Being a Kansas City Chiefs fan, I was excited to see Joe Montana's presentation earlier today. Yes, I know that Montana is known for his many years as quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, but he ended his career in KC, bringing Chiefs' fans a glimmer of hope in making the Super Bowl (alas, it was just a slight glimmer).
Montana offered a brief history of his childhood, growing up in a part of Pennsylvania where most boys grew up to be coal miners. His family didn't want that future for him, so his dad pushed Montana to develop his evident athletic skills in many sports, including basketball and football.
He eventually made it to Notre Dame on the football team, but “didn't perform well there,” he said. However, once he was drafted by San Francisco, things changed as Coach Bill Walsh demanded perfection from his quarterbacks, Montana said. He credited Walsh for showing Montana how to prepare for games and how to develop a good work ethic. He also credited Jerry Rice, wide receiver for the 49ers, for setting a good example of a great work ethic for the team.
“You see people work hard, and it pays off,” Montana said. “That's what you need for your work organization to go to the next level.”
He also said that people need to trust the person next to them to do what they are supposed to do so the team can succeed.
“Preparation was the key to my success,” he said, recalling that he spent more time going over the plays after practice than he did practicing.
Montana suggested that when you are not successful, you should take a step back and look at what got you where you are, then go back to those basics.
“Don't throw a bunch of Hail Marys,” he said.