My first introduction to Clay Shiver came after his days in Pro-football. Since I live deep in Seminole Country – where Florida State University fans abound – people in this area know him as the best Offensive Lineman Bobby Bowden ever coached. (That’s a quote from Bowden himself!) So Clay is a tough guy and he wears success well. Today, he sports many hats as the husband of one, father of four, coach, pastor, consultant and speaker.
My first question in this interview with Clay, who played for the Dallas Cowboys after his days at FSU, is “how much of winning at football is mental?” You’ll want to hear his insights. They are deep and apply to success in sports, business life… success in anything. He has a lot to say about preparation. The saying, “the will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win”, has been attributed to a numerous people, notably coach “Bear” Bryant. It takes mental toughness to continue to train, prepare and persevere when it’s not rewarding or fun to do so.
Mental toughness is the ability to remain consistent and produce at the peak of your ability despite distraction, delay and disappointment. If you weren’t born with mental toughness, you can develop it. It has nothing to do with genetics, IQ, personality or age. It comes from a disciplined life, focus, surrounding yourself with individuals that challenge you and finishing what you start.
No discomfort = no growth. No pushing = no toughness.