by John Ramos, Eagles Director of Coaching & Player Development

Character is the foundation of developing a good training mentality in
training and in games.  Players must have the desire to work hard and
succeed.  Players must not only work to become better, they must
constantly challenge themselves in order to get to the next level. 
They should always fight to improve.  Never be satisfied or become
complacent.  Many players look to quit when training or games get too
difficult or uncomfortable.  The main reason many players do not
achieve their potential is because the developmental process takes them
into an unfamiliar or unpleasant area.  For example, they can't deal
with the discipline of getting up early for training or they don't like
the pain of pushing beyond one level to get to the next.  The process
is not comfortable for many players.  It takes a tremendous amount of
discipline and hardness to fight this human tendency.
"Its not the triumph, it's the struggle."  Its not so much having the
opportunity to play in a stadium of 50,000 spectators, it's the work
you put in to get to that level.  The struggle and fight itself
produces a wonderful feel of strength, hardening and confidence.  The
felling persists even when you don't make it.  What you feel is the
development of your character as you go through this struggle.
Along with building character, confidence also develops.  Hard work
alone gives you confidence to play well.  Feeling that you work harder
than anyone else is a confidence booster.  You can never guarantee that
you will play well, however you can guarantee that you will work hard. 
In the end, you can't control all the events in your life, but you can
control your reaction to them.  Having the capacity to control how you
react to every situation is the measure of your character and mental