Friday, July 1, 2016

HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY YOURSELF?

The following comes from "Coaching The Mental Game" by H. A. Dorfman:

"The measure of a man's real character is what 
he would do if he knew he would never be found out."
-Thomas McCauley

What I say it, "You identify yourself by what you do when no one is watching.  The supervised athlete may be the hardest worker, the most selfless and responsible competitor.  But how he practices when no one sees him, how he interacts with teammates when the coach is not within listening distance -- that's when he defines himself.

Theodore Roosevelt extended the definition to self-awareness and independent self-evaluation, saying, "I don't care very much about what I think of what I do.  That is character!"

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BUDDY HIELD'S GAME DAY WORKOUT

The more you look into it -- the more you study the best...the more you come to the realization and the #1 ingredient to success is hard work. Thanks to Coach Brooklyn Kohlheim for sharing this on her twitter page.

Friday, June 17, 2016

YOUR DAILY GUT CHECK QUESTIONS

At sunrise, ask yourself, "How will I be a champion today?" (Intentions)
At sunset, ask yourself, "Was I a champion today?" (Accountability)





Thursday, June 16, 2016

FOCUS NOT ON PERFECTION BUT CONSISTENCY

We constantly preach to our players about being an "NBA Player" -- meaning "Next Best Action."  The best players don't dwell in the past.  They are on to the next play.  If they are thinking about the last play -- a missed shot, a turnover, a poor play be a teammate, a bad call by an official -- then they are not give 100% of their mental capacity to the most important play of the game -- the next one.  After all, as Sue Gunter would constantly tell her teams, "The next possession is the only one we have control of."

By now I am hopefully that you've all heard of The Players Tribune.  If not it needs to be a must read for you.  It is articles that are written completely by athletes.  Not coaches. Not writers.  It gives you an amazing perspective and insight into what some of the best are thinking in so many different situations.

One of the more recent entries came from Cal Ripken, Jr. in an article titled "The Best Play I Ever Made."  One of the take aways from the article was when Cal had failure on the field, an error or poor at bat, he always seemed to follow it up with success -- a good defensive play or a hit.  This is the Next Best Action attitude.  This is a look into Cal's mentality: 

"More often than not, whenever I made an error, I’d get a hit in my next at bat. If I struck out a few times, I’d be more likely to make a nice play in the field. Whatever I was struggling with, I tried to excel in another area to balance it out. I always viewed baseball as a constant internal battle within myself. You have to keep your emotions low when pressure is high, but play with passion when pressure was low. It’s not about focusing on perfection so much as on consistency."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

ARE YOU COMPETING OR COMPARING

The following comes from the book "Burn Your Goals" by Joshua Medcalf and Jamie Gilbert and I challenge those student-athletes reading this to take some time and reflect and then ask are you competing or comparing.

A lot of times in many contexts in life much of our inability to scratch our potential or play hard is down to the fact that we are comparing rather than competing.  Competition is great between players on the same team.  Someone beats you and you try hard to improve to play better next time.  The Bible talks about this as iron sharpening iron.

Comparison is different.  Comparison is about worth.  He beat me so he is a better person.  She trains with the national team so she is always going to get the starting spot.  He has closed more deals for the company this year so why should I even bother to try harder?  Comparison usually leads to diminished or inflated worth and takes our focus and energy away from things we can control.

Monday, June 13, 2016

WISE WORDS FROM COACH WOODEN

"Your strength as an individual depends on how you respond to both criticism and praise.  If you let either one have any special effect on you, it's going to hurt us...You have little control over what criticism or praise outsiders send your way.  Take it all with a grain of salt.  Let your opponent get all caught up in other people's opinion.  You don't you do it."



Saturday, June 11, 2016

THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR CHOICES

"There is a choice you have to make
In everything you do;
So keep in mind that in the end
The choice you make, makes you."

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

MAKING ADJUSTMENTS TO IMPROVE UPON TALENT

Nolan Ryan is a Hall of Fame pitcher -- and with great reason. While his lifetime winning percentage was .526, Ryan was an eight-time MLB All-Star, and his 5,714 career strikeouts rank first in baseball history by a significant margin.[1] He leads the runner-up, Randy Johnson, by 839 strikeouts. Similarly, Ryan's 2,795 bases on balls lead second-place Steve Carlton by 962—walking over 50% more hitters than any other pitcher in MLB history. Ryan, Pedro Martínez, Randy Johnson, and Sandy Koufax are the only four pitchers inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame who had more strikeouts than innings pitched. Other than Jackie Robinson (whose number was retired by the entire MLB), Ryan is currently the only major league baseball player to have his number retired by at least three different teams: the Angels, Astros, and Rangers. Ryan is the all-time leader in no-hitters with seven, three more than any other pitcher. He is tied with Bob Feller for the most one-hitters, with 12. Ryan also pitched 18 two-hitters. 

What you might know know is that through his first five seasons with the New York Mets his record was only 29-38.  No one in major league baseball had a more talented arm or could throw the ball harder, but talent is never enough if you are interested in being the best.  

Here is how Ryan explained is process of improvement in "Good Leaders Ask Great Questions" by John Maxwell:

"All I knew was to throw as hard as I could for as long I could.  Early in my career in the big leagues, when I would get in trouble I would resort back to that mindset.  Finally, after being unsuccessful with the approach -- I learned that when I was just throwing hard I was throwing wild and walking guys and losing games -- it finally dawned on me.  If I didn't make an adjustment or change, then I was going to be one of those players who was very gifted, but didn't make a lot out of it...A lot of people get here with the God-given ability, the gift that they received.  But to stay here and have a lengthy career takes a commitment to make sacrifices that most won't continually make.  Talent may get your here, but it takes work, real work, to stay here, and it takes development of the mental side of your game to separate yourself on this level."


Monday, May 30, 2016

DON'T LET RATINGS DEFINE OR DETOUR YOUR

For those young athletes that get caught up in all the recruiting services and ratings, here is a fascinating stat:

*Not a single starter for either team in Super Bowl XLIX 
was rated a five-star recruit out of high school.

*Taken from "Above The Line" by Urban Meyer

Sunday, May 29, 2016

DEFEATING THE INSTINCT TO SLACK OFF

"There is something that can happen to every athlete, every human being -- it's the instinct to slack off, to give in to the pain, to give less than your best...the instinct to hope to win through luck or your opponents' not doing their best, instead of going to the limit and past your limit, where victory is always to be found.  Defeating those negative instincts that are out to defeat us is the difference between winning and losing, and we face that battle every day of our lives."

Jesse Owens, Olympic Champion

Saturday, May 28, 2016

THE WORK ETHIC OF THE GREAT: TED WILLIAMS

One of the problems with young athletes today is that when they see the best they believe in large part that they have achieved greatness naturally -- though their talent.  The great ones can at times make it look easy. I spend a lot of times sharing stories of hard work and sacrifices of sports finest with my teams so that they hopefully realize that greatness comes with a price and that it must be earned.

One of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball is Ted Williams.  What made him great was a tremendous desire to be the best.  In the book "The Kid" written by Ben Bradlee, Jr., there was a story of someone who told Ted when he was young that he went to see too many movies and that it might strain his eyes.  Ted stopped going to the movies.

In 1936, Ted signed a minor league contract with San Diego.  Here is story from the book:


Frank Shellenback (William's manager) was impressed early on by Williams's work ethic, drive and determination.  After home games Ted would ask Shellenback for a couple of old baseballs.  When the manager asked what he did with them, Ted said he used them for extra batting practice after dinner at the park near his house. Shellenback found that hard to believe, having seen Ted come in to Lane Field at ten in the morning for extra hitting in addition to the regular workout every day.  As Shellenback told the Boston Herald's Arthur Sampson in 1949, one evening he drove to Williams's neighborhood to investigate and saw the rookie "driving those two battered baseballs off over the field.  Ted was standing close to a rock which served as home plate.  One kid was pitching to I'm.  A half dozen others were shagging drives.  The field was rough and stony.  The baseball I had given him were already showing signs of wear.  The stitching was falling apart.  The covers were rough as sandpaper.  Blood was trickling from Williams's hands as he dripped a chipped bat.  But he kept swinging.  And hitting.  Ted made himself the great baseball players he is today."

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

IT'S DRIVE!

Kobe Bryant was once asked: What makes one guy a champion and not the next guy?
"It's drive.  It's the will.  There are certain people that have a tremendous hunger.  There are certain people that have a will, determination, hunger that you need to be the best in the world.  Those people -- and those people alone -- become champions."

PATIENCE



Look me in the eyes.
It’s okay if you’re scared, So am I.
But we’re scared for different reasons.
I’m scared of what I won’t become, and you’re scared of what I could become.
Look at me.
I won’t let myself end where I started, I won’t let myself finish where I began.
I know what is within me, Even if you can’t see it yet.
Look me in the eyes.
I have something more important than courage, I have patience.
I will become, what I know I am.

 


Thursday, March 24, 2016

GREATNESS IS A CHOICE

The following comes from "Above The Line" by Ohio State coach Urban Meyer:

Talent is a gift.  Greatness is a choice.

Talent can take you to a level of ability that produces good results.  But talent by itself will not take you to the elite level.  Exceptional performance is the result of an uncommon level of focus and discipline in the pursuit of greatness.  Build skill every day and consistently get better.  Be coachable.  Train and practice Above the Line.  Be intentional and on purpose.  Complacency is the enemy of exceptional.  Grow beyond your talent!

Embrace discomfort.  Discomfort marks the place where the old way meets the new way.  Discomfort indicates that change is about to happen.  Push through the pain.  If it doesn't challenge you, it will not change you.

3 GUIDELINES FROM LARRY LEGEND

“Don’t let winning make you soft.
Don’t let losing make you quit.
Don’t let your teammates down in any situation”
– Larry Bird