THE FINAL 49:
We take a moment during each of the Final 49 weeks until Kickoff 2013 to look at various aspects of the Charlotte 49ers football program.
July 16, 2013
By Tom Whitestone
When you walk into the Rose Football Center you are met by four oversized posters, depicting images of a player fighting for extra yards with defenders draped over him, the stadium field, the coaching staff and weight room.
The images represent the four elements of the GOLD standard: Grit, Opportunity, Leadership and Determination.
Each image is adorned with an appropriate quote -- from the likes of Ali, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Lombardi.
The Charlotte 49ers players will walk past these images on a daily basis. Some days they will stop, read and think. Other days they will pass on by. But each will come to understand the expectations in front of them.
"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out therre on the road, long before I dance under those lights." - Ali
"I will prepare and someday my chance will come." - Lincoln
"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing." - Roosevelt
"Football is like life. It requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifce, dedication and respect for authority." - Lombardi
Head coach Brad Lambert and his staff have been able to start from scratch. Some would look at that as a negative. So much to be done. So little in place.
They looked at is an opportunity. Set the standard. Establish habits. Run the program the way they wanted from the start.
They established the precedent from the very first practice. Three weeks of conditioning workouts greeted last year's incoming class. Footballs were rare sights. Sprints were not. Effort was demanded. Coaches were hard on players from the start. They were not about to cut corners or let the student-athletes do the same.
In the weight room, structure followed. And a whole lot of sweat. Strength coach Jim Durning keeps his sessions lively -- but they are nothing if not orderly. The players run through the workouts like clockwork, moving from machine to machine quickly. Working with each other to make sure everyone stays on schedule. They work as a team, they work hard and efficiently -- something they want mirrored on the field.
When practice began -- repetition carried the day as the team went through drill after drill to complete it, to understand it and finally to master it.
The G-O-L-D standard, it could be said, is in the details.
Dig deep and you'll find Grit and Opportunity and Leadership and Determination.
Dig deep and you'll find your potential.
Dig deep and transform simple ability into excellence.
The 49ers will pass by four posters on a daily basis. Each time they stop to read they will be reminded what is expected.
It's the same standard that greeted the team when they first stepped foot on the practice field.
Dig deep. You just might find gold.
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