"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."
—Vince Lombardi, Legendary NFL Hall-of-Fame Coach
Like Lombardi stated, perfection is not attainable—not in life or on the field. Even a pitcher who threw a "perfect" game had a few balls called during the pitch counts. But although it is unattainable, student-athletes should still strive for perfection. Continuously working hard at school and on the field day in and day out will keep you focused on success and ready for anything that might stand in your way. By never being satisfied with your last performance and always chasing perfection, you will achieve excellence in all that you do.
Although his name is synonymous with winning, Vince Lombardi wasn't perfect. Yes, he won five NFL Championships and more than 100 games during his 10 years as a NFL head coach, but he also lost 35 games. He also lost the 1960 NFL Championship [his only post-season loss].
How was Lombardi able to excel in all he did and never coach a losing season? Simple: he learned at a young age to never be satisfied.
Lombardi learned the importance of discipline and hard work while working in his father's Brooklyn butcher shop at a very young age. Those lessons translated to his athletic performance. In high school, undersized as a defensive lineman, Lombardi worked incredibly hard and strove for excellence in his game. As a coach, he instilled this same mindset in all his players.
Eventually, Lombardi's self-sacrifice and determination were noticed by Fordham University, and he was offered a scholarship to attend. Not content with just making the team, Lombardi played with reckless abandon day after day, earning himself a starting position on the roster.
Throughout his playing days, Vince Lombardi understood what it took be successful. As a coach, he made sure his players understood it as well. Throughout the 1960s, nobody outworked Lombardi's Green Bay Packers. Perfection? Not Quite. The Packers never had an undefeated season. But they won five titles [three consecutive in '65, '66 and '67]. Excellent.
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