Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Not that Kobe Bryant never loses, but beat him at your own risk. Decline a rematch and . . . well, that's not an option. "If you scored on him in practice or did something to embarrass him, he would just keep on challenging you and challenging you until you stayed after and played him so he could put his will on you and dominate you," says Shaw, Bryant's teammate from 1999 to 2003. This included not allowing players to leave the court. Literally. "He'd stand in our way and say, 'Nah, nah, we're gonna play. I want you to do that [move] again,' " Shaw says. "And you might be tired and say, 'Nah, I did it in practice.' But he was just relentless and persistent until finally you'd go play, and he'd go at you."

From a Sports Illustrated article by Chris Ballard

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Another personal attitude of success is the desire to be a competitor. Surprising as it may seem, many top-level players shy from the desire to be “the man” when the game is on the line. One of the ingredients of becoming a clutch performer is the ability to muster mental toughness in the most tense situations. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says, “When I come to bat in a pivotal spot, I want people to say, ‘Uh-oh, here he comes.’” Jeter wants that responsibility of being considered “the man.” In 1941, Ted Williams told Time magazine, “Naw, there ain’t no tension for me hitting in the clutch. I’d like to have the bases loaded every time I come up.” In contrast, Raul Mondesi with the Dodgers in 1999 did not want the challenge of hitting in the cleanup spot, projecting an attitude of “I can’t hit in the fourth spot.” The result was, he didn’t.

From, "Mental Toughness: Baseball’s Winning Edge" by Karl Kuehl, John Kuehl, and Casey Tefertiller

Thursday, August 26, 2010



One of my most favorite inspirational examples about persistence is the story of an Asian Bamboo species that even after five years of watering, weeding, and fertilizing is barely visible. Then, in a span of about six weeks, it grows two and a half feet a day to 90 feet and higher. It grows so fast that you can literally “hear” it growing. The question to ask is did the bamboo grow 90 feet in six weeks or did it grow 90 feet in five years? Obviously it grew 90 feet in five years, for all the time when growth wasn’t visible it was developing a massive root system that would later support its magnificent growth.

Day by Day with James Allen by Vic Johnson

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


"Confidence doesn't come out
of nowhere. It's a result of
something ... hours and days
and weeks and years of constant
work and dedication."

-Roger Staubach-


In this post, Brian Tracy talks about how we view ourselves and the utiliziation of that vision in striving for excellence:

Your self-concept is made up of three parts, each of which affects each of the others. Understanding these three parts enables you to put your hands on the keyboard of your own mental computer. When you learn to take charge of the development of a new and positive self-concept of selling, you can then control your sales destiny for the rest of your career.

Determine Your Direction
The first part of the self-concept is the "self-ideal." Your self-ideal largely determines the direction in which you are going with your life. It guides the growth and evolution of your character and personality. Your self-ideal is a combination of all of the qualities and attributes of other people that you most admire. Your self-ideal is a description of the person you would very much like to be if you could embody the qualities that you most aspire to.

Strive Toward Excellence
Throughout your life, you have seen and read about the qualities of courage, confidence, compassion, love, fortitude, perseverance, patience, forgiveness and integrity. Over time, these qualities have instilled in you an ideal to which you aspire. You might not always live up to the very best that you know, but you are constantly striving to be a better person in light of those qualities that you value so highly. In fact, everything that you do on a day-to-day basis is affected by your comparing your activities with these ideal qualities and your striving to behave consistently with them.

Clarity is Essential
Successful salespeople have very clear ideals for themselves and their careers. Unsuccessful salespeople have fuzzy ideals. Successful salespeople are very clear about being excellent in every part of their work and their personal lives. Unsuccessful salespeople don't give the subject very much thought. One of the primary characteristics of successful men and women in every walk of life is that they have very clearly defined ideals and they are very aware of whether or not their current behaviors are consistent with their idealized behaviors.

Set Challenging Goals
Part of your ideals are your goals. As you set higher and more challenging goals, your self-ideal improves and crystallizes. When you set goals for the kind of person you want to be and the kind of life you want to live, your self-ideal rises and becomes a greater guiding and motivating force in your life.

Your Future is Unlimited
Perhaps the most important thing for you to realize is that whatever anyone else has done or become, you can do or become as well. Improvements in your self-ideal begin in your imagination, and in your imagination, there are no limits except the ones that you accept.

What is your ideal vision of the very best person you could possibly become? How would you behave each day if you were already that person? Asking yourself these questions and then living your life consistent with the answers is the first step to creating yourself in your ideal image.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, dream big dreams. Set big, exciting, challenging goals and ideals for yourself in every part of your life. Allow yourself to imagine a wonderful life ahead.

Second, think about how you would act if you were an outstanding person in every way. Then, practice being this person, as though you were acting a role in a play. You'll immediately notice a difference in your behavior.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


There's a rodeo bull rider I know, a fellow named Tuff Hedeman. He's won three world championships in his sport, which is very difficult to do; he's the Joe Montana of bull riders. After he won his third one, Tuff didn't rest his bull rope to party or go to Disney World or hit the talk-show circuit. He just moved his gear on to Denver where the title hunt would start all over again...and as Tuff said:

"The bull won't care what I did last week."

From "Finding A Way To Win" by Bill Parcells

Monday, August 23, 2010


"Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even."

- Muhammad Ali

Sunday, August 22, 2010



The following comes from "Success Is A Journey" by Brian Tracy:

The key to success is for you to set one great, challenging goal and then to pay any price, overcome any obstacle and persist through any difficulty until you finally achieve it.

By achieving one important goal, you create a pattern, a template for success in your subconscious mind. Ever after you will be automatically directed and driven toward repeating that success in other things that you attempt. By overcoming adversity and achieving one great objective, you will program yourself for success in life.

In other words, you learn to succeed by succeeding. The more you achieve, the more you can achieve.

You can accomplish almost any goal that you set for yourself if you persist long enough and work hard enough. The only one who can stop you is yourself. And you learn to persist by persisting in the face of great adversity when everyone around you is quitting and ever fiber of your being screams at you to quit as well.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Written by Mike Wells at Indy.com:

Tyler Hansbrough works hard. Maybe you’ve heard.

His game days began with an early morning visit to Whole Foods to load up on organic meals. There was also the protein shake.

Hansbrough had a Reggie Miller-like pregame shooting routine. Five hundred shots, from various positions on the court. Mid-range jumpers. Three-pointers. Turnaround jumpers. Various low-post moves. Five straight makes in some spots, eight in others. Miss, start over.

He usually followed 20 points, 10 rebounds and a victory with an assortment of stretching exercises and an ice bath to help quicken his body’s recovery time before calling it a night.

“I’ve had a routine I’ve done for four years,” Hansbrough said. “I’m kind of superstitious.”

Read the entire article: http://bit.ly/ckgHEm

Thursday, August 19, 2010


“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie. First I ‘see’ where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes, and I ‘see’ the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there’s sort of a fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”

-Jack Nicklaus

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The benefits of positive attitudes are:
· Enhanced optimism and positive expectation.
· High positive energy.
· Higher levels of confidence: you are likely to trust yourself, not thinking too much or giving too much effort.
· Better concentration.
· Better decisions: viewing possibilities instead of obstacles.
· Better learning.
· Greater determination and commitment, with a “can-do attitude” and a refusal to give up easily.
· Greater happiness and peace of mind.
· Enhanced perseverance.
· A greater willingness to accept challenges.

From "Mental Toughness: Baseball’s Winning Edge" by Karl Kuehl, John Kuehl, and Casey Tefertiller


“A winner is someone who
recognizes his God-given talents,
works his tail off to develop
them into skills,
and uses these skills
to accomplish his goals.”

-Larry Bird-

Saturday, August 14, 2010


A great post by Rick Warren on serving faithfully and continually -- can you always be counted on -- by your coach, your teammates, you family!

"Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!"
-Matthew 25:23

Faithfulness has always been a rare quality (Psalm 12:1; Proverbs 20:6; Philippians 2:19-22).

Most people don't know the meaning of commitment. They make commitments casually, then break them for the slightest reason without any hesitation, remorse, or regret. Every week, churches and other organizations must improvise because volunteers didn't prepare, didn't show up, or didn't even call to say they weren't coming.

Can you be counted on by others? Are there promises you need to keep, vows you need to fulfill, or commitments you need to honor?

This is a test. God is testing your faithfulness. If you pass the test, you're in good company: Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Daniel, Timothy, and Paul were all called faithful servants of God.

Even better, God has promised to reward your faithfulness in eternity. Imagine what it will feel like one day to have God say to you, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!" (Matthew 25:23).By the way, faithful servants never retire. They serve faithfully as long as they're alive.


This comes from www.sportleadership.com and will make it into our team notebook this year.

Dear Team Captain:

As a team leader your task is to evoke excellence in others. Great leaders are eager to help someone else improve at what he or she wants to do. The key question you should ask on a daily basis is "How do I contribute to a teammate's competence in a respectful, dignified, and effective way." The answers will help you become an effective team leader.

Here are five core concerns that you should be aware of as you work to build respectful relationships with your teammates.
Concern #1: Appreciation
Every member of your team wants to know that their thoughts, feelings, and actions are valued by the coaches and teammates. Everyone on the team puts in a tremendous amount of time and energy to achieve shared goals. Try to find ways to show your teammates appreciation for their commitment to the team. Encourage teammates to demonstrate appreciation for each other.

Concern #2: Association
Your teammates wants to be treated as an integral part of something meaningful. They want to be valued by teammates and not excluded from team functions away from the playing field. That is, each student-athlete will make a deeper commitment to the team when they feel a strong sense of association.
Unfortunately, sport teams all too often breed an in-group out-group mentality. Injuries too can seem alienating to team members. When teammates can't participate because of injuries be sure to keep them close to you and the rest of the team.
Concern #3: Self-Management
Student-athletes want to be respected for their ability to make decisions in their best interest. Most of your teammates will possess a desire to be self-directing. However, this does not mean they don't want your help. It just means you need to help them set their direction and stay on course.
Concern #4: Status
Every team member is concerned with his or her status on the team and their "relative position" to teammates. Bench players, in particular, want to be given recognition and not to be treated as inferior to others. While it is generally evident who the best players are on the playing field, the contributions others make in the various roles should not be relegated to second-class status by you and your teammates.

Concern #5: Role
Each of your teammates desires a role to play and truly wants that role to be fulfilling. It's common for athletes to perceive their role in an ambiguous way. Through patience your guidance can help teammates understand, accept, and grow in their respective role. You can point the way by helping teammates make sense of their role on and off the playing field. Your teammates will be seeking and serving in a variety of roles throughout the season. Some more vital than others. Always pay attention to your teammates and help them to find value in their role.

In summary, each teammate will have a different perception of how his or her 5 Core Concerns are being met. Perceptions should be visible in their various behaviors, attitudes, emotional reactions and thought patterns. Your leadership task is to continually work at identifying underlying problems and find solutions. This is best done when you actively engage in honest conversation with your teammates building solid relationships. Great leaders care to know their teammates.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Each day, as a student-athlete, you make personal choices that help define who are you are and what you want to be. Because you are part of a team, often those choices you make can effect not just you but your teammates as well. It should be a enough to motivate you to give thought to those decisions and to understand why it is so important to your future. Here is what the late Jim Rohn has to day about this topic:

Personal success is built on the foundation of character, and character is the result of hundreds and hundreds of choices you may make that gradually turn who you are at any given moment into who you want to be. If that decision-making process is not present, you'll still be somebody-you'll still be alive-but you may have a personality rather than a character, and to me that's something very different.

Character isn't something you were born with and can't change, like your fingerprints. It's something you must take responsibility for forming. You build character by how you respond to what happens in your life, whether it's winning every game, losing every game, getting rich or dealing with hard times.

You build character from certain qualities that you must create and diligently nurture within yourself, just like you would plant and water a seed or gather wood to build a campfire. You've got to look for those things in your heart and in your gut. You've got to chisel away in order to find them, just like chiseling away rock to create the sculpture that previously existed only in the imagination.

But the really amazing thing about character is that, if you're sincerely committed to making yourself into the person you want to be, you'll not only create those qualities, you'll strengthen them and re-create them in abundance, even as you're drawing on them every day of your life. That's why building your character is vital to becoming all you can be.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


"We're OK with guys coming to Purdue expecting to make it to the pros but they have to understand that you get to be a pro by making your team win. Coaches are looking for players who make their team better. It's true for college coaches looking at high school players and it's true for NBA coaches looking at college players."

Head Coach Purdue University

Monday, August 9, 2010


Terrell Owens made the following comment this past week on why he is no longer with the Dallas Cowboys:

"By no means do I feel that I left that team because of talent. Obviously, there have to be some other factors."

Really? You think? It is incredible that an athlete of his special athletic gifts has been unable to master the other parts of his game like attitude and teamwork. He is a living example of the theory that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.

Without question he has made a great deal of money and compiled some strong numbers but will he be satisfied years from now with his true legacy.

He could benefit from reading John Maxwell's "Talent Is Not Enough." The follow quote lends one to believe he is not learned the necessary lessons yet:

"Again, I still stand by the things that I said and what was done," said Owens. "I know that honestly it wasn't my fault."

JOHN MAXWELL: "But truth be told, being a winner, in the purest sense of the word, has nothing to do with your performance, your salary, or your earning potential. It has to do with your value and whether or not you have owned it."

Sunday, August 8, 2010


"Let's assume that what is desired in your serve is more power. The next step is to picture your server with more power. One way to do this might be to watch the motion of someone who gets a lot of power in his serve. Don't over analyze; simply absorb what you see and try to feel what he feels. Listen to the sound of the ball after it hits the racket and watch the results. Then take some time to imagine yourself hitting the ball with power, using the stroke which is in as much visual and tactile detail as you can. Hear the sound at impact and see the ball speed toward the service court."

From "The Inner Game of Tennis" by W. Timothy Gallwey
(Recommended reading by Pete Carroll)


TAMIKA CATCHINGS: "I've played all over the world in many different countries and with many different teams. When I leave those places, I don't know if I'll ever see those people again. So I want them to remember that I had a certain kind of strength about me and that I lived by my Christian principles. Whether I'm playing in Korea, Russia, Turkey or right here in the United State, my faithfulness to my values boils down to one huge question pose by Coach Wooden: Will I compromise my integrity when temptation is great?"

COACH WOODEN: "Loyalty is the foundational quality that gets us through hard times. Will we compromise our integrity when temptation is great? Or will we remain loyal to our beliefs and core values? I wanted my players to become people of integrity. When we have integrity, we are not going to do anything that will be demeaning to anybody else, either on or off the court. And with integrity, we will never consider letting our teammates down."

From "The Greatest Coach Ever" by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


From Brian Tracy, author of "Goals" --

Only 3% of adults have clear, written, specific, measurable, time-bounded goals, and by every statistic, they accomplish ten times as much as people with no goals at all. Why is it then that most people have no goals?

Myth One: “I already have goals; I don’t need to set any.” People who say this also say that their goals are to be rich, thin, happy, successful, and live their dreams. Buy these are not goals, they are wishes and fantasies common to all mankind. A goal is like a beautiful home, carefully designed, revised continually, upgraded regularly, and worked on constantly. If it is not in writing, it is merely a dream or a wish, a vague objective with no energy behind it.

Myth Two: “I don’t need goals; I’m doing fine.” Living your life without goals and objectives is setting off across unknown territory with no road signs and no road map. You have no choice but to make it up as you go along, reacting and responding to whatever happens, and hoping for the best. If you are doing well today without written goals and plans, you could probably be doing many times better in the future if you had clear targets to aim at and the ability to measure your progress as you go along. It is vital to have goal setting objectives.

Myth Three: “I don’t need written goals; I have them all in my mind.” The average stream of consciousness includes about 1,500 thoughts a minute. If your goals are only in your mind, they are invariably jumbled up, vague, confused, contradictory and deficient in many ways. They offer no clarity and give you no motive power. You become like a ship without a rudder, drifting with the tides, crashing into the rocks inevitably and never really fulfilling your true potential.

Myth Four: “I don’t know how to set goals.” No wonder. You can take a Masters degree at a leading university and never receive a single hour of instruction on goal setting and achieving. Fortunately, setting a goal is a skill, like time management, teaching, selling, managing, or anything else that you need to become a highly productive and effective person. And all skills are learnable. You can learn the skill of goal-setting by practice and repetition until it becomes as easy and as automatic as breathing. And from the very first day that you begin setting goals, the progress you will make and the successes you will enjoy will astonish you.

Myth Five: “Goals don’t work; life is too unpredictable.” When a plane takes off for a distant city, it will be off course 99% of the time. The complexity of the avionics and the skill of the pilots are focused on continual course corrections. It is the same in life. But when you have a clear, long-term goal, with specific plans to achieve it, you may have to change course many times, but you will eventually arrive at your destination of health, wealth and great success.

One last point. Goal setting has been called the master skill of success. You have two choices in life: You can either work on your own goals, or you can work for someone else, and work on achieving their goals. When you learn the master skill, you take complete control of your life and jump to the front of the line in your potential for great achievement.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


There are two conflicting mentalities in any organization: to have and to be.

People with a to have mentality are obsessed with what they can get out of their jobs: a bigger salary, and all that it can buy; promotions and status; recognition and fame.

People with a to be mentality concentrate on what they can give to the organization: their best efforts to help the team succeed.

From "Finding A Way to Win" by Bill Parcells

Sunday, August 1, 2010


"Find a mentor. No matter who you are or what your profession is, we all need someone who can keep us grounded and speak truth into our lives. Find people who have built their lives on a solid foundation, and humble yourself to learn from them. I’ve never known a successful athlete, business person, or anyone else who has made an impact on the world who didn’t stand on the shoulders of other great men and women."

From "Coming Back Strong" by Drew Brees