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Thursday, April 30, 2009

WORK HARDER THAN EVERYBODY

The following comes from "The Lombardi Rules" written by his son, Vince Lombardi, Jr. This comes from the chapter "Work Harder Than Everybody."

Don't buy the myth of the overnight success. Most of the people we celebrate for their effortless achievements have actually put a whole lot of energy into preparing for their victory.

Lombardi noted that as an assistant at West Point under Red Blaik that is wasn't unusual for Blaik to reassemble his coaching staff after dinner to watch films and discuss strategies until midnight. Then they'd be at it again first thing in the morning.

Lombardi carried these habits forward with him into his professional career. "When the other coaches -- the rest of us -- would leave the Giant offices," head coach Jim Lee Howell of the New York Giants once recalled, "there was always one light still burning, the one in Vince Lombardi's office."

Lombardi place great emphasis on practice. He and his assistants would run the same play over and over and over again with Lombardi barking out "Run it again!" each time with there was even the tiniest mistake. After a while, it was the players who would yell "Run it again!" With hard work, practice and discipline, they were gaining complete confidence in their ability to execute this particular play.

Here are three techniques to make sure you're working hard:

Perfect your discipline: Hard work is discipline: focused training that develops self-control. It helps you make the hard decisions, endure pain, and stay on track despite stress, pressure and fear.

Invest in your talent: All too often, our culture celebrates success without effort. And all too often, these stories turn out to be untrue -- there has been effort -- or they celebrate a flash in the pan. You have a duty to invest in your talent, for the long-term.

Start at home: Lombardi's grueling schedule sent a message to his players. They all saw him put in more effort than they did, and therefore were motivated to put in more effort themselves.

"The harder you work,
the harder it is to surrender."

-Vince Lombardi-