Facing Adversity Head On

2009 College Football All-America Team

At GCS, we’ve had our share of adversity this year. We’ve all felt it. But, what’s interesting is how we’ve all responded. There are many different responses to adversity. Unfortunately, most of them are negative:

  • Denial—pretending nothing happened
  • Anger—blaming others for what happened
  • Giving Up—running from the problem, usually by quitting
  • Depression—feeling sorry for oneself

But, how do true winners respond to adversity? Think about some of the great sports teams or individual athletes you know. How do they respond when an official makes a bad call? Do they let it distract them from greatness? When a nagging injury rears its head at just the wrong time, do they quit and expect people to feel sorry for them?

Greatness and true character are defined, not when everything is going along well, but when the going gets tough. In September, 2008, the Florida Gators lost to an inferior Ole Miss team at home, The Swamp, in Gainesville, Florida. How did they respond? In the press conference after the game, their leader, quarterback Tim Tebow, said this:

“To the fans and everybody in Gator Nation, I’m sorry. I’m extremely sorry. We were hoping for an undefeated season. That was my goal, something Florida has never done here. I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of this. You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season. God bless.”

How did the team respond? They met the following day, came together as a team, redoubled their efforts and committed to making sure a letdown like they experienced against Ole Miss would never, ever happen to them again. That team went on to win their next 10 games by a combined score of 469 – 131, with wins over the prior year’s national champion LSU (51-21), Georgia (49-10), South Carolina (56- 6), Florida State (45-15), the following year’s national champion Alabama in the SEC Championship Game (31-20), and Oklahoma (24-14) to win that year’s National Championship Game.

What a great story! It is a classic example of a determined response in the face of adversity. I hope people view GCS as an organization that meets adversity head on, too. We’re determined to work hard, to do the right things, to stay the course and at the same time, to aggressively pursue promising new opportunities. We’re determined, and our determination is paying off. Can you feel it? Keep working hard, stay committed and be willing to try new things. Like Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators.


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