The Cougar Way
The athletic programs of College Station High School strive to develop young men and women with the foundation to achieve excellence in their lives. The Cougar Way is a set of core values designed to enhance the long-term success of our programs and individual athletes. While construction of CSHS was being completed during the summer of 2012, the newly formed Cougar coaching staff created a common vision that would be shared across the athletic department. After much discussion and brainstorming, the coaches chose four pillars to base their programs on. These four “cornerstones” of the Cougar Way are: Character, Commitment, Sacrifice, and Effort.
Character is essential for people to stay committed, sacrifice for others, and give maximum effort when the going gets tough or when things are not going their way. Living with character includes taking responsibility for our actions, words, and attitudes; and doing the right thing at all times (even when no one is looking). The Greek philosopher Aristotle said: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Thousands of years later, Teddy Roosevelt said: “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.” These facts remain just as true today!
Commitment, according to Abraham Lincoln, “transforms a promise into reality.” In sports and in life there are challenges and adversity we must face. These situations test how committed we are to our goals and by persevering through difficult times, we become stronger. For someone that is committed, quitting is never an option! “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
Sacrifice involves treating others as more important even when the world promotes being selfish and caring only for ourselves. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said: “A player who makes a team great is better than a great player.” Individual goals are rarely usually less gratifying as accomplishing something great as a team. NBA legend Michael Jordan said: “There are plenty of teams in every sport that have great players and never win titles. Most of the time, those players aren’t willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the team. The funny thing is, in the end, their unwillingness to sacrifice only makes individual goals more difficult to achieve. One thing I believe to the fullest is that if you think and achieve as a team, the individual accolades will take care of themselves. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
Effort is often the difference between becoming mediocre or good, good or great, great or the best. NFL Hall of Fame player Jerry Rice said: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” In order to become the best, the difference will not be what we do, but how we do it and how much effort we put forth. True champions are those who do the absolute best with the abilities they have been given.
One of the great things about athletics is that it provides opportunities to learn valuable lessons about competing with character, giving full effort, sacrificing for teammates, and remaining committed through hard times. We hope these life lessons will help each of our Cougar athletes grow into successful men and women who achieve excellence in their lives while living out the Cougar Way.