To many Chicago Bear fans, the name Willie Gault sure does ring a bell. For those of you too young to know, Willie was a member of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Bears. His speed at wide receiver was unquestionable, and no doubt since he was also considered a world-class track and field sprinter during that time.
It was good to hear Willie’s name in the news again, especially from a standpoint of inspiration as Jocelyn Rivera highlighted the motivational speech he gave to Pasadena City College football and track athletes.
What I found most interesting in Ms. Rivera’s article, Super Bowl champion speaks to PCC athletes, was the emphasis that Gault placed on making good choices as he cited Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam “Pac-Man” Jones who was involved in a few police incidents as one poor example.
As Willie puts it:
“There is a right way to do something and a wrong way. I had a plan and I didn’t let anyone derail me”
I would venture to guess there were more instances of poor choices by professional athletes he may have given; I mean the media is full of unethical (sometimes illegal) behavior by athletes. And not just at the professional level but at almost every level of competition. It is rare these days to not read about something “improper” an athlete did; their poor conduct is all over the map.
Another highlight in Rivera’s piece was the statement from Willie that one shouldn’t “let anyone else control your destiny. Take advantage, apply yourself, work hard and apply yourself [again].”
You see, from Gault’s perspective, it’s the one who puts in the most effort that will go the farthest in their sport: anybody can go to practice and do what the coach says, but it’s what a person does after practice, like run that extra mile that makes the biggest difference.