EDITOR’S NOTE: To help celebrate Waxahachie ISD athletes who are following the R.E.A.L. Leader philosophy brought in by Indians head football coach Jon Kitna and adopted by athletic director Greg Reed, Waxahachie athletic coaches have picked top athletes who exhibit the ability to Reject passivity, Empathize with others, Accept responsibility and Lead courageously.
A R.E.A.L. Leader Q&A will appear in the Daily Light sports section each week’s Sunday Sports Extra, allowing coaches from all sports to share and brag about their stand-up athletes.
This week, Terry Minton, the Waxahachie High School head boys golf team, named senior Josh Taylor, who has spent his entire life in Waxahachie, the R.E.A.L. Leader of the week for his tireless work ethic and unbreakable resolve — qualities which directly reflect why he is being honored.
“I am becoming a man from my father teaching me lessons that his father taught him,” Taylor said. “He taught me the two highest standards that I need to hold myself to are: always keep a promise and never make a promise I cannot keep.”
Coach Minton, you recognized Taylor was a R.E.A.L. Leader for the week. What did this leader do that stood out to you and what made you choose him as a R.E.A.L. Leader?
Minton: Josh has an attention to detail that exemplifies what a student-athlete should have to be successful in any walk of life. He works hard not only at golf, but also his grades and always is respectful and always on time.
How does this athlete live the four pillars of being a R.E.AL. Leader?
Minton: We really do not go by this mantra in golf, but Josh is a leader by example. His actions speak loudly in the classroom and on the golf course. You can usually find him at school or on the course with the goal of improving daily.
The R.E.A.L. Leaders philosophy is based on the idea it takes a village to change a culture. How does Taylor promote a positive culture inside the locker room and in the community, and encourage his peers to do the same?
Minton: Josh is a leader by action. He is not one to vocally charge the troops to action but his presence is felt with everyone and his quiet leadership is seen by all.
In adulthood, accountability is a key component. How does he best personify that value to promote success in the classroom, in sporting events and in life?
Minton: Josh is the definition of a student-athlete. He is a person who challenges himself daily in the classroom and athletics. He is not one to be satisfied with the status quo.
What is one characteristic that Taylor believes every leader should possess?
Minton: One characteristic that Josh possesses is the ability to let others know his opinion without demeaning or demoralizing others. He can agree to disagree, but can also see that others have a right to their opinion. He may not agree with you, but he will honor your opinion with respect.
What has been the impact of his attitude on the team’s success?
Minton: His work ethic in the classroom and calmness on the course. Work ethic is extremely important because golf is such a mental sport. Staying in the right frame of mind is necessary to produce the results you want. Josh’s personality is such that he has mastered how to control his emotions and thus it shows in his personality and work ethic. It is always important to maintain composure and keep a calm, level mind to not reveal how well you’re doing in a tournament. It takes a lot to show to your teammates that, if you have a bad shot, you are able to shake it off and continue with the round as normal. If you show your teammates that you are able to do that, then the end result is that hopefully your teammates will follow your example, leading to a better and more relaxed round.