Austin Zielke


Gasping for breath, lungs wheezing, and feet burning, after running numerous laps around the track, I will think twice about making the same mistake for the 3rd time in a row. Austin Diehl. Every time I hear that name I cringe. Fear runs through me and I remember all of the physical and mental pain I had to endure. I also think about how much that man has taught me up to this day. Austin Diehl was my drumline instructor for Chippewa Valley High School from 2010-2013, and he was not an easy man to deal with. He never accepted giving up or quitting as an answer, he expected perfection. He would always find something to fix, from hitting the drum wrong to having the proper facial expression or attitude. Sure, the guy was a jerk a lot of the time, but that’s what drove you to perfection. You can never learn from someone if they constantly compliment you and tell you everything you’re doing right. Austin was never unfair, he expected you to perform at the peak of what he thought your abilities were. 

He has taught me to never just look at all of the good things you do, look at the bad. If you’re really good at doing something, there is no need to continuously practice it. What’s holding you back are the bad things. Practice the bad things until you never get it wrong. Practice it so much that your muscles will think twice about messing up. Practice making the bad things good until you absolutely can’t get it wrong.

This has changed how I look at things, especially in my future. It has motivated me to perfect every single weakness I have and push me to never make a mistake. Will mistakes happen? Absolutely, it is human nature. But how you fix those mistakes determines how successful you will be not only in your career, but in your life.