Summary: This Sermon is an adaptation from the book "The Twenty-one Indispensable Qualities of a Leader" by John Maxwell.
August 16, 2003
I. I will say it again, we are all leaders in some way and if we are going to be the leaders that we are supposed to be, the first person that we have to lead is ourselves.
A. The Philosopher Plato said, "The first and best victory is to conqueror self."
B. That means that the victory that we have to win before win can win any other is the victory over ourselves. We have to learn self-discipline.
C. It is tough getting to the top, and not many people ever reach the place where they are considered the best at what they do, and even fewer people are considered by a lot of people to be the best ever.
D. But someone who has, is Jerry Rice. Jerry Rice has been called the best person to ever play wide receiver in professional football, and he has got all the records to prove it.
E. People who know him say he is a natural. Physically, his God-given gifts are incredible. He has what every coach would want in a receiver.
F. Hall of Fame Coach Bill Walsh says, "I don’t think that there’s been a guy equal to him physically."
G. But his physical ability alone is not what has made him great. The real key to his success has been his self-discipline.
H. Jerry Rice works day in and day out to prepare for football unlike any other player in the NFL.
I. The story of his ability to push himself started when he was in high school. The Coach of B.L. Moor High School, Charles Davis, had his players run twenty times up a forty-yard hill. On a particularly hot, muggy Mississippi day, Jerry Rice was ready to give up after eleven times, but as he started to sneak toward the locker room he realized what he was doing.
J. "Don’t quit" he told himself. "Because if you get into that mode of quitting, then you feel like it’s okay." He went back and finished his sprints, and he has never been a quitter since.
K. As a Professional football player, he has become famous for sprinting up another hill. This one is a tough 2.5 mile uphill park trail in San Carlos, California. Other top players try to keep up with him but they fall behind and are amazed at his stamina.
L. But that’s only a part of his routine. When other players are fishing and laying around during the off season Jerry Rice works out from seven in the morning until noon six days a week.
M. Somebody said once, "He is so well conditioned that he makes Jamie Lee Curtis look James Earl Jones."
N. NFL corner back Kevin Smith says, what other people don’t understand is that football is a twelve month thing with Jerry Rice. That’s the difference between the good and the great.
O. On August 31, 1997, Jerry Rice blew out his knee, and people thought that he was finished. Rod Woodson was the only player that had ever come back from a knee injury in the same season. He rehabilitated his knee in four and a half months. Jerry Rice did it in three and half months, and he continues to rack up records while he helps his team win.