No easy road to success

Published 10:03 pm Friday, January 4, 2013

There’s more to the national championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama on Monday than just a national title at stake.
If Notre Dame wins the game, it will be restored to its glory days of competing for, if not winning, national championships year after year. The Fighting Irish last won a national title in 1988, with Lou Holtz coaching the team.
If Alabama wins, it can lay claim to being a dynasty once again, After all, a team that wins three national titles in four years has a legitimate claim of being a dynasty. In the past several years, Alabama also has regained some of its past glory and added to its legacy,
Notre Dame and Alabama — two storied football teams that have reclaimed part of their pasts to build on when it comes to their futures.
It’s taken hard work, dedication and sacrifice for Alabama to be in a position to win three national titles in four years. Players have been in practice after practice. Coaches have burned the midnight oil many nights to prepare the team so it produces win after win on the gridiron.
At Notre Dame, players and coaches willingly spent hour after hour studying videotape to prepare for upcoming games. They went above and beyond usual game-preparation requirements. They made sacrifices that resulted in an unbeaten season, so far. So, what do the Notre Dames and Alabamas in college football teach us?
From observing their efforts on — and off — the practice field and in the stadiums, we learn that success in any endeavor requires outworking one’s competition, pushing one’s self to maximize one’s abilities and skills and continuous effort to maintain performance that far exceeds the average expectations. We can see that dedication and desire can bring great reward.
No matter the score at the end of the game Monday night, Notre Dame and Alabama are each a winner because of what those schools have instilled in their players, coaching staffs and student bodies — a realization that success comes from hard work — not luck, not doing enough just to get by and not accepting mediocrity.