Wednesday, June 30, 2010


The first Bulls practice after Jordan made his comeback to basketball in 1995 ended with Michael walking to the baseline on his own, and running windsprints,” described Pat Williams. “Without a word, all eleven of his teammates joined in.”

Somebody asked Jordan, after he won his fifth championship in 1997 why he’d bother to keep playing. “Because,” he said, “I still think I can get better.”

The day after the now-immortalized ‘Sick Game’ in Utah, Jordan spent ninety minutes in the game.

The team would stumble into a hotel on the road at two or three in the morning and sometimes Jordan would want to work out then. Other days, when he had exhausted himself during afternoon practices, he would wake up early and be in the gym by 6 a.m., four hours before the team began regular workouts.


From "Attitude is Everything" by Keith Harrell. The key with this list is that all of these focus on things that have yet to happen. In other words, the person with the bad attitude baggage if focusing only on possibilities and not living and working in the now. Do you find yourself guilty of any of these? Make sure you are concentrating on the job at hand -- be concerned only with the process and don't worry about any other possibilities. Here is Harrell's list of 3 types of bad attitude baggage:
"If-Only" Baggage
The first piece of bad attitude baggage many people carry around is marked If only. This is baggage that has to do with the past. It is often full of unfinished business, plans that went awry, or hurt feelings that have not healed. It’s heavy stuff. Most of the time it will not fit in the overhead compartment.

"What-Now" Baggage
This emotional baggage is packed under pressure of the present. It is heavy with stress and weighty expectations. It sometimes comes packed with good news as well as bad news, but the person carrying it chooses a negative response rather than a positive one. As a result, otherwise able-bodied men and women become paralyzed.

"What-If" Baggage
The third type of negative emotional baggage people commonly carry around is labeled What-if. It is usually packed with worries about the future, which result when people think about the potential problems ahead rather than the potential opportunities.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


We get a daily inspirational email from Rick Warren and this one is very important for those who want to be successful in any facet of their life. The longer you live, the more you will discover that the key to success will come from your ability to handle defeat and setbacks. Former LSU men's basketball coach Dale Brown used to call hit your FQ -- your failure quotient. He said it was more important than you IQ. Here is what Warren says about you ability to keep pushing forward:

So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

There are many things that work to keep us from completing our life-missions. Over the years, I’ve debated whether the worst enemy is procrastination or discouragement. If Satan can’t get us to put off our life missions, then he’ll try to get us to quit altogether.
The apostle Paul teaches that we need to resist discouragement: “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up …” (Galatians 6:9 NLT). Do you ever get tired of doing what’s right? I think we all do. Sometimes it seems easier to do the wrong thing than the right thing.

When we’re discouraged, we become ineffective. When we’re discouraged, we work against our own faith.
When I’m discouraged, I’m saying, “It can’t be done.” That’s the exact opposite of saying, “I know God can do it because he said ….”
Ask yourself these questions:
.....How do I handle failure?

.....When things don’t go my way, do I get grumpy?

.....When things don’t go my way, do I get frustrated?

.....When things don’t go my way, do I start complaining?

.....Do I finish what I start?

.....How would I rate on persistence?

If you’re discouraged, don’t give up without a fight. Nothing worthwhile ever happens without endurance and energy.

When an artist starts to create a sculpture, he has to keep chipping away. He doesn’t hit the chisel with the hammer once, and suddenly all the excess stone falls away revealing a beautiful masterpiece. He keeps hitting it and hitting it, chipping away at the stone.

And that’s true of life, too: Nothing really worthwhile ever comes easy in life. You keep hitting it and going after it, and little-by-little your life becomes a masterpiece of God’s grace.The fact is, great people are really just ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of determination.

Great people don’t know how to quit.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


"Someone might have a germ of talent, but 90% of it is discipline and how you practice it, what you do with it. Instinct won't carry you through the entire journey. It's what you do in the moments between inspiration."

--Cate Blanchett, actress


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 naysayer’s, 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 when 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 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.

From "Training Camp" by Jon Gordon

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Here is a few excerpts of a great article written by Don Yaeger for on Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan:

“I came up from small-town Texas,” the Hall of Fame pitcher tells SUCCESS. “And all I knew was to throw as hard as I could for as long as 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 that 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. I had to learn to lean on my mind, not just my body.”

Ryan learned a lesson in those early days of his career that he offers to young pitchers and young businesspeople alike when they ask him for tips on how he remained at the very top of the game for so many years.

“It is important to know that to get to the top and to be successful at the top requires two different skill sets,” says Ryan, who today serves as president of the Texas Rangers. “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 you 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.”

Ryan says he also realized that if he couldn’t control his body, he couldn’t control his arm or the baseball. He also had to control the performance anxiety that made him throw harder instead of smarter.

Many young and talented players climb from obscurity to stardom seemingly overnight, then disappear almost as quickly, Ryan says. “There are lots of folks who make it but can’t stay there and it is because they don’t have the discipline required to keep them up there.”

That is just as true, he says, in business as it is in sports. And many of the lessons he’s learned about longevity can be as helpful to a salesman as to a starting pitcher.

“I know it sounds simple, but if you want to be good at something for a long period of time you have to love what you do,” Ryan says. “I mean really love it. And your family has to love it because just doing your job will become a part of your life.”

“I think it is important to have high expectations of yourself and of those around you,” he says. “If you don’t expect to succeed, you won’t.”

One of Ryan’s greatest strengths is his versatility. He has co-written six books and, after retiring from baseball, he teamed with the U.S. government to promote physical fitness. He has held ownership in a bank and a restaurant. Ryan served on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission for six years (1995-2001). His name was frequently mentioned in the news as a potential candidate for a statewide office in Texas, though he has never run in any race. Other interests include cattle ranching and the beef business.

“Just like on the field, I still have a desire to compete in everything I do,” he says. “If you love to compete, your heart will be in whatever you do. That formula worked for me.”

Read the entire article:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Came across the great article via Jeff Boals, assistant men's coach at Ohio State University, that speaks to Peyton Manning's commitment to annual improvement. How committed are you?

“He’s a very unusual guy,” Coach Jim Caldwell said. “Every year he kind of goes through this process where he and Frank will sit down and they’ll take a look at what he was able to accomplish last year, he’ll look at all his strengths and weaknesses. He’ll review every single snap of every game he played. And not just glancing over it, but I’m talking about detail. They’ll take notes of ever single throw, every single play call, every single check.

“And then from that he’ll go through it and then make a determination on where he thought he could improve on that setting. He’ll dissect his entire season that way and then he’ll set new goals for himself in terms of what he thinks he can accomplish. And he seems to certainly keep moving forward, each and every year you see he gets better… I don’t think there is any limitation on him, on what he can improve upon.”

How long does it take? A week? A couple?

“Months,” Caldwell said. “Plural.”

Read the entire article by Paul Kuharsky:

Sunday, June 13, 2010


“I still love to play; I just love the game. It’s something you can play when you’re mad or upset. Even now I will go and I will just shoot and take my mind off things. When I was younger, if I was mad at my parents because they would not let me go out or I was in trouble for something, that’s what I would do. Pick up a basketball and go shoot. They could not stop me from doing that. It’s a little bit of escapism. If you go and you have a ball and a rim, you take yourself somewhere else, in your mind at least.”



The following comes from the book "Jerry West" by Roland Lazenby. It talks of Jerry West and how he worked on his shot in high school even with a broken arm in a cast:

Stationary in his cast, Jerry West would spend what seemed an interminable amount of time in one spot, shooting the same shot over and over, for hours. He had always hoisted one-handed shots and worked to perfect them. Now he stepped up the pace and made the one-hander his primary shot from each spot that he worked. “Then he would move to another position the next night,” Barbara said. “And I’m just convinced that he became a master shooter because of that. Seeing him shoot, one would see the right arm out and the left with his hand under his elbow, lining up everything. He’s so consistent in his shot.”

In 1992 a reporter walked into the Lakers’ preseason training camp at Klum Gym at the University of Hawaii early in the morning, hours before the first session. There was West, well into his fifties, alone on the court shooting shot after shot, delivering one perfect sixteen-footer after another. The ball would settle through the net and hit the floor with just enough spin that it headed back to West. He hardly had to move to retrieve it. Then he began pausing and studying the goal for an unsettling amount of time between shots. Later the reporter asked him why he was studying the basket so intently, and West said, “Because each goal is different. You have to look at it and figure out what’s different about it.” The reporter later figured that West had sighted the goal probably no fewer than two million times since those grade school days, when he first began lofting a ball at a hoop suspended above the dirt outside his home. And here he was, five decades later, pausing and studying again, as if he were seeing something for the first time, discovering something that others simply couldn’t see. Those moments with the goal were the process of West’s lifetime, the essence of his study of every little detail of the game, his mother’s perfectionism at work.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


“I’ve played a couple of hundred games of
tick-tack-toe with my little daughter,
and she hasn’t beaten me yet.
I’ve always had to win.
I’ve got to win.”
-Bob Gibson-

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


“Some guys play with their heads . That’s okay. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more important, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.”


Saturday, June 5, 2010


"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are."

"Be prepared and be honest."
"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."
"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
"What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player."

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"
"If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes."

"It isn't what you do, but how you do it."

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."

"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."
"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."
"Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."

"The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team."
"Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."

Friday, June 4, 2010


“Associate with those who help you believe in yourself.”
-Brooks Robinson


Darren Hardy of Success Magazine discuss the development of habits:

My dad used Larry Bird as an example to teach me about habits when I was a kid. "Larry Legend" is known as one of the greatest professional basketball players, but he wasn't known for being the most athletically talented player. Nobody would have described Larry as "graceful" on the basketball court. Yet, despite his limited natural athletic ability, he led the Boston Celtics to three world championships and remains one of the best players of all time. How did he do it?

It was Larry's habits—his relentless dedication to practice and to improve his game. Bird was one of the most consistent free-throw shooters in the history of the NBA. Growing up, his habit was to practice five hundred free-throw shots every morning before school. With that kind of discipline, Larry made the most of his God-given talents and kicked the butts of some of the most "gifted" players on the court.

Like Larry Bird, you can condition your automatic and unconscious response to be those of a developed champion. This chapter is about choosing to make up for what you lack in innate ability with discipline, hard work and good habits. It's about becoming a creature of champion habits.

With enough practice and repetition, any behavior, good or bad, becomes automatic over time. That means that even though we developed most of our habits unconsciously (by modeling our parents, responding to environmental or cultural associations, or creating coping mechanisms), we can consciously decide to change them. It stands to reason that since you learned every habit you have, you can also unlearn the ones that aren't serving you well.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Following the announcement of Ken Griffey's retirement yesterday reminded me of a passage I read in Ron White's book, "22 Success Lessons from Baseball." Not only should you work hard, but enjoy the work -- there's no guarantee as to how long the ride will last...

Willie Mayes, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Kirk Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith, Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Buddy Bell, Goose Gossage, “Oil Can” Boyd, “Dizzy” Dean and Jackie Robinson. These are all phenomenal baseball players. They also have one thing in common. There is one thing that is true about every single one of them. They are probably many things, but will you think of this one?

One of the common threads these men possess is that their baseball careers are over and for many of them their lives are over. Each of these men is mortal. Each of these men reached a time in their career when they could no longer compete at a high level because their bodies began to rebel against the work regiment and challenges. Some could no longer throw a ball fast enough to zoom past Major League hitters who seems to be getting younger and younger. Many found themselves swinging too late all too often at pitches they once could hit with ease. Their eyes refused to give them a clear picture of where the ball was going and their legs appeared asleep as they scampered to beat out a slow grounder.

Your time will come, just like it did for the Babe, Lou Gehrig, Nolan Ryan and every other player who set foot on the baseball diamond. One day your flesh and bones will be spent. Make the most of every time at bat and every game. Give it your best every day and when you are done, hope your life shows that you did.
Play fast, play the game right, work hard, touch all the bases, and have fun, because one day, you won’t be able to.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


The following is a conversation with Evander Holyfield in the book, "Three Feet from Gold," by Sharon L. Lechter & Grey S. Reid.

“Okay, Evander, I have got to know—what makes you a better athlete than your competition?”

Holyfield could have dismissed this inquisitive stranger but instead offered an immediate reply: “A higher standard than anyone else.”

“It’s simple really. If you have a car and will not tolerate it being dirty or running badly, you will have a better car than your neighbor. If you see a home where the wife will not accept her husband coming home drunk or the kids being a mess, she will have a better family dynamic. Right?”

“The same applies to sports. I always worked out early, stayed late, and never lost sight of my dream. So much so that we would even come up with new ways to exercise that no one else had thought of. We did this because we had a higher standard than anyone else in the ring. ‘A standard of excellence,’ we called it. And that standard is that I believe allowed me to win a medal at the Olympics along with all the championship belts.”

Then he asked, “But didn’t it hurt getting hit all the time?”

Holyfield looked up and winked. “Look at this face!” Then he added, “I didn’t get hit that much. It’s like this—if you focus on the blows you are receiving, the only place you’ll end up is on your back. I never put much attention on the damage I was getting. I only focused on the damage I was inflicting.”

Greg’s eyes widened as he asked, “Are you saying you never felt the punches?”

“Sure, I felt them,” Holyfield said. “But I never lost my focus on the job at hand. That was to hit my opponent back… but even harder. The same applies to life in general. So many people focus on the hits coming their way. They watch the news that tells them how bad things are; they listen to their friends who are unhappy in life. In other words, they focus on how many blows they are taking, when, in fact, they should change their attention toward fighting back and staying on their toes.”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


The following comes from John Maxwell's "Go For Gold" and speaks to being the type of player that cares deeply about your teammates and the mission of your team.

Bill Russell observed, "The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I'd made teammates play."

Do you consider yourself to be a team player? Answer each of the following questions to see where you stand when it comes to promoting the good of the team:

1. Do I add value to others?

2. Do I add value to the organization?

3. Am I quick to give away the credit when things go right?

4. Do I use my "bench" players as much as I could?

5. Do many people on my team consistently make important decisions?

6. Is our team's emphasis on creating victories more than producing stars?


From Jon Gordon:

Don’t think you know it all. See yourself as a life-long learner who is always seeking ways to learn, grow and improve.
See everyone as a teacher and learn from everyone you meet.
Be open to new ideas and strategies to take your life, school and work to the next level.
When people tell you that you are great don’t let it go to your head. And when they tell you that you stink, don’t let it go to your head.
Live with humility because the minute you think you have arrived at the door of greatness it will get shut in your face.

Follow your passion, continuously improve, and set new goals and milestones.
Seek out new ideas, new strategies and new ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Invest the time, energy, sweat and dedication to be your best and let God do the rest.
Be willing to pay the price that greatness requires. Don’t be average. Strive to be great.
Decide to leave a legacy. Even at a young age it’s important to think about what legacy you want to leave because knowing how you want to be remembered helps you decide how to live today.