SNU football coach, senior players summit Mt. Yale

Awhile back, I posted an item about Southern Nazarene University head football coach Mike Cochran’s annual ritual of taking his upcoming senior football players to Colorado to camp, raft and climb a mountain. He does this as part of a leadership development program for his team’s leaders. This year, they went to Buena Vista, Colo., and tackled Mount Yale, a real leg-buster I did a year ago. Join me in offering the guys a hearty congrats for tackling this peak! 

Here’s a write-up of the trip from SNU’s Scott Secor (photo courtesy Mike Cochran):


The team and coach Cochran pause for a group shot at the summit of Mount Yale.

Southern Nazarene University head football coach Mike Cochran and his senior players successfully climbed Colorado’s Mount Yale last week as part of a leadership development program.  Part of the program is putting a challenge in front of his players, namely getting to the top of Mount Yale’s 14, 196-foot summit. 

“I have found that climbing a 14'er beneficial because it is very challenging; it is a new experience for everyone, and it results in a tremendous bond and sense of accomplishment,” said Cochran. 

Cochran’s main goal is to challenge his seniors, not only physically, but spiritually and mentally.  His hope is this challenge prepares his core of leaders for the upcoming football season.  

“It is my experience that you can not improve as a person or become the man God plans for you to be if you are in your comfort zone most of the time,” said Cochran.  “By taking these young men out of their comfort zone and having them work together on something extremely difficult (less than 4% of the population has climbed a 14'er) they are bound to improve as an individual and grow closer together.” 

This year, Cochran took his seniors to Buena Vista, Colorado and climbed Mount Yale on Aug. 6. The mountain is 14,196 feet high and is an 12-mile round trip that took over two and a half days to complete. The elevation gain over 6 miles was approximately 5,000 feet. 

“This trip is a great way to send our guys into their senior year and to equip them for the life God has planned for them after they leave SNU,” added Cochran.  “It is impossible not to see what a great and awesome God we serve as you experience His creation in the process of ascending a 14'er.  It is this process that makes you better and draws you closer to God.” 

During the trip, the seniors determine their convictions and set process and outcome oriented goals for the upcoming season. 

The 2009 convictions:

1. Get better every day - Be process oriented

2. Wholly committed to God and team

3. WIN - What’s Important Now?

4. Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

5. Buy in to what SNU football is about

6. You will never walk alone 

The 2009 Team Goal:

Win The Next Game 

Again, major congrats to the group for this accomplishment! 

Bob Doucette