How To Finish Strong


“How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game. Whether you are a winner or loser.”

– Lou Holtz

It’s not about where you start, but where you finish. And sometimes, it’s the in between—the journey—that teaches you the most about the destination.

We’ve all heard these cliché phrases before, but they are excessively used for a reason: There’s generally a strong, impactful reality to the words they hold. Hence, we use them as a part of our life’s philosophy over and over again.

Without a journey, there would be no end, and without an ending, we could never determine the success of a journey. The journey is the Watson to the ending’s Sherlock, and what it includes (beliefs, choices, accountability, and improving the averages to finish) is the evidence and answer to a long, worthwhile mystery that is the inner drive for success.

Mizzou Tiger Football is all about the inner drive of a winner, but before winning, those within the program have to first come to an understanding. The winner’s process requires players to not only finish, but also to finish strong. The finish, in its entirety, is over in the blink of an eye, but a strong finish, although just as short, is a true masterpiece. The work required to obtain a strong finish makes that highly sought, blink-of-an-eye moment last forever in the satisfaction of its accomplishment.


Today, we will break down the four components to finishing strong.


You must believe the popular Peter Lowe saying:

“The cost of regret FAR EXCEEDS the price of discipline.”

This quote speaks to the spirit of finishing strong. You can never recover a moment in time, so you must always ask yourself if you’ve made the most of it. Did you invest wisely (the price of discipline), or will you look back with regret in the future (the cost)? Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t lie down at night with a feeling of regret, but know that sleeping with satisfaction is up to you. You must make the choice to pay the price of discipline to do so.


You must take control of your emotions and actions and choose to finish strong. It’s not what happens to you that matters, but it’s how you choose to respond. You must recognize the moments in which you have finished strong. Your decision points in life are what will challenge you to make a choice. At any given point in time, you and you only have the power to choose how to respond to the challenge before you. So, take a breath, think about your options, and then, make a good choice.


Resolve to be your own best coach, cheerleader or fan! You and you alone are responsible for your actions. Don’t allow external factors to influence or distract you from your objective.


Set realistic goals, then work toward them one step at a time. Resolve each day to improve your averages. Wake up five minutes earlier than the day before, or make it to the gym one extra day per week. Whatever tactical elements you need to reach your goal, do so. Start off in small steps, and keep improving your average success each day. ALWAYS move forward in the direction of your goal.

Go over. Go under. Go through. Never give up. Finish strong!