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Lincoln Logs #11: Close

For the Illini to become winners, they need to have a winner's mentality.


Lincoln Logs is an 11-part series from The Champaign Room's Brandon Birkhead explaining how the University of Illinois can go about building a winning football program.

(Explicative warning)

Glengarry Glen Ross speech (via Andy chau)

Yep. Close.

Of all the Lincoln Logs, I believe this to be the most essential, because not only is it the backbone of successful sports teams, but the backbone of every organization, and every person that is successful. The Illini need to have a winner's mentality. The Illini need to be winners. The Illini need to close.

At the end of the day, winning is what matters. The purpose of the football team is to win. That's what the Illini will be judged on. You are your record.


Winners don't make excuses. Winners don't care about how undertalented, or how big of an underdog they are. They have no time for that. They are too busy working to win.

Winners don't simply believe they are going to win. They know they are going to win.

The Illini need to get that level of belief and passion. Success should be expected. Failure is not an option.


There isn't much difference between winners and losers. Every team has the same opportunity to recruit and the same chance to win games. What it comes down to is who wants it the most. Whichever team really wants the game the most, the team that is willing to put all the work into preparing to win, will win.

Winners don't dwell on past mistakes. They learn from them and move on. Winners are forward thinking. They stay disciplined and focus on the task at hand.

Winners have the courage to take it. They have the resiliency to not let obstacles get in their way and they take it. The wins are out there, you just have to take them.

Winners have the confidence to know they can get the job done. They have the Proper State of Mind.

Winners are great because they believe they are great. Winners win because they have the courage, discipline, and composure to win.

Often players say they want to win, there isn't one who wouldn't, but how many truly want it?

How many want to win more than they want to sleep?

How many want to relax or party more than they want to win?

How many truly have that hunger and desire to be a winner? Not many, but winners do.

Winners will do that extra rep. Winners will stay an extra hour watching film. Winners win because they truly want to.

The Illini need to become winners. No excuses, no explanations. "Just win, baby."

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Brandon Birkhead on Twitter at @BrandonBirkhead.

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