Dick Vermeil kept a wheelbarrow on the sidelines the entire year of the Rams remarkable run to the Super Bowl. When asked why, he told this story:
A man came into a small farm town and declared that in one week he was going to walk a highwire across the canyon while pushing a wheelbarrow. Everyone scoffed except one farmer who went out to the edge of town to watch him practice. The farmer saw the man walking on a wire about five feet off the ground, and sure enough, he was pushing that wheelbarrow with ease.
One week went by and the big day was at hand. The farmer tried telling all his friends that this guy might be for real. He said, "I've been watching him and I BELIEVE he can do it." They continued to scoff so he said, "I believe so strongly that he can do it, that I will bet $20 with anyone who thinks he can't."
Just before the feat began, the stranger came down to talk to the crowd. The farmer told him he believed he could do it. The man replied, "Do you REALLY think I can do it?" "Yep," said the farmer. The man continued to press, "I mean are you CONVINCED I can do it?" The farmer said, "Look, I'm so sure that I even bet $20 with anyone who would listen to me. THAT's how sure I am." The performer looked him in the eye and said, "If you really believe, then get in the wheelbarrow!"
Coach Vermeil's point was that it is easy to sit on the sidelines and say "I believe" in something. If you really believe, get in the wheelbarrow. The 1999 St. Louis Rams did.
As it was stated above, the message I delivered to the team through the "wheelbarrow" story was centered around belief. More specifically for them, they must believe in themselves, their teammates, and their coaches. If their belief in any of these three areas is lacking, then no matter how much talent they may possess, success will be hard to come by. Just as the farmer watched man in the story put in countless hours of practice to perfect this daunting feat, I've had the privilege to witness the amount of blood, sweat, and tears these young men have put in to reach the goals they have set for themselves both on and off the football field.
I chose to share this story with you because no matter what arena you may be in, the power of belief, determination, and hard work is bound to take you far!
Until we meet again, take care, remain positive, and stay strong!!!