is to hold back. “I still have a year to prepare for the next season. I have all the time in the world. What do a couple of reps matter here or there?” And while those thoughts seem to be knocking on the door of many of the Harding football players’ minds, there seems to be an unspoken consensus among the team that our culture, our love for God, each other and football will propel us to even greater heights.
Dec. 18, 2021: The date of the National Title game in Mckenny, Texas, next season. Coach Simmons has preached over and over about visualizing, and about seeing “it” happen — whatever “it” is. See yourself making the play, doing your job, dominating the player in front of you, and holding up the national title trophy. I firmly believe that when we win the national title, it won’t be a surprise to anyone in our locker room. It will be a result of beginning with the end in mind, of seeing success 1,000 times in our minds over and over again, and of having a vision.
But even more so, and much more importantly, I know that the same is true for life. As the culture promotes division, negativity, pessimism and hate, I am beyond thankful that the lessons that I have learned through Harding football go so far beyond the game of football and have permanently changed the way in which I view everything, from adversity to success. I have learned from the incredible coaching staff what it means to love to compete, to respond to adversity, and to be a man of God. These are the things that will last.
So, when you see the Bisons still playing on Dec. 18, 2021, don’t be surprised. I know we will not. We have already seen it a million times.