I Miss Frosty

Hope you all get a chance to play for a guy like this.

It’s been said as a joke, but I’m quite serious when I say the greatest class I took in my time at PLU was football 101.  Nothing provided me more tools for the many years after college as the many small lessons I didn’t even really realize I was receiving from the football program and this guy, Frosty.  The double win principle carries over to every area of life.  Attitude, perseverance, and joy in most every aspect of life’s awesome journey.

As a coach I wish to have just a sliver of his ability to share this insight to life and athleticism.

I see over an over the so called “need” to WIN beginning even in the youth leagues and almost always pushed, taught and encouraged by both the coaches and parents.  The focus on the big W saps much of the enjoyment and drives many away.  Number 1 or no one is the way it goes.

I was fortunate enough to be on one of Frosty’s National Championship Teams (1987).  Not his first and not the big last one with the change in division and league for the team, but I believe a team that highlights the accomplishments that will come when driven by a focus not on the W or even the accolades for themselves.

The night before that national championship game a pre-game meal was provided for both teams.  I’m sure it was Frosty’s idea that we mix the teams together for the meal.  I recall laughing to myself at the entire scene. One team quiet, aggressive, with sever looks to intimidate and another team laughing, joking, and physically nothing even close to intimidating.  Yep, the second team mentioned was us.

You see, we weren’t only a surprising team that over achieved with a few “Frosty-isms” driving the wagon.  We were a team that on paper had absolutely no right to be sitting at the pre-game meal as one of two of the ‘best’ teams in the nation… Lighter and slower are generally not the overall qualities you expect from a team who pulls off more wins than losses.  We were also a team boasting four starting freshman on the offense.  Three across the offensive line (supported by a sophomore and one senior).  None with ridiculous athletic skills or NFL careers waiting down the road.  Simply three who didn’t know any better.  Inexperience showed at times, but as a team we somehow pulled off exciting things.

We didn’t know we couldn’t do it or shouldn’t be there.

But… these simple little principles taught by possibly the greatest coach ever somehow magically gave us a belief that there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish.  Someone was going to find a way.  I, and I’m positive it was the same for all, didn’t play ANY of those games thinking about a championship or even specifically a win.  I distinctly remember my own internal conversations that life, friendships, and team were all bigger than that.  I played beyond my own abilities because I just wanted to ensure I got one more week to hang with my brothers.

That motivation had never been there before and I thank God for Brian Troost who directed me to a program that showed me how to be motivated outside of my own selfish desires.

Lots of wins and several awards have been gained individually and by the teams I was a part of while at PLU, but I would give them all back to hang one more week with my brothers again.  To enjoy the struggles of games and competition with a group who cared more about me and our combined journey than themselves… Priceless.

Frosty Westering passed on just a couple of days ago now and I feel much like I lost my father again.  He really was that big of a figure.  I wish my own kids had more of a chance to know the man who showed athletes how to perform in the arena and throughout life at the highest levels simply through the power of a mindset that has a thick foundation of LOVE.  I want them to enjoy the “Journey” as I did rather than living and dieing by the attainment of the supposed “Glorious Destination”.  The wins and accolades are a by-product of a focus that simply enjoys and plays for the friendships of teammates and the simple challenges encountered via the competitive arena.

The entire coaching crew bought into Frosty’s competitive life philosophy and I’m excited to see Scott Westering and crew continue to teach these principles to current and future generations of ball players.

Thank you Frosty, not for the championship or even the memories of my time at PLU… but thank you for the principles that have impacted who I am today.  There is not one area of my life that isn’t improved by my perspectives that changed shortly after I landed on the PLU campus and into your program.

Frosty Westering: Man in the Arena from Jason Ryan Creative on Vimeo.

Dori Monson interview with Frosty – http://kiroradio.com/listen/9955757

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2 thoughts on “I Miss Frosty

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