The True Meaning of Toughness

Ed Thomas Coaching

posted on Monday, May 14, 2012

Toughness—an essential element for any athlete, both mental and physical.  Also, an essential element for life and all the challenges thrown our way each day.  There are many days and circumstances where we are challenged to be tough, to endure, to persevere, even when we can’t see the ultimate results or the results are out of our control.

In a private moment with the Ed Thomas Family Foundation board, Coach Kerns, the right hand man to Coach Thomas, instructed us regarding toughness.  No one taught toughness like Coach Kerns.  We learned to fight through pain, bad plays, and exhaustion in order to focus on the next play and be effective in our roles on the team.  He is a tough man that taught toughness to many other tough men.  Yet, in this moment, he shared a great lesson he had learned.  He said…"true toughness is doing the right thing all the time."

Coach Kerns said he was impressed by Coach Thomas, even with his fallibilities, in that he made choices where he tried to do the right thing all the time.  He said that display of character was the toughest thing to do and that it was true toughness.  Our actions reveal our character and where our hearts are focused.  Do you make choices and take action that reveals a desire to do the right thing?  Do your actions align with your words and reveal a heart committed to God?

Our Lord Jesus lived this for us and provides example after example in scripture of doing the right thing, all the time, with the right attitude.  He lived as a man of sorrow and grief, constantly challenged and ultimately put to death for doing the right thing and carrying out God’s plan in total obedience.  Take the challenge of reading the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and become intimately familiar with the example of toughness that has been so freely given to us.

As we progress through life, seek to display toughness by doing the right thing regardless of the circumstances or injustice that faces you.  As a coach, teach your athletes to play the right way, use the proper techniques, stick with the game plan, and make the right choices in life and on the field.  Carry out these decisions with compassion, love, and grace and let God handle the results.  Rest easy at the end of each day, each practice, knowing that you did all that you could to do the right thing and be obedient to God and those in authority over you.

Our actions will show that we belong to the truth,
so we will be confident when we stand before God.
1 John 3:19 (NLT)