Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I was reading "Go For The Gold" by John Maxwell last night and came across his Law of the Inner Circle. He states:

When we see any incredibly gifted person, it's always tempting to believe that talent along made him successful. To think that is to buy in to a lie. Nobody does anything great along.

To practice the Law of the Inner Circle, you must be intentional in your relationship building. As you consider whether individuals should be in your inner circle, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do they have high influences with others?
2. Do they possess strengths in my areas of weakness?
3. Do they add value to me and my organizations?
4. Do they positively impact other inner circle members?

This has been a big topic for me this spring with our student-athletes. We have been talking to them about the art of successful people hang around successful people and this union helps both sides to fuel each other.

Several decades ago I took a basketball coaching class from the late Stu Aberdeen at Marshall University. One of his primary teachings was that to be successful, you should hunt out the best of what you want to be and learn from them. If you want to be a lawyer, search one out, befriend him and ask him to mentor you. He gave several examples but it hit me hard that if I wanted to be a coach that I should search some out to teach me how to best become one. As an 18-year old college freshman, I hooked up with some of the best high schools coaches I could find in Doug McElwain and Ron Chambers at Winfield High School and my former junior high coach Allen Osborne. I told them of my desire to be a coach and asked them to teach me -- and that's exactly what they did. Over 30 years ago they are still an influence in my teaching and coaching and I still talk them often about major decisions.

As I got into college coaching I zeroed in on Don Meyer who for some reason took me under his wing and taught me a great deal and allowed me to elevate myself as a coach.

I would add to Coach Aberdeen's philosophy of "if you want to be a coach, search one out, befriend him and ask them to teach you." Be more specific. "I want to be an outstanding girls high school basketball coach." Or, "I want to be a high school coach that plays great man to man defense." Be specific about your vision to find the best mentor.

We are talking to our team a great deal about this subject. We are working to get them to understand that to be the best student possible, go study with a good student -- not a buddy. If you are going to war are you going to pick friends alone or are you going to select the best possible warriors.

By selection who you associate with, you are actually "selecting your own team." You should find somebody that will work with your and push you and help you achieve more than you would by yourself or with others that are equal or less to you in terms of talent and commitment.

At LSU, we occasionally use men to come in and play with our women's team. We might utilize them in some drills and or in scrimmage situations. The men are better -- a little taller, a little quicker, a little stronger. We do that to stretch our team -- to encourage them play a little above what they would play when playing against weaker competition. And we want them to do that in all facets of their lives.
In shooting, we have our women shoot from the men's 3-point line. On certain days, we may work from the NBA 3-point line. All in effort to "stretch our range."

As a student-athlete, what are you doing on a daily basis to "stretch your range." Who are you associating with on a regular basis to improve in areas that are important to your growth?

The answer will usually show a direct correlation in your commitment (or lack thereof) to be the best you can be.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Nothing can motivate a person like adversity. Olympic diver Pat McCormick discusses the point: "I think failure is one of the great motivators. After my narrow loss in the 1948 trials, I knew how really good I could be. It was the defeat that focused all my concentration on my training and goals." McCormick went on to win two gold medals in the Olympics in Helsinki in 1952 and another two in Melbourne four years later.

From "Go For Gold," by John Maxwell

Thursday, May 20, 2010


The race goes not always to the swift but to those who keep running. You have powers you never dreamed of. You are capable of doing things you never thought possible. There are no limitations on what you can do.

From Creighton Burn's newsletter (May 19, 2010)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


"If there is a secret to making the most
out of each practice, it is this:
Enjoy the drills that
improve your skills."

-Joe Montana-

Monday, May 17, 2010


What if someone came to you and offered to deposit $86,400 into your bank account every morning? Wouldn’t that be heavenly!

There’s only one catch: You must wisely spend or invest the entire amount every day. Any squandering of the money is not acceptable. Nothing can be carried over, and anything left in the account will be lost to you at midnight. Of course, another $86,400 will be deposited the following morning.

What would you do in this situation? You would be sure to spend all of the money or invest it wisely.

Well, this happens to you every day. Only the gift is not measured in dollars and cents; it is measured in time. You are given 86,400 seconds every day. How you use them is up to you. You can squander the time and lose its benefit, or you can invest it wisely and be rewarded. Don’t live a squandered life. Since you have only one life to give, live it well! What separates a futile life from a fruitful one? Your attitude. Your attitude will be the difference between existing and living!

From "Attitudes That Attract Success" by Wayne Cordeiro

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Thanks to Coach Eric Musselman for this list from Jon Gordon's book, "Training Camp."

1. When you face a setback, think of it as a defining moment that will lead to a future accomplishment.

2. When you encounter adversity, remember, the best don’t just face adversity; they embrace it, knowing it’s not a dead end but a detour to something greater and better.

3. When you face negative people, know that the key to life is to stay positive in the face of negativity, not in the absence of it. After all, everyone will have to overcome negativity to define themselves and create their success.

4. When you face the naysayers, remember the people who believed in you and spoke positive words to you.

5. When you face critics, remember to tune them out and focus only on being the best you can be.

6. When you wake up in the morning, take a morning walk of gratitude and prayer. It will create a fertile mind ready for success.

7. When you fear, trust. Let your faith be greater than your doubt.

8. When you fail, find the lesson in it, and then recall a time you have succeeded.

9. When you head into battle, visualize success.

10. When you are thinking about the past or worrying about the future, instead focus your energy on the present moment. The now is where your power is the greatest.

11. When you want to complain, instead identify a solution.

12. When your own self-doubt crowds your mind, weed it and replace it with positive thoughts and positive self-talk.

13. When you feel distracted, focus on your breathing, observe your surroundings, clear your mind, and get into the The Zone. The Zone is not a random event. It can be created.

14. When you feel all is impossible, know that with God, all things are possible.

15. When you feel alone, think of all the people who have helped you along the way and who love and support you now.

16. When you feel lost, pray for guidance.

17. When you are tired and drained, remember to never, never, never give up. Finish strong in everything you do.

18. When you feel like you can’t do it, know that you can do all things through Him who gives you strength.

19. When you feel like your situation is beyond your control, pray and surrender. Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.

20. When you’re in a high pressure situation and the game is on the line, and everyone is watching you, remember to smile, have fun, and enjoy it. Life is short; you only live once. You have nothing to lose. Seize the moment.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Thanks to Coach Eric Musselman for this material from Jim Calhoun's Guide to Becoming a Better Basketball Player:

* Surround yourself with people who make you a better person, who challenge you by their expectations.

* Don't believe the lie that character and courage only count between the lines on the court. They count in everything you do.

* Never forget the lasting power of poor judgment and the awful power of drugs and alcohol to mess up your life and your opportunities.

* Never underestimate your ability to control your own self-image,and to crush the stereotypes that people might have about you.

* Don't be misled about the real reason you are in school. Your education is the key to success in life--never forget that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


A man spoke with the Lord about heaven and hell. The Lord said to the man, “Come, I will show you hell.” They entered a room where a group of people sat around a huge pot of stew. Everyone was famished, desperate and starving. Each held a spoon that reached the pot, but each spoon had a handle so much longer than their own arm that it couldn’t be used to get the stew into their own mouths. The suffering was terrible.

“Come, now I will show you heaven,” the Lord said after a while. They entered another room, identical to the first — the pot of stew, the group of people, the same long-handled spoons. But everyone was happy and well-nourished.

“I don’t understand,” said the man. “Why are they happy here when they were miserable in the other room and everything was the same?”

The Lord smiled. “Ah, it is simple,” he said. “Here they have learned to feed each other.”

Saturday, May 1, 2010


"It's the repetition of affirmations
that leads to belief. And once that belief
becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen."

-Muhammad Ali-