The Heart of a Champion

by Zig Ziglar on February 25, 2009 | Articles

Some things cannot be measured, and the heart is one of them. I think of three former NFL football stars. Mike Singletary, according to the experts, was too short and his 40-yard speed was not that great. However, they could not measure his heart and they did not measure his speed for the first five to fifteen yards, and at that distance he was exceptionally fast. As a result, when a running back would break through the line of scrimmage, instead of stopping him five to eight yards down field as most linebackers do, Singletary was able to stop him in the first couple of yards. That made quite a difference.

Emmitt Smith’s 40-yard speed was not earth-shattering, either, and that caused him to be drafted later than he otherwise would have been. Again, the experts could not measure his heart nor the burst of speed he was able to generate from the instant he touched the ball. As a result of both, he was able to break through the hole at the line and pick up those five to eight yards on a consistent basis and frequently break for much longer runs.

Jerry Rice is the other classic example. His 40-yard speed also was not record-breaking, but his commitment to excellence and the fact that he was a game-player, meaning that once the chips were down he was at his best, were not measurable. Video tape of Jerry Rice shows him running stride for stride down field with a defensive back until the pass is thrown to him. At that point, Jerry turns on the afterburners and frequently leaves the defensive back well behind.

There’s something here for all of us to learn. Namely, we can measure I.Q., speed, strength and a host of other things, but the will to win and the commitment to excellence will enable a person of average ability to excel. So, use what you’ve got—including your heart—and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

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Zig Ziglar is a popular American motivational speaker and self help author. He came from humble beginnings to be an expert sales person, best selling author, and highly sought after public speaker.

has 13 articles on MindPerk.

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