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A Little Preparation Goes A Long Way

By Cheval John

Sam Houston State's first NCAA Division I National Championship in the Athletic Department's office

Sam Houston State’s first NCAA Division I National Championship in the Athletic Department’s office

If someone sees the success of a person, organization and/or sports teams, one of the first things that come out of their mouths is that they were lucky.

What they don’t see is the years of blood, sweat and tears that the person, organization, and/or sport team went through in order to put themselves in position to succeed.

Here are two examples of how a little preparation went a long way for these guys and how you can apply the same mindset to your life:

Sam Houston State Bowling Team

The Sam Houston State (SHSU) Bowling Team won the NCAA Division I National Championship in the Cleveland suburb of Wickliffe, Ohio about two weeks ago after defeating defending champion, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 4-2 in the best of seven baker format.

The championship was the first ever for SHSU since moving up to the Division I level in 1986.

What is more impressive is that the bowling program is in it’s fourth year of existence and the team have made two previous appearances in the NCAA Championships prior to winning it all this year.

The team contributed their success to a second half surge in the 2013-14 season that allowed them to make their third trip to the championships.

However, I honestly believe that it was what head coach Brad Hagen did before the season even began: Held a pre-season exhibition with Texas Southern and Prarie View A&M at the Huntsville Lanes Center in Huntsville, Texas.

Even though, his team didn’t do well in the exhibition, it allowed them to see their weaknesses and correct the mistakes before the season began.

That little preparation by coach Hagen is what made the difference in helping the team secure the school’s first NCAA Division I National Title.

“Jane Doe”

Diane Gottsman, owner of the Protocol School of Texas, right.

Diane Gottsman, owner of the Protocol School of Texas, right.

Diane Gottsman, owner of The Protocol School of Texas, shared a story at the Etiquette Dinner recently held at SHSU about a young college student, who she didn’t identify, so that is why I call her Jane Doe.

Mrs. Gottsman said that Jane Doe came up to her after one of her dinners and wowed her after Ms. Doe explained to her in detail about her background, what she said in her blog, her appearances on television, you name it.

Mrs. Gottsman added that even though “Ms. Doe” will be graduating from college two years from now, she is willing to wait for her because of the “extra preparation” that she did before the dinner.

In effect, Ms. Doe don’t have to worry about finding a career after graduating because she has already secured her first with a nationally recognized etiquette expert in Mrs. Gottsman.


So you see the two examples of how a little preparation has led to the success of the SHSU Bowling Team and “Jane Doe.”

You really don’t have an excuse anymore on why you can’t succeed in life.

If you go out, work hard and smart, and even put out the “extra preparation,” then you will achieve the success that you dream of.

Champions Don’t Feel Sorry For Themselves

By Cheval John

David Pierce will remember the way how he secured his 100th win as a head coach on Tuesday night against the Baylor Bears at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.

His Sam Houston State squad had committed three errors in the top of the fourth inning that resulted in three unearned runs that had them trailing 3-1.

The Bearkats could have felt sorry for themselves.

Instead, Sam Houston rallied together and scored a run in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the lead to 3-2.

Then the breakthrough came in the bottom of the seventh inning when third baseman Carter Burgess hit a go-ahead two out, two run game-winning single to right field for a 4-3 lead.

“What we did was right after that (fourth) inning, we basically came together and said, ‘Look, it might be one of the worst innings that we had since the history of baseball, but at the same time, we got to overcome that and forget about it,’” Pierce said. “I think they did. That is the sign I’m looking for of a character team.”

How is this related to life?

Simple: Though you make mistakes and think that nothing will get better, you should always get back up and try again to fulfill your dreams.

Those who do that will always succeed.

The ones who don’t succeed are the ones who always find excuses and feel sorry for themselves.

The “never give up mentality” is why coach Pierce has directed the Bearkat squad to two consecutive at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament, back-to-back Southland Conference regular season titles, and securing his 100th win as a head coach.

Choose Failure Over Regret

By Cheval John

What comes to your mind when you hear the word, challenge?

Does it produce the mentality of fear of failure or does it energizes you to say, ”This is nothing.”

Challenges are there to see what we are made off.

For example, the Sam Houston State baseball team participated in the Houston College Classic this past weekend against three nationally-ranked teams in Texas Christian (TCU), Texas Tech and Texas at Minute Maid Park.

As a result. they defeated Texas Christian 9-4 on Friday, Texas Tech 10-6 on Saturday and lost narrowly to Texas 3-2 on Sunday.

What would have happened if they had said when they got the invitation to participate that “Oh, I don’t think we can compete with these teams because of their prominence in college baseball and that we have achieved consecutive at-large bids to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament?”

Well, Sam Houston would not have achieved national rankings in four collegiate baseball polls; No.20 in Baseball America

Left fielder Luke Plucheck would not have had the opportunity to make acrobatic catches against TCU

and then against Texas Tech that made it on SportsCenter Top 10 plays.*

And Sam Houston would not have had the opportunity to take their baseball program to another stratosphere.

So the question is: “How long will you allow fear to hinder you from achieving your dreams?”

As Jen Groover put it when she launched her successful product, “The Butler Bag” in her book, “What If And Why Not?:
“Regret is Much Worse Than Failure.”

So do not let the fear of failure prevent you from achieving your dreams.

*Videos courtesy of the Southland Conference via CSN Houston

Who Says You Can’t Have A Little Fun

By Cheval John

When you are a sports writer, you have one of the best jobs in the world.

Anything can happen in a sporting event that makes you go wow.

The Sam Houston State baseball team, who took the series from Northern Colorado on Sunday afternoon with a 5-0 victory, knows how to have a little fun.

Junior transfer Jake McWilliam, who started the five-run 6th inning, with an RBI single, had the opportunity to do his first post game interview as a Bearkat.

What he didn’t know was his teammates had a little surprise for him.

Welcome to the Bearkat family, Mr. McWilliam.

Sam Houston Opens 2014 Season With A Win

By Cheval John

The Sam Houston State baseball team started the 2014 season on the right foot.

The back-to-back Southland Conference regular season champions defeated the University of Northern Colorado 5-3 at Don Sanders Stadium in Huntsville, Texas.

This was the first time that the Bearkats have won an opening season game under head coach David Pierce.

Hayden Simerly went 2 for 3 with two runs batted in.

Colt Atwood got two hits out of four at-bats with an RBI.

Though starting pitcher Chris Hammer shut down the Bearkats’ offense for the first three innings, Tyler Eppler equaled his counter part with four shut out innings.

That allowed Sam Houston to strike first in the bottom of the fourth with two runs to give them a 2-0 lead.

The Bearkats played small ball and got some offensive production from the veterans on the squad at the right time in the fourth.

Atwood jump started it with a double down the right field line and advanced to third on a ground out by Anthony Azar.

Simerly’s sacrifice fly scored Colt Atwood from third that made it 1-0.

After Carter Burgess hit a long double to left field, he scored from second on a single by Ryan O’Hearn.

The Bears cut the lead to 2-1 on a RBI single up the middle by Jake Ekman.

Sam Houston created some cushion after scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth for a 4-1 lead.

Ryan Farney started the party after reaching first on an error by Brandon Vaughn.

He advanced to second on a single by Corey Toups.

Atwood’s RBI single scored Farney from second base while Toups advanced to third and Atwood advanced to second on the throw home to the plate.

Then Toups scored from third on Azar’s RBI ground out.

It appeared as if the Bearkats were in control when they brought in reliever Alan Scott in place of Eppler in the sixth inning.

After getting the first two outs, the Bears strung together some runners and then
Ben Netzel hit a two out, two-run triple to pull them within 4-3.

The Bearkats didn’t panicked and increased their lead to 5-3 on an RBI single by Simerly.

Scott settled down and shut down the Bears in the final three innings to get the save.

Eppler went five innings and got the win.

Scott was only supposed to pitch up to the eighth inning, but he told his coach that he was responsible for giving up those two runs and wanted to make it up to the team.

That alone shows that they understand that they are playing for each other and are determined to start the season off right.

Game 2 of the four game series will be tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.