“Do it right, or do it again!”

Mizzou Football Head Coach Gary Pinkel says discipline in football is executing fundamentals and techniques the right way under pressure.

Discipline is what you do when no one else is looking! It’s being considerate of the other person. Having good personal habits – you are polite, on time, and take care of business with pride. We must be disciplined as individuals first, and then as a team.

A Disciplined Student-Athlete…
1. Knows the importance 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 him. 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 of self-discipline.

Discipline is a quality of a champion. If a student-athlete needs to dedicate time and energy to becoming disciplined. If you don’t do it right the first time, do it again!

Hard work is what separates the best from the greats. Talent alone is no assurance of success. The only way to reach the top is through long hours of hard work and preparation. Very few are willing to put forth an all-out effort to succeed.

The most impressive point in a person’s life is when he has worked his heart out for a good cause and lies exhausted but victorious on the field of battle. This is the person you want to be, the one who puts in all of himself in his work. As a result of the strenuous practice, he gets everything out of it. Everyday you fail to practice, you practice to fail, and you miss an opportunity for improvement. Practice the things you cannot do three times longer than the things you can do. Convert your weaknesses into strong points. Go all the way through. Doing a thing entirely right and doing it exactly right is often the difference between winning and losing.

There might be areas where your opponent has an advantage over you, but he should never be in a better condition than you. Never let your defeat come at your own hands—over something you can control. The only real way for you to get in good condition is to never get out of it.

Anything you can do that will harm your body is going to reduce your physical condition and cut down your chances for success. Stay fit. Stay prepared. Stay practicing.

“I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.” – Mia Hamm

These words apply to the goals and standards of the Mizzou Football Family. In order to achieve team success, your desires must be secondary to the team’s goals. Just like in a literal family unit, you must be flexible and aware of your family’s needs. If teammates cannot sacrifice their schedules and comfort for the family, they will not be able to contribute to the team’s success.

Here are the standards that constitute the Mizzou Football Family Covenant:

You are committed to excellence, not only as an athlete, but also as a student-athlete. Your success and achievements are for the family.

All individual goals and accomplishments are secondary to the family’s success. Jealousy, selfishness, and individualism are extremely destructive to the family.

A Missouri Tiger football player gives his all—all the time. He never gives up and he never gives in.

You must have a winning attitude.

In a family, rules are in place in order to foster trust, care, and responsibility. A great organization does not thrive without standards, and a family cannot flourish without strong bonds and clear expectations. The Mizzou Football Family finds true Tigers through commitment to the program. When a player upholds these standards, he is meant to be a member of the team.

How do you know when you are giving your full effort to the family’s success? Here are some identifiers:

Teammate trust: Can your teammates trust you? Communication between players and coaches is crucial. When you have effective communication, you build trust, which produces relationship and accountability.

Commitment to the Player Development Program: True Tigers are enthusiastic competitors. They know their assignments and know how to complete the task at hand in an effective manner.

Family care: You must care about winning and make personal sacrifices so that your family can win. It is not easy to be selfless. If it were, everyone on every team would be doing it.

Above all, Mizzou Tigers know that being a part of the family is a privilege, not a right. Their commitment to the Missouri Family Covenant means time and self-sacrifice, and they are willing to do it all for the family.

“Whatever you do, don’t do it halfway.” – Bob Beamon

At Mizzou Football, we believe that players and coaches have a choice to be two kinds of people: a want- to-be or a champion. The only person who has the power to decide which you will be is yourself.


NO DRIVE– Does not care whether he wins or loses. Goes with the tide.

KNOW IT ALL– Never listens and will not accept new ideas. Rebel, griper. Works by himself. Has excuses.

MOUSE– High on self-doubt. Always kicking himself. Does not know how to compete.

FOLLOWER– Will go with the crowd and generally behind them. Never tries to lead. Lacks self-initiative.

A WATCHER– If there is an accident, he watches or runs away. Worried about what people think. Afraid to fail.

CORNER CUTTER– Cuts out tough part of practice. Always has excuses. Coasts.

HYPOCHONDRIAC– A muscle grabber – always has an injury. Never works out consistently.

COMPLAINER– Gives up easily and is easily distracted from the job at hand. Will look good when competition is not of high caliber and will look bad in the big game or when things get tough.

QUITTER– Cannot stick to the end. Easily distracted. Starts many jobs, finishes few. Unreliable. His favorite statement when faced with adversity is, “Here we go again.”

Those who possess the above characteristics have chosen to be want-to-be’s. They have not worked toward being a champion. A champion is a person who possesses the following characteristics.


AMBITION– Desire for high goals. Hates to lose. Cannot stand failure. Puts goals above ability.

COACHABLE– Takes advice and is easy to coach. Eager to learn. Easy to approach. Follows rules and directions.

AGGRESSIVE– “First place belongs to me” type. Asserts himself. Great competitor. Dying to be the best.

LEADERSHIP– Shows the way and sets a good example. Respected by team members. Mixes well. Others follow his example and take his advice.

TAKES CHARGE– Will take over when things go wrong. Under pressure, he does something about the problem. Often a hero.

HARD WORKER– One of the first to practice- the last to leave. Does extra work. Never misses workouts and follows instructions. Self-starter!

PHYSICAL TOUGHNESS– Develops toughness byt gard work. In great shape. Keeps training rules and trains year around. Leads conditioning.

MENTAL TOUGHNESS– Develops toughness by hard work. In great shape. Keeps training rules and trains year around. Leads conditioning.

PSYCHOLOGICAL ENDURANCE– Stays with job until the end. Will do his best against top competition. High endurance all season. Reliable. Accountable to teammates. He will finish the job.

Only putting in half your effort will always lead you to be a want-to-be. The only way to be a champion is to give the task at hand everything you’ve got. It is never too late to choose to be a champion; the choice is yours. Who will you be?

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past; we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.” -Charles R. Swindoll


This passage written by author Charles R. Swindoll truly embraces Mizzou Football’s approach to attitude. We are not able to control what happens in life. We are not able to control what happens in football. Whether on the field or off of it, we have no control over the circumstances that may fall upon us. What we do have control over, however, is the way in which we choose to deal with these circumstances. When faced with a tough loss, an injury, a bad play, the only thing we can do is choose to be positive. Choosing a positive attitude will allow us to face the situation in a more constructive, effective manner. No matter the situation, no matter the circumstance, we must make the decision to be positive; we must choose a winner’s attitude.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

It is often easy to let the thought of failure prevent us from taking chances, competing our best or trying something different. However, you cannot win without a fight. Some fights may be easier than others, but to win you must always compete. When faced with a tough opponent or a difficult situation, it is important to make the effort to take the risk and work hard to win the fight. Mizzou Football players and coaches place great importance on facing adversity with a winning mindset.

Adversity comes to us all- it’s only a matter of when. The real question is not whether we’ll face adversity, but how we’ll respond to it when it comes. If our attitude is one that embraces learning and growing, we’ll treat adversity as a stepping-stone to the success we desire rather than seeing it as an insurmountable obstacle. But if we have a negative attitude, becoming defensive at the first hint of criticism or blaming others for our mistakes, we’ll miss the opportunity to develop into the types of people we want to be. We have to make the most of both the positives and the negatives. There will be days when everything goes right and there will be days when it all falls apart. We will have stretches in life where really good things happen and other stretches when we cannot even remember those good things. Other times, we will have a mixture of the two. So, we must be prepared to face adversity.

Have a plan. If you get hurt on the field, you have to learn how to handle it. You have to work on rehabbing your injuries. If you want to get back into playing condition, you have to come back not only physically, but also mentally. When a tough loss comes your way, you have to handle the media scrutiny and the feelings that accompany criticism. If you move to second team, you have to work through those changes and try to win back your starting spot. Have a plan to deal with the adversity and the success you will face in life.

It is important that we learn from adversity so that we can take the necessary steps to grow and apply the lessons it taught us. After a loss or a disappointing performance, go back to the problem and analyze it. Ask what you can learn from it, figure out how to do it right and how you are going to visualize doing it right the next time.

Remember, the fact that you didn’t achieve the desired outcome doesn’t mean you are a failure. It simply means that the plan you had in place didn’t work; you have to get better. When things don’t go your way, back up and start over. Learn what you can do to improve. Get back in the game.

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.”

What do you do when no one else is looking?

Discipline is what you do when no one else is looking! It’s being considerate of the other person. Having good personal habits: you are polite, on time, and take care of business with pride. We must be disciplined as individuals first, and then as a team.

A Disciplined Player

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

A Disciplined Football Team

  • Doesn’t beat itself by mistakes.
  • Keeps penalties to a minimum.
  • Is always ready to play with INTESNSITY. Team is the bottom line.
  • Has the guts to come from behind.
  • Rises above adversity.
  • Never, never quits.

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb

Ingredients of a Self-Starter

COMPETITIVE GREATNESS: Be at your best when your best is needed. Enjoyment of a difficult challenge.

POISE: Just being yourself. Being at ease in any situation. Never fighting yourself.

CONFIDENCE: Respect without fear often comes from being prepared and keeping all things in proper perspective.

CONDITION: Mental-moral-physical. Rest, exercise and diet must be considered. Moderation must be practiced. Dissipation must be eliminated.

SKILL: A knowledge of and the ability to properly and quickly execute the fundamentals. Be prepared and cover every little detail.

TEAM SPIRT: A genuine consideration for others. An eagerness to sacrifice personal interests of glory for the welfare of all.

SELF-CONTROL: Practice self-discipline and keep emotions under control. Good judgment and common sense are essential.

ALERTNESS: Be observing constantly. Stay open-minded. Be eager to learn/improve.

INITIATIVE: Cultivate the ability to make decisions and think alone. Do not be afraid of failure, but learn from it.

INTENTNESS: Set a realistic goal. Concentrate on its achievement by resisting all temptations and being determined and persistent.

INDUSTRIOUSNESS: There’s no substitute for work. Worthwhile results are from hard work and planning.

FRIENDSHIP: Comes from mutual esteem, respect and devotion. Like marriage, it must not be taken for granted; it requires a joint effort.

LOYALTY: To yourself and all those depending upon you. Keep your self-respect.

COOPERATION: With all levels of your coworkers, listen if you want to be heard. Be interested in finding the best way, not in having your own way.

ENTHUSIASM: Brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact. You must truly enjoy what you are doing.

“There are three types of people:

Those who make it happen,

Those who watch it happen,

And those who say, ‘What happened?’

Which one are you?”

The above quote describes the three different types of people in the world. The Mizzou Football Family continuously strives to be leaders; those who make things happen.

Which one are you, you wonder? Take a look at the following 14 qualities of those who make things happen:

 You are at the top when…

  1. You have made friends with the past, and you are focused on the present and optimistic about your future.
  2. You have the love of friends and the respect of your enemies.
  3. You are filled with faith, hope, and love and you live without anger, greed, guilt, envy, or thoughts of revenge.
  4. You know that failure to stand for what is morally right is the prelude to being the victim of what is criminally wrong.
  5. You are mature enough to delay gratification and shift your focus from your rights to your responsibilities.
  6. You love the unlovable, give hope to the hopeless, friendship to the friendless, and encouragement to the discouraged.
  7. You know that success (a win) doesn’t make you and that a failure (a loss) doesn’t break you.
  8. You can look back in forgiveness, forward to hope, down in compassion, and up with gratitude.
  9. You are secure in who (and whose) you are, so you are at peace with God and in fellowship with humanity.
  10. You clearly understand that yesterday ended last night, that today is a brand-new day, and it is yours!
  11. You know that “he who would be the greatest among you must become the servant of all.”
  12. You are pleasant to the grouchy, courteous to the rude, and generous to the needy, because you know that the long-term benefits of giving the forgiving far outweigh the short-term benefits of receiving.
  13. You recognize, confess, develop, and use your God-given physical, mental, and spiritual abilities to the glory of God and for the benefit of humankind.
  14. You stand in front of the Creator of the universe, and he says to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” -Abraham Lincoln

Mizzou Football players and coaches strive everyday to possess the winner’s quality: persistence.

Persistence is the power to hold on in spite of everything; it is the power to endure. Persistence is the ability to face defeat again and again without giving up, to push on in the face of great difficulty, knowing that victory can be what’s necessary to reach your goals and to win.

It can be difficult to keep that perspective, however, because the sportswriters and interviewers focus simply on whether you won or lost. You’re either a good guy or a bad guy. That’s what persistence is about. Persistence takes the focus away from the performance and puts it on the process. That play, that decision you made didn’t work, but those situations do not make you a failure. Those were simply events, not reflections on you as a person. Everything that happens- good and bad- should motivate you to be persistent.

There are two types of persistence.

In the first type, we start having doubts and aren’t sure about ourselves or about the plan we’ve set forth on, but we press on anyway. We may not be certain about our ability, but there are some factors in what we’re doing that propel us forward.

The second type of persistence comes from something deep inside of us. Persistence isn’t just what we do; it’s a part of who we are. If we’re this type of person, it doesn’t matter what the score is, what our record is, or what obstacles are in front of us; we’re living a lifestyle that says, “We’re not giving up. We have a plan and we are going to persist.” Period.

Anytime you feel like quitting, whenever the going gets tough, be encouraged with this example of persistence:

  • He failed in business in 1832
  • He ran for the state legislature in 1832 and lost
  • He tried business again in 1833 and failed
  • His sweetheart died in 1835
  • He had a nervous breakdown in 1836
  • He ran for state elector in 1840- after, he regained his health
  • He was defeated for Congress in 1843, defeated again in 1848, defeated when he ran for the Senate in 1855, and defeated for Vice President of the United States in 1856
  • He ran for the Senate again in 1858 and lost

Even after all of his failures, this man refused to quit. He kept trying until he was elected President of the United States in 1860. This man was Abraham Lincoln.