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Coach Freeborn gives insight to what it means to Be An Eleven.
By Roger Freeborn
Published: Spring 2000

Encourage each other in Mind, Body, and Spirit. Hold each other accountable. Chuck Knoll said, "On every team there is a core group that sets the tone for everyone else." Every team cries out for leadership. On a scale of one to ten, the best leaders work at an “eleven” pace. If “Elevens” (people who work at an eleven pace) do not lead the team, then team leadership will fall into the hands of those who would settle for less when more is available.

Marty Schottenheimer points out that "the most successful teams at any level are driven by the players in the locker room, in the weight room, on the practice field, everywhere. Certain standards are set by the players, a certain level of expectation in terms of preparation, effort, and dedication." Tom Osborne emphasizes the importance of preparation stating that 75% or more of a successful season comes from the dedication of the team in preparing during the months prior to the start of the season. Everyone wants to win on Friday night when the lights are on and the fans are in the stands. The successful teams are the ones led by those that know to be good on Friday nights, you have to prepare each and every day of the year. Muhammad Ali said, "I hated every minute of the training, but I said, 'Don't quit, suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion.'" Coach Lombardi said that the aches, pains, bumps and bruises are a small price to pay for having won.

An Eleven would not let his teammates settle for less when more is available. An Eleven leads his team to ever greater levels of success. Elevens are never satisfied with performing athletics excellently, but are engaged in a Quest for not only Athletic Excellence but Excellence in every area of their lives.

Roger Freeborn

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