What You Want Versus What You Need

FEEDBACK / During my senior year in high school I was a “blue-chip” football recruit, ranked in the top eleven football seniors in the nation. Blue Chip recruits can write their own ticket to any college, earn an education, and maybe even end up in the NFL. I had the privilege of meeting many great football coaches and learning about the unique academic opportunities each university could offer me, but one football coach captivated my soul. It was not his firm handshake or the force of the intensity in his eyes when he spoke but rather the steel core of character he radiated. Coach Marv Goux flew in from the University of Southern California and made me an offer I could not refuse.Brad Budde and Coach Goux at USCAt our first meeting, Coach Goux shoved his little stubby fingers in my face, each ring finger displayed a Rose Bowl ring on one and a National Championship ring on the other and then declared, “Brad if you want one of these come to USC!”

My first team meeting at USC, Coach Goux winked and half-jokingly said “Men we wined and dined you during high school recruiting but now we are going to kick your ass and get you in Trojan shape!” As a freshman I earned a starting spot on the offensive line for USC and this was the first time a true freshman had done this since World War II. Going into my sophomore season, I thought I was “hot-stuff” until a rude awakening occurred in Corvallis Oregon, the home of the Oregon State Beavers. My horrible performance against my opponent earned him defensive player of the week for the Pac 8 conference and he absolutely dominated me. I was so humiliated and I am embarrassed to admit, I felt sorry for myself, which meant that the next USC practice I could not get myself going until……..


“Budde quit your damn sulking and act likes a man!” barked out Coach Goux, in front of the entire football team. “Brad you disgraced yourself and the entire Trojan family last Saturday.” His critique of my poor performance in front of all my peers made me feel angry and hurt. I had never been publicly “called-out” like that before. For an instant I thought of quitting but thankfully it occurred to me that Goux never does a thing without a purpose and maybe he wanted to teach me something.

Following practice, Goux explained that he had coached many All-Americans, won National Championships and knew I possessed great talent but had some glaring weaknesses mentally and physically. Without strengthening my weaknesses, I would never reach my potential. His intensity calmed a bit and he asked me if I would be willing to meet before and after practice. In these sessions he taught me how to think, how to perform, breathe and dominate like a champion. Initially, I wanted Goux to have compassion for my failure but instead he gave me what I needed. The result of his efforts culminated in a four great years starting and I earned unanimous All-American honors, Athletic Scholar Award, Most Inspirational Player, Offensive Player of the Year, Lombardi award and finally, my ultimate dream, selection in the First Round Draft to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Goux was disciplinarian, who employed objective feedback and, taught me how to strengthen my weaknesses,put team over self and what it means to dominate an opponent. Goux lived all he taught and brought to life what it means to be a man of excellence even when you have nothing left; get up and fight on. He loved me as a man and I earned his respect which was my ultimate reward.

Goux was driven to demonstrate and teach men to be leaders. At his funeral many men shared their stories and what was unique in them was that they all had the same theme. He took ordinary talented young men and transformed them into great players, great men and great leaders. He gave us all what we needed and never bowed to giving us what we wanted.

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