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By:  Michael Aun, http://www.aunline.com

Those of us who played athletics at a competitive level have their favorite memories of that rite of passage.  While it has been a half century ago (that sounds so long when you say it like that), I remember playing football it like it was yesterday.

I was one of the thousands of kids who played for Coach James Wyman. “Whinnie” Ingram, one of the winningest coaches in South Carolina High School football history.  He held the position along with his sidekick E. T. “Charge” Driggers for some 33 years, winning their fair share of conference and state championships along the way.

     His Lexington Wildcat teams amassed a 218-77-10 record on the gridiron including three South Carolina state championships. His baseball teams earned one state title and 16 conference championships while amassing a 111-41 record. He also coached boys and girls basketball to a 174-75 record as well as track and physical education.      At one time, he was the winningest active football coach in the state of South Carolina and in the top ten in the nation. He coached every sport at Lexington, drove the bus, did the laundry and even acted as the janitor. In those days, you did it all. In addition, he served as Athletic Director.

     He was recipient of a handful of Hall of Fame honors as well leading South Carolina to a championship in the 1954 Shrine Bowl game against North Carolina’s all-stars.

Looking back, the things that I recall the most were his many colloquialisms.  Surely he picked most of them up from others, but I recall many of them like it was yesterday.

     Fortunately for me I have been keeping journals since I was ten years old, so I captured many of his motivational phrases.  Whether it was on the gridiron or the diamond, he was constantly spewing them like they were gospel… and indeed they were.  Here are but a few:

*Winners never quit and quitters never win.

*Do today what others will not do… so tomorrow you can do what others cannot do.

*If it is important, you will find a way to win.  If not, you will find an excuse.

*Remember the guy that gave up?  Neither does anybody else.

*The pain you feel today will be the strength you will feel tomorrow.

*Look in the mirror… that’s your competition.

*When you control your mind, you can conquer your body.

*When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

*Wake up with determination; go to bed with satisfaction.

*Motivation gets you going; habit keeps you going.

*Never say never because limits are like fears… both are illusions.

*Before you quit remember why you started.

*Half of achieving is believing.

*If at first you do not succeed, try doing what your coaches told you to do the first time.

*Be strong when you feel weak, brave when you are afraid and humble when you win.

*You do not get what you wish for… you will get what you work for.

*Quitting like losing is a habit.

*The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

*Hard works beats talent because talent doesn’t always work hard.

*Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

*You do not fail… until you fail to try.

*Prove them wrong.

*If your goals do not scare you they are not big enough.

*Winners do not wait for chances, they take them.

*Winners are not people who never fail… but people who never quit.

*Go hard or go home.

*A lion never roars after a kill.

*Losers quit when they are tired.  Winners quit when they have won.

*Champions train; losers complain.

*If you ain’t hurtin’ you ain’t playing hard enough!

*The guy on top of the hill didn’t fall there.

*Do not stop when you are tired… stop when you are done.

*Real glory is falling… and getting back up.

*If you think practice is boring, try sitting on the bench.

*The best thing about a game is the opportunity to play.

*Winning is not everything; wanting to win is.

*The will to win is not near as important as the will to prepare.

*If it giggles it’s fat.

*Do not ruin today by thinking of yesterday’s loss.

*It is not the team with the best players that win; it is the players with the best team that win.

*Getting knocked down is how you grow, staying down is how you lose.

*And my personal favorite… “Be the firstest with the mostest.”

     Michael Aun, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame® was named a Legend of the Speaking Profession® by the Veteran Speakers Retreat along with CPAE’s Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn in 2010.