In 1997 I was sitting in my high school cafeteria listening to my high school coach tell a story about how he coached against Chris Spielman when Spielman was in high school. Coach had gotten Mr. Spielman to come “motivate” us and introduced him by telling us that he had never met a person more determined. The example Coach provided was about how Spielman, on a critical play late in the game with 80 yards to go to get to the end zone, tackled the opposing quarterback on an option read. Right as the quarterback was going down the QB pitched the ball to the tailback, who broke free down the sideline and was headed down the field toward the end zone. Out of no where coach said, he saw a player gaining ground on the tailback and before he got to the end zone the tailback was tackled (almost 70 yards from where he got the pitch). The player who made the tackle was Spielman. Mr. Spielman had tackled the quarterback at one end of the field and then chased the tailback 70 yards down the field to make a touchdown saving tackle.
When asked about that play, Mr. Spielman just smiled. “Fellas, I was never the biggest, the fastest, or the smartest, but I would outwork anyone.” On his college football applications where it said 40 Yard Dash, rather than writing a number in seconds, he wrote, “Faster than the guy in front of me.” If that doesn’t get you thinking, I don’t know what will. “If you don’t believe you can catch the guy in front of you, why would you even run after him?”
I often think about this story before I pick up the phone or go to a meeting. If we don’t believe we can get the business, why are we chasing it? I am constantly reminded by our team at Elford that coming to work each day with that kind of commitment is the only way to produce results.