What's in Your Head?

Richard Hunkler, Ph.D.
Slippery Rock University

The title is a mangled expression of a today's popular TV advertisement, "What's in your wallet?" When players begin to play a water polo game, or for that matter the game of any sport, I hope that what is dancing around in their minds are not sugar plumbs and/or monetary rewards but a healthy desire to do their best and to win the game fairly. Sometimes, just sometimes, inspirational slogans posted during the week will help to create this frame of mind. Believe it or not; money does not mean everything to some athletes in sports today. If that statement were not true then there would be hardly any athletes playing NCAA water polo or many other sports in Division III, many Division II, and some Division I colleges and universities today.

When I coached Slippery Rock University's Men's Water Polo Team from 1971 to 1998 and the Women's Water Polo Team from 1973 to 1998, I had no athletic scholarships, but neither did Dick Russell at Bucknell University, Shelly Rothman at Queen's College, Scott Russell at University of Michigan, Denny Harper of San Diego State and later at UC San Diego, Jamie Wright at Davis, and many other coaches during that time period. But some how these people without large salaries or, more importantly, without large budgets won regional and National water polo championships. Was it done with inspirational slogans - no, but it was done with hard work and perseverance. However, at Slippery Rock my hokey, inspirational, slogans didn't hurt any either, and besides it helped to define my quirky personality and my positive coaching demeanor. Here are some of my favorites:

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. - John Wooden

The harder you work the luckier you get - Gary Player

Two stonecutters were asked what they were doing. The first said, "I'm cutting this stone into blocks." The second replied, "I'm on a team that's building a cathedral." - Old Story

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of fear. - Mark Twain

What matters is not the size of dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog - Bear Bryant

It is funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. - Somerset Maugham

Well done is better than well said. - Ben Franklin

You see things that are and say, "Why?" But I dream things that never were and say, "Why not?" - George Bernard Shaw

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. - Albert Einstein

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. - W. Feather

Never, never, never, never give up. - Winston Churchill

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Not in time, place, or circumstance, but in the man lies success. - Charles Rounce

A diamond is a chunk of coal that made good under pressure. - unknown

If your favorite is not on this list, send it to me and I will try to post it

(The slogans sent to me by users are in the database. Currently I have no way of retreiving those slogans. Thus, would those users be so kind as to send them to me again and would other users send me some new slogans. Thanks.)

Email Coach Hunkler at [email protected]