It is my duty to provide the next generation of athletes with a clinical perspective of where the 2001 Big XII Champions went right, and where we went wrong.
After coaching for over a decade and earning a doctorate degree in psychology, my intent has been to help the next generation of athletes reach their goals. Graduating from CU left me with a degree and a Big XII championship ring; this letter is meant to help you leave with so much more.
The greatest power a human spirit can tap into is your ability to change your story. That season, our team had a hunger, focus and a passion - a swagger even. We knew something that nobody else in the nation knew… we were willing to scrape and claw no matter how many people counted us out of the fight. Watching this 2016 team reminds us all of being an underdog with the potential for greatness.
At the beginning of the season, we placed a replica of the Dallas Stadium in our eyesight to visualize the battlefield of the 2001 Big XII Championship game. After losing our season opener to Fresno State, naysayers started rolling in from every direction. “Can’t win this… can’t score that”... we learned to shut out the noise and kept on winning. After each conference victory, the rival teams sticker was placed on the stadium replica to remind us we’re one-step closer to our goal. And when we hoisted the championship trophy in Dallas, there was one thing nobody had prepared us for… being told that we deserved to be National Champions.
Gentlemen, my advice for this team is simple: don't believe any of it. You're awesome and you're worthless are both sourced from the same place - from the outside. If you want to become champions in every area of your lives, it starts right now! It starts by refusing to listening to what others think you should have done or who deserves anything in life. If you learn this essential skill, you will live out your dreams.
Your dreams are founded on A) the choices you make B) based on the intent you have for your destiny. You have chosen the men you train with each day, given rides to at 6AM for winter conditioning, gritted your teeth and laughed at while being submerged in ice baths beside you each week. You have chosen your family, your intent is clear…build a foundation to become PAC XII Champions and once again National Champions.
The 2001 team had the capability to win a National Championship. We left doubt in the minds of fans and most importantly, ourselves. We never learned to tune out the praises of others - as we had done with the noises of our critics. We didn't finish the fight with the survival-mindset of the underdog.
Don’t take it from me or any other fan, coaches poll or critic out there. The ONLY opinions that matter are the one right between your ears and the man with the same color jersey next to you. You have chosen wisely gentlemen. It’s an honor to watch you fulfill your dreams.
Shut out the noise, shut out the praise, and fulfill YOUR dreams together!
To greater health,