On Thursday April 12th, students were invited to join Nick Saban and John Croyle at Coleman Coliseum for speeches on “Coaching Character.” This event was held by the UA Judicial Board and is the 1st annual Coaching Character lecture. Several students came out to support the occasion and left with an inspiring message about being yourself and finding your purpose.
Up first was John Croyle, who played football at the University of Alabama under the coaching of the great Paul “Bear” Brant. Croyle took a very humorous approach in talking with UA students and his style really got everyone’s attention. He gave a lot of jokes throughout his speech but what got the most attention from the students was his advice about making choices. Croyle shared a number of stories from his football career at Alabama, as well as a few life lessons, but his main point was for students to remember three things: Priority, Purpose, and Passion. He shared a quote with students that he said repeatedly during the lecture, “Choices create circumstances, decisions determine your destiny.” He told students that character isn’t just about what you do when no one is looking, but about what you do whether someone is looking or not. When John Croyle introduced himself to students he said that he was just a man who found out early in life what he was put on earth to do. With that remark he then asked the students three questions. The first was, “With your life, what has God called you to do?” The second question was, “Are you doing it?” And the third question was, “What is the fruit of question 1 and 2? What is the fruit of your life?” These questions left UA students with a lot of advice to think about and wisdom that surely inspired the hearts of those who attended.
Second, was University of Alabama’s head football coach, Nick Saban. As expected, students were very eager to hear statements from such a successful man who has established a great legacy in our community. Saban also added some humor to his speech and the students responded with a lot of laughter and attentiveness as they carefully listened to the stories Nick shared. He told students about his beginning experience at the University of Alabama 5 years ago. He explained that the loss to ULM his first year with us was the lowest point of his career and shared some experiences with students about the uncertainty life can throw at you sometimes. Saban told the crowd that being successful really starts with who you are, which is more important than what you do. He told students that it was important to know exactly what you want to do and how you plan to progress to it. He also told students that it is important to take pride in performance and be the best you can be at whatever you do, as this is what he also tells his players to strive for. He later stated that last semester, our football team had a record of SEC honor roll with our National Championship team and we were 2nd in graduation rate. “It’s all about the standard,” Saban told students. His speech targeted student’s actions to take pride in their work and to progress toward their goals with a positive attitude. He said “Your goal is a process, not a result.”
With some great wisdom shared, the 1st annual Coaching Character event was a success. Students got a chance to hear from successful and legendary names for the University of Alabama and it was a great experience for all who came. Henry Schneider,a freshman at the university, said that he came to “learn from the best.” When asked about his thoughts after the speeches were over, Henry said that the speakers helped him properly set goals for his life and he has a tremendous amount of respect for Saban and Croyle. He also said that he believes if he sticks to the standards discussed during the Coaching Character talk he will be a person of great character and a great man, because he learned from two great examples.