Some winning athletes become coaches and fade away. Others make the leap from the playing field to the small screen. Very few are lucky enough to have done both and become immortalized as a recurring skit on Saturday Night Live. Mike Ditka has accomplished this with cigar and steely-eyed stare the whole way.
WORK ETHIC IS EVERYTHING
As a coach, Mike Ditka demanded excellence from his team. He understood the team won or lost based on 53 players, and not each individual. Work ethic mattered. It was about hitting the other guy harder and more often than they hit you. This work ethic was instilled upon him as a young child in Pennsylvania mining country. His father summed up life succinctly, “You get out of life what you put into it.” In short, effort and discipline were the keys to success.