AS VINCE LOMBARDI SAID, “LEADERS ARE made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” From per-
sonal experience, I have realized that leadership is not given;
it is earned from both your peers and your elders. Leadership
is not easily earned, only through that of discipline and hard
work. This requires early mornings and long nights to validate
your dedication to improving your craft.
No matter if your craft is to throw the ball or to protect the
one who throws it, your work ethic must be unparalleled. By
doing this, you are gaining life lessons, those of which will
stay with you both on and off the field for a lifetime. These
lessons come upon you in an unanticipated manner, those
of which you will look back on to understand the reasoning
within them. The greatest life lesson is to know how it feels
to lose, how it feels to be beaten, how it feels to be mortal.
Then learning how to build yourself back up, so much so that
you make sure that you will never have that feeling of defeat
again. No matter if the loss is by 40 points or a game-winning
touchdown in overtime, they all leave the same sting. I have
come to realize that life lessons are taught more through
that of losing than that of winning.
These lessons are taught in the harshest of ways. One of
I have also realized that it is learning how you deal with it is
my toughest lessons was when we lost to Palatka in triple
overtime during my freshman year. I learned that it is hard
to accept loss, but that I could learn from my mistakes
despite the adversity. Each year, when we play against
Bartram Trail, another rival, I am reminded of the adversity.
the true key to success.
These lessons teach us the art of discipline, sacrifice,
and appreciation. Discipline is being able to make sure you
complete that last rep in the weight room, instead of skipping
it. Discipline is making sure you’re at school and at practice
on time. Sacrifice is staying up late at night to make an A on
that test. Sacrifice is doing the little things right, instead of
doing the ordinary. That is what will make you succeed in
the long run, pushing yourself farther than everyone else,
being different on a commitment level. Appreciation is that
of understanding what is presented to you, and making the
most of it. As the game will end someday for everyone, we
must appreciate what we have and not take it all for granted.
These lessons will help guide you through the remainder
of your life, no matter what you do. Discipline and sacrifice
will breed success and respect, therefore garnering the
qualities of a leader. Being a leader does not only extend to
those on the field, but those off as well. Being a leader is not
a part-time job, it is a full-time commitment, as those both
young and old will look up to you and ask for guidance. This
requires every decision to be thoroughly planned, as each
will help define you as a leader.
My father once told me, “Determination is your pathway,
but persistence is your vehicle.” You are the key to your
own success; the amount you are willing to put forth is the
amount you will receive.
With more than 3,000 career
passing yards and 37 TDs on
his resume already, college
prospect Cole Northrup of
St. Augustine looks to lead his
program to the playoffs and
continue to hone his skills.
FIRST KEY TO
SIDE OF BEING A