BOZEMAN — On Wednesday at Bobcat Stadium, the Montana State football team was learning a few life lessons as well as working out with a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel.
“What we were trying to do is coach the players to try and really adopt that resilient mindset where, yeah, it’s hard, and you acknowledge it, then you adapt, overcome, then you come out of it stronger, faster, better for the experience,” said Phil Kornachuk, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and founder of Lead 406.
Kornachuk referenced the similarities between football and the military, how both take the same kind of mindset.
“I look at someone who is a really good military leader -- they got that vision, they can connect with people, plan, communicate, they’re adaptable," he said. "That’s not a whole lot different when I see a (NCAA Division I) coach who can take that same mindset working with a young group of athletes and trying to get them to achieve a goal."
The workouts were oriented toward how each player can handle themselves as individuals, because before they can become good leaders, they must be able to know and lead themselves.
“We themed this event as, it starts with you, but it’s not about you," Kornachuk said. "The biggest challenge for them was, it’s hard when I don’t have someone to my left or my right, it’s just me against myself. They were like, 'It forced me to dig deep. I caught myself back off a few times because no one was pushing me.' Then the next station they would take that lesson, 'Now I’m going to push harder, dig deeper and see what I can take.'”
Replicating the high-stress or pressure events will help the players on and off the field.
“Who they are under stress and pressure in that environment translates to who they are as individuals, as students, as athletes," Kornachuk said.
The players will have four more workouts this offseason with Kornachuk as they prepare for a possible season in the spring of 2021.