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Putting in the Extra Time to Get Better

While working and participating in high levels of competitions, both in the classroom and athletics, time management became a critical factor and the execution of those many responsibilities that I was required to do was an enormous feat, which I took care of from the most important to the least. I systemically identified them on a scale from one to ten. The most pressing…one, two, three, so forth and so on. My plate was completely full with school, work, football training, home responsibilities, family, friends and community charity contributions with the City of Compton. There was the Mayor’s Office, Parks and Recreations Department, The Lions and Mason’s organizations, friends of the City of Compton, the public library and food-distribution, and delivery programs to our senior citizen population.

Man, I was so busy. You know, what I enjoyed most about those times was when we were taking care of our most precious and treasured resources by giving them those hot meals. The Senior Citizens Meals on Wheels program was a great program it was a pleasure and honor to give my time to these worthy charitable causes. I knew all along for a fact that if the Compton High School football team was going to distinguish itself from the pack and become an elite football program, it was going to take some serious commitment from the whole team. Especially the key players and coaches in particular. So I started organizing extra practice sessions, weight training and film times for my receivers, running backs and I. You would be surprised how many people want the prize, but they are not willing to go through the pain and grit in order to get there.

They wanted someone else to do it while they themselves take the credit. That was the case as well on the football team. You know, the majority of our players did not turn out for these extra practices, weight training and film times. And yet they wanted to know why the football was not coming their way? Hello Joe! However, there were a couple of receivers after me constantly nagging at them who made the commitment to be better, in addition to me going by Danny Greene’s house continuously as he ran out of excuses as to why he could not come. This dedication by Danny Greene and Kenny Greene to get better and be more consistent in showing up for these practice sessions made all the difference in the world, especially in the Championship game against Arcadia. Our timing and execution became flawless.

And it was that early commitment to putting in the extra time to get better that also made all the difference in the world. That meant winning the Championship game or losing it. It was no different for us and the community of Compton itself. My sophomore year was coming to a close and I already felt the pressure of the upcoming football season lurking. There were high expectations for this team to take it all, not only by the players and coaches but the community as well. So the pressure was square on my shoulders to perform at championship level right from the starting gates. Like I said, early on I had big shoes to fill in following the legacy of the Compton High School football program and Jim Smith, in particular.