Guest Column: Diligence

EWU Head Football Coach Aaron Best

To be consistent at anything in life, the characteristic of diligence must be present! To care and act as such, one must have diligence at a foundational level. This characteristic has multiple ways to describe its definition. The partial definition of the word as an “energetic effort” certainly stood out because of its close association with the word “care.”

To show or use diligence at a high level, you must care about whatever it is you are attempting to do or accomplish. Diligence is not something you can obtain overnight or even over the course of a week or month. The characteristic of diligence is ingrained in you over the course of many hours, months, and even years. This is certainly not a short-term-driven trait. The longer the endeavor takes, the more diligence must be present to exhibit what is necessary to finish the job you started. In the “staircase” of success, diligence is one of the foundational stairs in your climb to success.

Diligence is authentic and genuine. It certainly is difficult to be diligent about something that does not motivate you. As a coach/teacher/mentor/parent/friend/family member, diligence is one of the most important traits to exemplify to the people we come into contact with on a daily basis. Those folks know we are passionate about everything that we take on in all of those roles. If it is not something we are passionate about, diligence will undoubtedly be absent based on the low level of “energetic effort.”

The student-athletes at Eastern Washington University we are around as coaches on a daily basis are challenged to show high levels of diligence both on and off the field. The fact our student-athletes chose to be part of our special program is the first step in identifying their individual passion as a student & football player prior to coming on campus. After they find themselves on campus as Eagles, the diligence in which they work will be something we as coaches manage and enhance. We will challenge the coaches’ and players’ diligence at times, but diligence is something we feel is performed at an authentic level. In other words, diligence can’t be created, just fostered. The desire must first come from the student-athlete and then we enhance their desire by challenging them in other ways!

Lastly, diligence is not a characteristic you can turn on and off. You either have it in situations or you don’t. Regardless of what you do in life, you will face challenges and obstacles. Diligence is the best tool in your toolbox to help you navigate these challenges and obstacles, as it will provide you with the ability to care about what you’re doing enough to persist and fight through it and come out the other side as a better person.  To be the best at something, diligence must be part of your recipe. Whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic, you can show and present diligent traits in both ways to those with whom you surround yourself with.



Aaron Best enters his second season as the Head Football Coach at Eastern Washington University in 2018. He is a longtime Eagle and member of the Cheney/Spokane community: He played football at EWU from 1996-1999, graduated from EWU in 2001, and has been a part of football (and Cheney) at EWU for 21 years as a player, student assistant, graduate assistant coach, assistant coach, and head coach. Aaron highly values his partnership with PACE, as he will be a part of the upcoming West Plains PACE Awards for the second consecutive year.