Friday, October 30, 2009


1. Puts others ahead of her own agenda.
It means intentionally being aware of your teammates’ needs, available to help them, and able to accept their desires as important.

2. Possesses the confidence to serve.
The real heart of being a good teammate is security. Show me someone who things she is too important to serve, and I’ll show you someone who is basically insecure.

3. Initiates service to others.
Just about anyone will serve if compelled to do so. And some will serve in a crisis. But you can really see the heart of someone who initiates service to others.

4. Is not position-conscious.
Good teammates don’t focus on rank, position or playing time.

5. Serves out of love.
The desire to be a good teammate is not motivated by manipulation or self-promotion. It is fueled by love. In the end, the extent of your influence depends on the depth of concern for others.

Paraphrased from
The 21 Indispensable Qualities Of A Leader
By John C. Maxwell

Sunday, October 25, 2009


What was interesting about the intensity of Jordan’s practice habits, thought Stave Hale, was that they were rare for a player so naturally gifted. Hale was aware of his own physical and athletic limitations, and he understood from the start that he would only be able to play at Carolina if he pushed himself to the highest level and became something of a kamikaze, constantly diving for loose balls and leaving some of his skin behind in every game. Yet Jordan, who so obviously had the highest level of physical gifts, was there every day, practicing as if he too were somewhat limited athletically. That was a powerful combination.

The other thing his teammates came to realize was that he was driven by an almost unparalleled desire—or need—to win.

He simply hated to lose, on the court in big games, on the court in little games, in practice, in Monopoly games with his friends. In card games and pool games, his passion to win was obvious—in fact, he often seemed to change the rules to ensure his victory.

He simply hated to lose at anything, and this would be a trademark for the rest of his life. Every competition had a quality of life-or-death struggle. If he lost in a card game, he would want to keep playing until he won.

From "Playing for Keeps" by David Halberstam

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Ham:

“The number one thing that I like about football. You need to have the whole team buying into that team concept. The part I like the most about it is when the whole team kind of loses itself for one common goal to win a championship. There is not a better feeling for me, especially after a Super Bowl, that you are the best in the world at least for that year and how collectively the team was able to accomplish that.”

Monday, October 19, 2009


At Michigan State, Magic Johnson
shot 62% from the free throw line.
His rookie year with the Lakers, Magic shot 66%.
For his entire career in the NBA? Magic shot 87%!
The great ones always work on their game
...are you?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


“The reason Lance was so great at cycling is the complexity of the sport and the depth of the preparation requires. Sure he has the boxer’s mentality, which is important. But that alone will just get you over trained or defeated in competition by a superior strategist. You have to be willing a motivated to do the right work, confident so you don’t do too much or too little, and strategically prepared for a peak performance. You must never lack motivation, and you must have a strong desire to just eat people up—physically and mentally,”
-Bart Knaggs
From "How Lance Does It" by Brad Kearns

Friday, October 16, 2009


Your attitude today determines your success tomorrow.

Attitude is the foundation and support of everything we do a key element in the process of controlling your destiny and achieving mastery in your personal and professional life.

The most valuable asset you can possess is a positive attitude toward your life. It isn’t how much you know about maintaining a positive attitude that’s important; it’s how well, and how consistently, you put that knowledge to use.

From "Attitude is Everything" by Keith Harrell


“I’m passionate about the preparation. Each week, it’s starting over with a new opponent. Getting in there on a Sunday and watching film. The whole process of getting to know each team, who their best players are and what they do well. It’s always a different challenge. I also love the feelings of running through that tunnel before games. You’re nervous, you’re excited.”

-Eli Manning

Saturday, October 10, 2009


The following passage comes from Denis Waitley:

In 1644, a child was born. He lived to be 93 at a time in history when the average life span was but 35 to 40. He taught himself his trade and began his career. He often worked alone with primitive tools, but his focus every day was to put the best he had into his work. The man made violins. He labored over each and every process and step to ensure that he had “autographed” them with excellence and the best that was in him. He created his own personal standard of excellence for his craft, and he actually signed his name on each instrument that passed the test.

Today, some three hundred years later, the name of this craftsman who was committed to excellence is the benchmark for the best in musical instruments.

His name? Antonio Stradivari! His Stradivarius violins sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars because they are the best.

When Stradivari labored, he did not know of the legacy he was creating. He was doing his best, day in and day out, to reach his standard of excellence. He didn’t spend the extra time and care to get the accolades of upper management or to be the top producer in the company. He did it because excellence was part of his focus, mission, and obsession.

It is easy to do world-class work when a boss is looking or a supervisor is around. But the test is in what you do when no one is looking. High achievers have developed the ability to stay focused when no one else is around. Does your quality or performance fluctuate based on who is in the office or which customer you are serving? Excellence is not something that you can just turn on and off whenever you feel you need it. It is a habit rooted in your attitude about your life and career.

Are you just going through the motions day to day, or are you creating a masterpiece?

Autographs are valuable because they are rare and are tied to excellent performance. In today’s world, superior effort and service are becoming endangered species. Is the autograph you place on your work and service each day a Stradivarius or a Michael Jordan? Or is it unknown, with little value? Autograph your career and your life with excellence.

Having a firm commitment to excellence, like Stradivari, has an amazing effect on your achievement motivation. When people who are simply going through the motions or who are just working for a paycheck hit a challenge or obstacle, they often run to their boss and get him or her to do it, or they procrastinate by getting a cup of coffee or shuffling the papers on their desk. On the other hand, when individuals who are committed to excellence hit a similar challenge, they immediately bounce back with energy, and they are actually exhilarated by the chance to stretch themselves to overcome the problem. A commitment to excellence will create focus, and focus will assist you in maintaining your positive motivation and in creating a balanced life.
So, start today and autograph your work with excellence!


“Everyday when I drive home to my house, there is a basketball court there, and sometimes I’ll just pull over and see how the kids are playing the game. It brings back memories of me out there. Having a dream of one day I’ll be able to play in the NBA and going up against the world champions or something like that. For me to pull up and see those kids still having that dream and still doing the things that I did when I was young … that brings back the memories of my childhood. I see a couple jerseys (with my name and number). That’s the ultimate prize, I can recall growing up in the Michael Jordan jersey. To see little kids wearing my jersey. I don’t let them see me, I creep up and just look at their reactions. Kids really care about the game. You can tell; they are out there yelling. ‘This is Michael Jordan doing this and doing that.’ I can recall I used to do that also. In the backyard I was Scottie Pippen 24/7. I was doing it all. Just to creep up and not be noticed and to see the kids and the love and passion they have for the game of basketball, it reminds me of who I am right now. I’m 24, but in the heart I’m still a kid and still love the game. I still love going up against guys like Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, who I admire.”

-Antawn Jamison

Thursday, October 8, 2009


United States track start Wilma Rudolph, winner of three gold medals in the 1960 Rome Olympics, was asked which medal was her favorite. “My favorite gold medal?” she responded. “That’s an easy question. It was the relay, because I won that with my Tennessee State Tigerbelle teammates, and we could celebrate together.”

From "Teamwork Makes the Dream Work" by John Maxwell

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


"I normally get to school between 7 and 7:30. Michael (Jordan) would be at school before I would. Every time I'd come in and open these doors, I'd hear the basketball. Fall, wintertime, summertime. Most mornings I had to run Michael out of the gym."

-Rudy Sutton
PE Teacher at Laney High School (Wilmington, NC)

Sunday, October 4, 2009


It was interesting last night while watching the Arkansas-Texas A&M football game, that ESPN mentioned "The Team Captain's Leadership Manual" by Jeff Janssen. It's an outstanding book that has been a part of our Lady Tiger program for many years, having been written in 2004. It is a great book in that it has crossover appeal for athletes in any sport on any level. It goes into great detail on the many areas of leadership for student-athletes as well as how coaches can help develop those traits. It is complete with worksheets as well.

Here is but a very small sample of some of the things that Jeff shares in helping us develop leaders/captains:

Being a leader is a big privilege, challenge, and responsibility. To do your job effectively, you must bring out the best in your teammates and be able to deal with them when they are at their worst. Your success depends on your ability to develop and master the Six “R’s” of Respected Team Leaders. As you read through them below, honestly evaluate yourself on how well you fulfill each of the six important responsibilities.

All leadership begins with self leadership. People will respect you as a leader only if you can walk your own talk and lead yourself effectively. You must model the commitment and work ethic you expect from your teammates. You must have confidence that you can achieve your team’s goals. You must maintain your composure when the inevitable storms of adversity strike. And you must do the right thing even when it isn’t the popular or convenient choice to make. You must continually model the attitudes and actions you want to see from your teammates.

As a team leader, you must frequently remind your teammates about what is important - your common goal, your game plan, going to class, and making smart choices. Remind your teammates that all of the commitments and sacrifices they are making now are really investments in your team’s success and their future. Remind them that the time they spend practicing, studying, getting involved in internships, and doing community service will pay off immeasurably in the long run.

You’ll also spend a lot of time reinforcing the positive strides your teammates make. Be sure to compliment them often to build their confidence and fuel a positive momentum and environment on your team. It’s surprising how fragile confidence can be for some of your teammates. It’s amazing what a simple word of encouragement can do for them coming from you. As Mother Teresa once said, “Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Acknowledge and appreciate your teammates often as a way to reinforce the positive things they do.

Because there are so many obstacles, setbacks, and adversities involved in every season and school year, you will need to reassure your teammates when they feel nervous, scared, frustrated, helpless, and hopeless. Give them a sense of hope and optimism even if your team has lost three in a row. Let them know with the right amount of rehab and rest that they can recover from that frustrating injury. As your mom once told you, you need to reassure your teammates that the sun will come up tomorrow.

Your teammates will get distracted often over their careers. With the countless temptations and distractions available to college student-athletes like alcohol, computer games, parties, television, cell phones, gambling, etc., it’s no wonder that some people lose their focus. It is easy for your teammates to get their priorities out of whack. A leader’s primary job is to establish a vision for the team and then continually refocus the team back on the vision when they get distracted. Put simply, your job is to keep “the main thing” the main thing. For their sakes and yours, help your teammates refocus back on to what’s important when they begin to stray athletically, academically, and socially.

Last but not least, you must be willing to constructively confront and reprimand your teammates when necessary. You must hold them accountable to live up to and maintain your team’s and athletic department’s rules and standards. Confronting your less disciplined teammates is often an uncomfortable and sometimes scary task for most student-athlete leaders but one that must be done if your team and athletic department are going to be successful. Part of being a leader is getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. You must have the courage to constructively confront your teammates who aren’t willing to do the right thing. You may not be liked all the time when you hold your teammates accountable, but you will be respected, which is much more important anyway.

Find out a lot more about Jeff at:

You can also sign up a few newsletter at this site while looking at all the other means he has available to help us as coaches


1. Never nag, razz or criticize a teammate.
2. Never expect favors.
3. Never make excuses.
4. Never be selfish, jealous, envious, or egotistical.
5. Never lose faith or patience.
6. Never waste time.
7. Never loaf, sulk, or boast.
8. Never require repeated criticism for the same mistake.
9. Never have reason to be sorry afterward.

From "The Essential Wooden" by John Wooden & Steve Jamison

Saturday, October 3, 2009


"The thing that separates good players from great ones is mental attitude. It might only make a difference of two or three points in an entire match but how you play those key points often makes the difference between winning and losing. If the mind is strong you can do almost anything you want."

-Chris Evert


"The way I see it, if I put two hours in by myself, then someone who is working out with somebody else has to put in four hours in order to beat me. That's the way I've always gone about it."

-Larry Bird

Friday, October 2, 2009


Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith:

“Winning is the ultimate prize and it takes hard work to achieve it. But it’s hard to win without having a passion for the game. You need that passion to make you play harder in the fourth quarter, when you’re dead tired. You need that passion on fourth-and-1 from the goal line. You need that passion to workout in the off-season, when you’d rather be playing with your kids.”

Thursday, October 1, 2009



“Greatness is not about someone who has the ability to be great…Greatness shows up when someone might not have the ability but finds a way to succeed. They outwork their opponents, they outhit their opponents, they outfight their opponents. They want it more. Don’t give me the guy who’s supposed to be all-world and you’ve got to try and talk him into something. Give me the guy who has maybe just enough talent to be on the field but thinks he’s great, and who’s willing to do whatever he can do to contribute, to make the team better. That’s what I want…”

-Mike Singletary
Head Coach San Francisco 49ers


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time leading scoring with 38,387 points. He won an NBA record 6 MVP awards. But more importantly to him is the fact that he won 6 NBA championships. He still holds many UCLA records but what he cherishes is three NCAA titles. In high school, his team won 71 consecutive games. He is obviously one of the greatest players to have played the game, but he is also one of the games greatest "team players." The following is a testament to his attitude and why he and his teams were so successful:

“I don’t get a big charge out of being
the leading scorer. The object of
competing is winning. I just try to do
what has to be done for us
to win. That might be anything at
the time — defense, rebounding,
passing. I get great satisfaction
out of being a team player.”

NBA Hall-Of-Famer


“There’s a widely held assumption that if players can’t perform at 100 percent, they shouldn’t be asked to perform at all. All I can tell you is that in the National Football League there are very few people at 100 percent three weeks into the season — and that the teams that overcome their collective bruises and sprains are the ones that win.”

-Bill Parcells