“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” – George Washington Carver

Let’s face it: It’s tempting to use excuses. They’re attractive in times of challenge and discomfort. However, no one is remembered in history for what they would have accomplished. History never asks how hard it was to do the job, nor does it consider the obstacles that had to be overcome. It never measures the handicaps.

Everyone wants to be remembered and recognized. Students attend universities every year in hopes of being successful and making a difference. Student-athletes find motivation in possible professional careers. Thousands of people compete in the entertainment business with the possibility of making it. So many people have big dreams, but who are the people who actually achieve them? The ones who do not give excuses.

Any excuse for non-performance, however valid, softens character. It is a sedative against one’s own conscience. For example, after you skip class once, you may think it is excusable to skip again. After a while, those excuses are easy to make, and your attendance increasingly declines. So, why are excuses used so often?

When a man uses an excuse, he attempts to convince himself and others that unsatisfactory performance is somehow acceptable. He is — perhaps unconsciously — attempting to divert attention from performance; the only thing that counts is his own desire for sympathy. Excuses aren’t respected by others, though. A person who makes excuses is not seen as trustworthy or competitive, but merely trying to skate by without putting in the effort.

A person who falls back on excuses is dishonest with himself as well as with others. No matter how good or how valid, excuses never change performance.

The world will reject excuses time and time again, but what they will accept is performance. No man ever performed a worthwhile task without consciously ignoring many plausible excuses. When you fight the temptation to give excuses, you are strengthening your character without realizing it. You also gain the respect and trust of your peers and leaders. They will consider you for leadership roles and for promotions, because they are confident that you will not give into challenge or hardship.

Using excuses is a habit. You cannot have both the performance habit and the excuse habit. The more excuses you use, the lower your standards become and, in turn, your performance suffers.

Whenever you are tempted to give an excuse, remember this simple mantra: no excuses! Those two words will be surprisingly motivating as you remember the consequences of giving an excuse.

The benefits of high performance are worth more than the excuses you pass up along the way. Along with respect from your peers, you will have high self-respect. You will give your all and never have to feel the burden of running away from life’s challenges. You do not need to be perfect, but you do need to work your hardest.

hosted its annual NFL Pro Day Thursday, March 19 in Columbia, Mo. Representatives from all 32 NFL teams were on hand to watch 14 Mizzou Made standouts participate in various conditioning and positional drills including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, standing broad jump and others. These former players put their talents on display one last time before the start of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Many former Mizzou players recorded personal bests at the event. Mizzou Made Tailback Marcus Murphy improved his 225-pound bench press to 14 reps, while Wide Receiver Bud Sasser posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.50 seconds and a broad jump of 10 feet, both personal bests.

On the defensive side of the ball, Mizzou Made Defensive Lineman Markus Golden reached new personal bests in the 40-yard dash at 4.66 seconds, and the 225-pound bench press at 17 reps.

Since 2009, Mizzou has produced the 5th-most NFL 1st-Round Draft Picks of any college football program. Defensive Lineman Shane Ray hopes to keep this tradition alive, as he is projected to be taken in the first round on Thursday, April 30 in Chicago. See the complete 2015 NFL Pro Day results by drill below.

Measurements (in feet-inches, pounds, inches)

Christian Brinser: 6-1 5/8, 185; Hands- 9 2/8; Arms- 30 1/8; Wingspan- 72 2/8

David Butler: 6-4, 268; Hands- 9; Arms- 32 4/8; Wingspan- 78 7/8

Markus Golden: 6-2 1/8, 256; Hands- 10 4/8; Arms- 31; Wingspan- 76 4/8

Jimmie Hunt: 6-0 2/8, 208; Hands- 9 4/8; Arms- 30 3/8; Wingspan- 73 6/8

Mitch Morse: 6-5 3/8, 306; Hands- 9 7/8; Arms- 32 4/8; Wingspan- 76 4/8

Marcus Murphy: 5-8 5/8, 198; Hands- 8 6/8; Arms- 30 2/8; Wingspan- 73 5/8

Gavin Otte: 5-9 7/8, 185; Hands- 9; Arms- 30 3/8; Wingspan- 71 4/8

Shane Ray: 6-2 4/8, 249; Hands- 9; Arms- 33 2/8; Wingspan- 77 6/8

Darvin Ruise: 6-0, 253; Hands- 10 4/8; Arms- 31 7/8; Wingspan- 76 7/8

Bud Sasser: 6-2 5/8, 219; Hands- 10 1/8; Arms- 33; Wingspan- 78 5/8

Duron Singleton: 5-11 6/8, 211; Hands- 9 1/8; Arms- 31 2/8; Wingspan- 76 7/8

Lucas Vincent: 6-1 6/8, 295; Hands- 9 4/8; Arms- 31 4/8; Wingspan- 76 7/8

Braylon Webb: 5-11 2/8, 208; Hands- 8 3/8; Arms- 31 5/8; Wingspan- 75 4/8

Darius White: 6-3, 210; Hands- 9 3/8; Arms- 31 6/8; Wingspan- 76

Bench Press Reps (225 lbs.)

Lucas Vincent: 23

Bud Sasser: 18

David Butler: 17

Markus Golden: 17

Gavin Otte: 16

Darvin Ruise: 16

Marcus Murphy: 14

Darius White: 13

Jimmie Hunt: 12

Braylon Webb: 11

40-yard dash

Jimmie Hunt: 4.50

Marcus Murphy: 4.51

Bud Sasser: 4.52

Duron Singleton: 4.58

Darius White: 4.61

Shane Ray: 4.64

Gavin Otte: 4.68

Markus Golden: 4.70

Braylon Webb: 4.80

Lucas Vincent: 4.97

Darvin Ruise: 5.01

David Butler: 5.19

Vertical Jump (inches)

Darius White: 37.5

Bud Sasser: 34.5

Gavin Otte: 34

Shane Ray: 33

Jimmie Hunt: 31.5

Marcus Murphy: 31.5

Duron Singleton: 30.5

Braylon Webb: 30

Markus Golden: 28.5

Lucas Vincent: 28.5

Darvin Ruise: 28

David Butler: 24.5

Broad Jump (feet-inches)

Darius White: 10-4

Gavin Otte: 10-1

Shane Ray: 10-0

Bud Sasser: 10-0

Braylon Webb: 9-10

Jimmie Hunt: 9-8

Marcus Murphy: 9-7

Duron Singleton: 9-5

Darvin Ruise: 9-4

Lucas Vincent: 9-3

Markus Golden: 9-2

David Butler: 8-7

I Test (seconds)

Duron Singleton: 4.32

Gavin Otte: 4.33

Bud Sasser: 4.33

Jimmie Hunt: 4.38

Marcus Murphy: 4.39

Lucas Vincent: 4.50

Shane Ray: 4.52

Darius White: 4.53

Braylon Webb: 4.57

Markus Golden: 4.61

Darvin Ruise: 4.65

David Butler: 5.06

3-cone drill (seconds)

Bud Sasser: 6.88

Gavin Otte: 7.00

Jimmie Hunt: 7.02

Marcus Murphy: 7.08

Darius White: 7.13

Duron Singleton: 7.25

Braylon Webb: 7.32

Markus Golden: 7.33

Lucas Vincent: 7.47

Darvin Ruise: 7.64

Shane Ray: 7.70

David Butler: 8.13

60-yard shuttle (seconds)

Bud Sasser: 11.37

Marcus Murphy: 11.50

Gavin Otte: 11.71

Darius White: 11.83

Jimmie Hunt: 11.89

Duron Singleton: 11.90

Braylon Webb: 11.92

Markus Golden: 12.20

Shane Ray: 12.27

Athletic Director Mike Alden presented new iPads to the Mizzou Football Team on Monday, March 9, 2015. Alden was excited to have the opportunity to show off the iPads to the Mizzou Family before his time as the athletic director comes to an end.

The football team is the first among all Mizzou sports teams to be presented these iPads. Soon, Alden will provide all Mizzou student-athletes iPads that will help them study both on and off the field. The student-athletes are able to analyze video of practices and games, as well as work on school with their new iPads.

Mizzou Football recently wrapped up the beginning of spring football practice before taking a week off for spring break. You can watch the Tigers in action in The ZOU on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 4:00pm.

“Challenge yourself all the days of your life.” – Anonymous

These words represent the discipline of a Mizzou Football student-athlete. You are expected to challenge yourself to be a better man, player and teammate every day – on and off the field.

The Mizzou Football family believes that discipline is “training that is expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior.” Discipline is an essential quality of a champion.

Discipline is what you do when no one else is looking. It’s being considerate of everyone around you. You must have good personal habits. You must be polite, on time and you must take care of business.

A disciplined Mizzou Football player…

  1. Knows the important of being on time.
  2. Has learned the value of regular hours and good training habits from working hard in practice.
  3. Has learned that the team comes before himself. This strengthens his character as he is sometimes called upon to sacrifice for others.
  4. Has learned to take orders; in taking orders, he learns how to give them.
  5. Knows that discipline is the essence of every successful organization; as a member of the team, he understands the need for it.
  6. Has learned that many of these things establish a degree in self-discipline.

A disciplined football team…

  1. Doesn’t beat itself by mistakes.
  2. Keeps penalties to a minimum.
  3. Is always ready to play – INTENSITY. Team Bottom Line.
  4. Has the guts to come from behind
  5. Rises above adversity.
  6. Never, never quits.

Mizzou Football Head Coach Gary Pinkel once said, “discipline in football is executing fundamentals and techniques the right way under pressure.” The Mizzou Football family strives to do this everyday. Each individual takes on the challenge to be a disciplined individual, which eventually will lead to a disciplined football team.

Mizzou Football Head Coach Gary Pinkel will be inducted into the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame on May 25, 2015.

Before his tenure at Mizzou, Pinkel was the head football coach at the University of Toledo where he is the winningest football coach in school history. Pinkel was also a tight end at Kent State University, which is also a member of the MAC.

While coaching at Toledo, Pinkel won the MAC Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1997. His 1995 Toledo Rocket team went undefeated at 11-0-1, and won the Vegas Bowl. In his ten seasons, Pinkel had a 73-37-3 record and won three division championships and one conference championship. He also led the Rockets to finish in the national top 25 three times.

This will be the third hall of fame honor for Pinkel. He has already been inducted into the hall of fame at Kent State in 1997 and Toledo in 2009. Pinkel is also the winningest coach in Mizzou Football history.

Football student-athletes Maty Mauk, Michael Scherer and Evan Boehm represented Mizzou at Mizzou Night at the Scottrade Center during a Blues Game on Saturday, March 14, 2015 in St. Louis, Mo.

The Mizzou Football players, along with Golden Girls, cheerleaders and Truman spent the evening meeting fans. Boehm, Scherer and Mauk signed autographs before the game and took pictures with fans. Mizzou fans received a black and gold Blues cap if they purchased the Mizzou Night ticket.

After watching the first two periods of the Blues game, the players had the privilege of riding the zamboni during the second intermission. They were introduced to the crowd and honored for their hard work at Mizzou.

href=”https://www.gpmade.org/mizzou-made/” target=”_blank”>Mizzou Made, the all-encompassing player development program of Mizzou Football, helps Mizzou football players become their best possible selves academically, socially, and physically. But Mizzou Football achieves as much as it does on the field as it does off it. Winning Edge is Coach Gary Pinkel’s own physical and mental training regiment that focuses on quickness, attention to detail and playing hard start to finish.

Winning Edge takes place every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 a.m. for six weeks in the off-season and is comprised of three stations. Station one focuses on the mechanics of fundamental running for every position and every game scenario. Station two is an agility station, working on speed, footwork, form, and changing direction. The third and most grueling station is called ‘mats’, dubbed after a drill done by Coach Pinkel and the Kent State football team on wrestling mats. Mats focuses on mental toughness and never quitting through a series of agility drills.

Winning Edge is among the best football development programs in the country, and is one part of what makes a Tiger Athlete truly Mizzou Made.

“The easiest way to have your way is to go out and make it.” – Thoughts for Today

The quote above applies to the standards of the Mizzou Football program. If you want success, you have to make success. You prepare to be the best.

The most important aspect of the Mizzou Football philosophy is preparation. Preparation is the foundation of real emotion, and careful preparation fosters confidence. Confidence becomes contagious and translates into a lasting kind of emotion that pays off on a consistent basis.

Mizzou Football strives to make a greater investment than its opponents in the following areas:

  1. Player Development – strength, speed and quickness
  2. Practice – perfect practice and repetition
  3. Coaching and Teaching
  4. Game Planning
  5. Game Day Adjustments
  6. Mental Investment

Another aspect of the Mizzou Football philosophy is consistency. You must always be on your “A” game if you want success. The Mizzou Football Family believes that with your “A” game, you can beat anyone. If you’re on your “B” game, anyone can beat you. Without consistency, you cannot win consistently.

You must practice consistency. That’s the only way to play your “A” game.

The Mizzou Football philosophy during practice is consistent and prepares you for the game.

The four aspects to practice philosophy:

  1. You play like you practice
  2. You must develop great “practice habits”
  3. You practice the right way
  4. Each drill your fundamentals must be done with speed and proper technique

Mizzou Football trains with passion and effort to make the game easier. You must take accountability and get your job done. This is vital because the strength of the team lies in its ability to trust each teammate will do what they are supposed to do.

The Mizzou Football philosophy helps the team grow as players and men. Mizzou Football student-athletes are prepared, consistent and accountable for everything asked of them. They make sacrifices for the good of the team because they know hard work is necessary for success and to win championships.

Mizzou Football team had their first spring practice on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 in The ZOU. This is the first of 14 practices that the team will participate in this spring.

The Mizzou Football Family is preparing for the spring football game on Saturday, April 18, 2015 in The ZOU. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. and fans are encouraged to come see what the Tigers have been working on.

Keep up with GaryPinkel.com and Mizzou Football twitter, instagram, and Facebook throughout the spring for an exclusive look at updates on the team.

Made Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin is coming home to Missouri. He signed a contract with the Kansas City Chiefs for 5 years, $55 million.

“We are proud of him being a part of our family here. A great, great player who makes big plays,” Mizzou Football Head Coach Gary Pinkel said. “But he brings so much more to a team, and that’s his leadership. Your locker room is better because Jeremy Maclin is walking around.”

During his playing days at Mizzou, Maclin was a two-time consensus All-American as a wide receiver and an all-purpose player. During the 2007 and 2008 seasons, he had nearly 3,000 yards and scored 28 touchdowns. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted him with the 19th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Until now, Maclin has spent his entire professional career in Philadelphia. With the Eagles, he had 36 career touchdowns. Last season, he had a career year with 85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Maclin will be reuniting with the coach who drafted him back in 2009 – former Eagles Head Coach and current Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid.

Maclin will also be reuniting with his quarterback from his Mizzou days – Chase Daniel. Daniel is the Chiefs back-up quarterback to Alex Smith and started one game in the 2014 season. Both Maclin and Daniel were inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Hall of Fame last month.

Maclin is also known for his hard work off the field. He is the founder “JMac Gives Back,” an organization that provides opportunities through charitable and educational efforts to kids living in alternative living situations. He’s passionate about giving back to the community, especially the city of St. Louis. Maclin is from Kirkwood, Mo. and loves giving back to the community that helped lead him to his success today.

Maclin is one of many Mizzou Made players in the NFL that can make a huge impact on the success of the team.