I choose every day to follow the path God has laid out for me.
I fall every day.
I fail every day.
And, when I fail, I don't stop trying to follow God's path.
I don't stay on the ground because I failed.
I get my fat behind up and return to that path.
I will never understand why "failure" is such a bad word in our society.
We all fail.
Someone who gets 98 on a test failed to get 100.
No one in the NFL drafted Warren Moon and Ryan Leaf went No. 2.
Three members of the 1987 NBA Draft are in the Hall of Fame - David Robinson, Scottie Pippen and Reggie Miller.
One of the next 237 players drafted in the NBA over the next four years is in the HOF - Gary Payton, the No. 2 pick in 1990.
What does that say about the other 236 other than they failed to reach the HOF?
What if Bethany Hamilton stopped surfing after the shark attack?
Tony Gwynn finished his career with 3,141 hits.
He had 10,232 plate appearances and 9,288 at-bats, meaning he did not get a hit 6,147 times.
Talk about the ultimate failure.
The amount of outs he had was almost doubled to his hits.
Sports is the ultimate in failure, in mistakes, in poor decisions.
Yet, we keep playing.
We keep watching.
We keep commenting.
We keep getting all riled up.
"When I retired in 1999, I grounded out to second and gave it everything I had running down to first base in my last at-bat. I always felt if I disrespected the game by not hustling and giving everything I had, it's circumstances of cheating the fans you're cheating the fans, you're cheating your teammates and disrespecting the name that's on the front of your jersey." - Wade Boggs.
So, Boggs failed to get a hit in his last at-bat. Yet, he didn't cheat his teammates, himself, the organization, his fans or his family.
"I'll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot." - Kobe Bryant.
"Leadership is getting players to believe in you. If you tell a teammate you're ready to play as tough as you're able to, you'd better go out there and do it. Players will see right through a phony. And they can tell when you're not giving it all you've got." - Larry Bird
"You shouldn't just work on your jump shot. You should work on being a better person, a better teammate, and a better friend." - Sue Wicks
"Being a good teammate is when you try to sprint down a ball that everyone thinks is going out of bounds. But you go after it anyways and you get it." - Mia Hamm
"Commitment is a big part of what I am and what I believe. How committed are you to winning? How committed are you to being a good friend? To being trustworthy? To being successful? How committed are you to being a good father, a good teammate, a good role model? There's that moment every morning when you look in the mirror: Are you committed, or are you not?" - LeBron James
"I was taught you never, ever disrespect your opponent or your teammates or your organization or your manager and never, ever your uniform." - Ryne Sandberg
"The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team." - John Wooden
We spend too much time waiting for God to fill us when he is standing there waiting and saying, "I can't because you are too full our yourself."
If parents find reasons not to go to work, they cannot be surprised when kids find reasons not to go to school.
We far too often do not have contentment, respect or are satisfied with what we do and what we are given.
We would rather spend more time putting "dis" in front of those words.
We have discontentment about what we do, disrespect the opportunities we are given and are dissatisfied with our lives.
"The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven." - Knute Rockne
I love this quote.
The best player is not always the best teammate.
Do our kids give sports and academics the same effort?
Are our kids one way with their friends and another with their teammates?
Do our kids understand loyalty?
Do our kids enderstand that we demand excellence.
If we don't demand excellence, what's next?
We can't demand perfection because it is not attainable.
It may be for one play, one test, one day of work - but not for a series of plays, a series of tests or a week of work.
Excellence is attainable.
At some point in time we stop being athletes.
We are always humans interacting with others.
I am far from not perfect.
I do my best and my best on many occasions is not even close to good enough.
So, when we are not good, what do we do?
Get better the next day.
Get better the next step.
Choose the right attitude and go forward.
Happy New Year!
(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)