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Labor Day weekend. For many reasons, I always love this weekend. But there is one reason that really stands out. Let me share.

You may have heard me tell this story because I have told it every Labor Day weekend for the past 25 years.

It was Labor Day weekend in the Fall of 1988 at Brick Twp HS (NJ) and the Green Dragons were just starting our football practice. It was about 9 am, 90 degrees, humid, and a holiday. After doing some light calisthenics and drills for about 10 minutes, the venerable and legendary Coach Wolf blew his whistle about 7 times in the same rhythm and fashion that always signified the END of practice.

As the 90 players or so rushed in to the middle of the field, our immediate thoughts were “Could he be cancelling the rest of practice and letting us out early because of the holiday?”

As we were all smiling, laughing, and preparing for the great news, Coach Wolf in his ever-present black high-top cleats, long shorts, white t-shirt, long-brimmed floppy hat, and raspy voice began to speak.

“Boys. You’ve been working hard. Real hard. And today is a holiday.  It’s LABOR DAY. I know you want a championship and it takes a lot of hard work to be the best. So I have made a decision.”

We all looked at each other with excitement about to sprint off the field in exhuberance, awaiting the “good” news of practice being let out early.

“Boys. Because it’s LAABOORRR Day…. that’s what we are going to do today…..LABOR!!!  LABOR, LABOR, LAAAABBBBOOORRRR.  Championships weren’t built on taking days off. And we have a championship to build. It’s time to LABOR!!!!”

And labor we did. 2.5 hours of Jersey hazy, hot, humidity on a holiday weekend.

I tell this story for several reasons. One, it still sticks with me 25 years later. I can still see myself as a young 17 year old quarterback looking up at Coach with the wide-eye enthusiasm of a 10 year old. I respected Coach Wolf for my entire life and he always has served as a mentor.

The other reason is because we did win a championship that season and it was built on the same principles that Coach Wolf practiced and preached; even on LABOR DAY:  hardwork, practice, repetition, mental toughness, and discipline, even when you don’t feel like it.

These were just some of the things that made us successful that year… and made us champions.

And while Coach Wolf is now retired and 86 years old, he positively IMPACTED thousands of young men in his approximate 60 years of coaching high school football. That is #IMPACT.

So remember this weekend…if there is work to be done and you are trying to build a championship business, team, or life, remember Coach Warren Wolf’s words: “Boys (or girls)…it’s LABOR DAY and that’s what we’re going to do today…..LABOR, LABOR, LAABBOORRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Ahhh…I can still hear his voice. Time to get to work.


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