The Arena Football League’s 2008 training camp is coming to a close. Each player, rookies and veterans alike, has showcased his talents, hoping to convince the coaching staff he’s worthy of reaching the final roster.
But through this grueling process, exactly what is it that motivates the players?
After talking to a number of the hopefuls, I noticed a common source of inspiration. Most derive real encouragement from quotes, sayings passed along by family, friends, agents, and heroes. Some sayings the players composed themselves.
Below you’ll find a selection of the players’ most powerful quotes.
Antwon Savage: As a player, I am a corporation trying to sell myself and keep my stocks up.
David Crocker, DB: No fear, no excuse.
Hamin Milligan, DB: Have faith through adversity.
Brent Holmes: A set back is a set up for a comeback.
Aqua Etefia: Hungry and humble, a winning combination.
Kansas City Brigade
D. Alvin Bryant, QB/KCB: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit.
James Robinson, WR: Proper planning prevents poor performance.
Antonio Ficklin, FB/LB: Success is achieved when preparation meets opportunity.
Jeff Hughley, WR: Live and play today like it’s your last.
Tolifili Liufau, DL: Winning is not everything, it’s the only thing.
New Orleans Voodoo
Umar Muhammad, LB: Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.
Delanio Taylor, OC: The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
Ricky Hall, OL/DL: Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
Elex Reed, DE: Pain is for a short time, fame is forever.
Gus Tyson, LB: We cannot change the inevitable, the only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have, and that is our attitude. Life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it. We are in charge of our attitudes and the life we lead.
Grand Rapids Rampage
Will Haith, DB: We do what we have to do, to be able to do what we want to do.
Mike Shack: Make it happen, every down every play.
Anthony Hines: Mark the perfect man and behold the upright for the end of that man is peace. (Biblical)
Deon Deboise, OL/DL: Teamwork is when an individual gives of himself for a cause.
Terrell Browden, FB: When my human efforts have failed, I rely on God to do the rest.
Peter Lazare: A coward dies one thousand times, but a man dies once.
Danarius Watson, OC: Believe in yourself or no one else will.
Johnnie Harris: Leadership and hard work is the secret to success.
Josh Bush, WR: Life is a journey not a destination.
Ben, McCombs, DE: No sacrifice is too big for something you love.
Joe Johnson, OL: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Chaz Murphy, LB: Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens; not by what life brings, but the attitude we bring to life.
Robert Freeman: The success that great ones have earned and kept, was achieved while their opponents slept.
Prentice Purnell: Only the strong survive, because resilience is a virtue.
New York Dragons
Idris Price, LB: For the good of mankind, do something special for someone in need: give of yourself.
Farouk Adeleman, DE: When God cooks, there is no smoke.
San Jose Sabercats
Josh Richey, WR: It’s not how many times you fall, it’s the way you get up.
Alvertis Gatlin, FB: You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.
Devin Wyman, OL: In God all things are possible.
Reggie Doster, DB: There is good in everyone. You need to look to always see it.
Maurice Fountain, DE: The other teams could make trouble for us if they win.
Speaking to these players, I was impressed by their deep and engaging thoughts. As the week winds down, we’ll see if these words of wisdom are instrumental in success, on and off the field.
The 2008 AFL season opens on February 29th, with the Los Angeles Avengers hosting the New Orleans Voodoo.