State of the Hogs: Flourishing

It's easy to see why some flourish and some do not. It's actually simple stuff, as covered by Dr. Stephen Graves.

Why do some flourish, some do not? I got confirmation in what I believed while reading Dr. Stephen Graves’ new book.

I enjoy all of Steve’s work. I know him through my connection with Bo Mattingly on statewide radio. Graves mentors both Bo and myself. I learn in his presence, and even more if I read his work.

His latest book, Flourishing, is not prose. It’s simple truths (based in scripture), one after another. That’s a compliment, not a criticism.

I first met Steve in the early days of Hawgs Illustrated when I walked to a pizza place on the Fayetteville square. I had a stack of page proofs in my hand when Steve stuck out his hand with an introduction.

Steve was already flourishing. I was just trying to learn, as it says in the title of his book, why some people thrive and others just survive. I didn’t know it, but I was doing what he suggests deep in the book, just put one good practice on top of another and keep working.

There are no “scratch and win” plans for life and no silver bullets. But it took me years to understand why it was slowly turning my way.

I learned that over time. Steve clarified in his book, also explaining that you must be intentional in your pursuit of abundant life.

When you read Steve’s work, you see why coaches like Mike Anderson, Bret Bielema, Dave Van Horn, and so many others at the UA have things pointed in the right direction, to the point of flourishing.

It’s not just one thing. It’s everything. They have methods for everything they do that make them flourish. They were actually flourishing before the results proved it.

I knew Bielema had football on the right track before the Hogs thrashed LSU, Ole Miss and Texas by 78-7. I knew Anderson had it right before the basketball team went on a 6-1 tear with four road victories. It was clear that Van Horn was flourishing before he took the Hogs to 12 straight NCAA tournaments. They do things right every day.

I’ve seen it in the great Razorback players that I admired. Guys like George Wilson, James McCann and Marvin Delph are among my favorites. They managed their lives in a wonderful way, with their faith shining through day after day.

It was disappointing when I read the Twitter outburst from TQ Coleman in regards to Bielema, obviously now his former coach. Coleman was told to work out after the traditional pro day after becoming ineligible last fall.

There was a suggestion that Bielema is not a player’s coach and anything could be further from the truth. He stands behind players that earn their way and flourish. Coleman was granted a chance to work out for NFL scouts afterwards. Not surprisingly, none were interested. They knew without any tests that Coleman, short and slow, was not worth a tryout.

Why? There’s a track record. There was nothing in his past that suggests he can flourish. A temper tantrum in the locker room later is more evidence that Coleman will not flourish. I’d recommend a book, but I’d probably just get blasted on Twitter.

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