September 1, 2022 at 1:41 p.m.

Hard Times Create Strong Men

by Levi Zimmerman
"Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times," is a quote from author G. Michael Hopf.
Of course, this quote doesn't only apply to men.
I believe there is some truth to this.
On Monday, my junior varsity football team suffered an extremely disappointing loss to Richland Center.
It's not worth including the final score, as the score didn't even matter.
I was excited for the game, because the kids battled hard last Monday in a one-score loss to Viroqua.
But this Monday was different.
The Hornets scored early, and then they quickly scored again, and suddenly we started to give up.
Instead of sprinting and flying around the field with intensity, we were jogging and playing with minimal energy.
We got down early and were content with just going through the motions.
We had over three quarters left to come back and compete, but we didn't want to.
I was, and still am, very upset with our performance, but more upset with our attitudes, demeanor and mindset.
Instead of rallying around each other and picking each other up, we tore each other down and blamed, complained and defended poor behavior.
As a coach, it was extremely frustrating watching it unfold, because it didn't matter what I said or what kind of adjustments I made, so all I could do was leave it up to them, these 14-15 year old boys that have all the ability and capabilities to achieve great things.
Instead of dwelling on a lopsided loss, we will need to use it as a learning experience in order to improve.
We were weak Monday - mentally, emotionally and physically.
We created hard times.
But, hard times create strong men, and strong men create good times, and that is what I'm holding onto as we go forward, because I believe in these kids.
They just need to believe in themselves, especially when faced with hard times.