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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

THE IMPORTANCE OF AN INTEGRITY

"To be a leader a man must have followers. And to have followers, you must have their confidence. Hence the supreme quality of a leader is unquestioned integrity. Without it, no real success is possible whether it is in a section gang, on a football field, in an army, or in an office."

-General Dwight D. Eisenhower-

CONCENTRATION

"He was not only a hard worker,
he was a quick learner,
with exceptional powers of concentration."

David Halberstam on Michael Jordan

RANDOM COACH K THOUGHTS

Below are some random notes I took listening Coach Krzyzewski a few year ago.

"If you put the right things into it, you define your winning moments -- not the scoreboard, parents or fans."

"To be a coach you must learn how to teach...summer camps are the best ways to learn and teach."

"What stops a young player: THINKING."

"To break a barrier, to go pass 22-23 wins to 30, you need youth and talent -- but you need to communicate and talk...talk was going to be a big thing for our success. Therefore we set up a lot of drills and situations to create talk."

"The word 'alert' is a huge word -- cannot be alert without the ability to concentrate.

"Keys for a great practice and a great team:
1. Talk
2. Alert
3. Concentrate
4. Play hard"

"Playing hard must be a habit...you cannot turn it on and off. In building a program, these values are of paramount importance."

"One of our rules is that when we talk to each other it is eye to eye."

"Truth right now! This creates trust -- the foundation of success. Cannot have jealousy and dislike -- these are traits of negative people."

"How do we get humans to be consistent, to give their best, not to get down -- this is us -- this is coaching."

"Adversity...get on a kid for no reason...kick a kid out of practice...want teammates to come to his aid -- how will they react?...creates closeness -- they need one another."

Monday, December 29, 2008

PREPARATION = SELF-CONFIDENCE = SUCCESS



"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."


-Arthur Ashe-

TONY ROBBINS' 5 PRINCIPLES FOR SUCCESS

If you want to change your life in any area, there are five keys to succeeding at the highest level that will not only create the change you want to make, but also make that change sustainable and lasting.

1. Raise Your Standards
While this may sound like a tired old thought process, none of us who are honest can deny the truth that changes do not last long term until they become a part of our identity, until we literally begin to see them as the standard we live by. Raising your standards truly means turning your shoulds into musts. Everyone has a list of shoulds: ‘I should spend more time with my kids.’ ‘I should spend more time with a business plan.’ ‘I should lose some weight.’ I should, I should, I should. People don’t actually change. They just end up what I call, “shoulding” all over themselves. Convert those “shoulds” into “musts” and your entire life changes.

I’ve seen this example so many times when people have no money, but then one of their parents becomes ill, and they find the way to generate the money to cover the incredibly expensive cancer treatments. If you look at anyone who seems to have a superior life to yourself, I guarantee you they have a superior standard in that area. If you see someone who works out five times a week, it’s not because they have more time than you have. It’s because it is a must for them. They never miss. They identify with the standard and they live it every day. When you feel that you absolutely must get something done, you will find a way.

2. Change Your Limiting Beliefs
Even when the goal is crystal clear, and it’s truly a must for you to achieve, is that enough to succeed? Often it can be. But if you find yourself either failing to act or pulling back, or even sabotaging yourself, there’s one reason: You have Inner Conflicts. Those can show up in fears and doubts, or they can show up as limiting beliefs in the form of fear or doubts. You may have a burning desire to experience absolute financial abundance, to be wealthy. But you may also have a conflicting belief that says: ‘I don’t want anyone to judge me.’ These two goals are in complete conflict. Or you have a desire to achieve a goal but simultaneously believe that you’re not strong enough, smart enough, or educated enough to make it happen. Unless you uncover these inner conflicts, they will cause you to fail.

One of the most important things I do in all of my seminars, in all of my coaching, is help people discover the conflict and realign themselves. When a human being is completely aligned, when everything inside of you is moving toward what you want without any holdbacks, there is a level of certainty that moves you to action on a consistent basis. And it will cause you to tap your fullest potential, creating results beyond your wildest dreams.

3. Model Strategies That Work
Remember, success leaves clues. There’s a Pathway to Power; a way to achieve what you want in a shorter period of time. And the way to find it is to model someone who’s already achieving what you want. If someone is successful at anything, whether they have a great relationship, are extraordinarily successful in business, or they have the body and energy that you desire, they’re not lucky. They’ve got a set of strategies that they apply and those strategies work. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You don’t need to reinvent a way to succeed. Throughout my life, I’ve always believed it’s been best to learn from others. That’s how you compress decades into days.

4. Intensify Your Emotions
It’s inevitable that life will hit us with something that feels like a crushing blow, whether an illness, a business setback, or a problem within your family. But this is a critical moment that, if faced directly, will give you the muscle of life—psychological strength—if we can simply look at it as a gift from God and find a way to use it.

Lance Armstrong’s a great example. When he faced cancer, what did he do? He didn’t give up. He intensified the emotions that he had to find a way to succeed more than he ever had in his entire sports career, even though he thought he had maximized his capabilities. And what happened? After conquering cancer, facing another biker was nothing. He won seven Tour de France events in a row. Remember, he had never won any Tour de France before that. He turned something that could have been the most traumatic moment of his life into a launching pad for some of his greatest victories. He chose to intensify his emotions and find a way to conquer, not be defeated by what life offered him. These are the moments that determine our destiny.

5. Give Much More Than You Expect to Receive
Ultimately what shapes the meaning of our lives is not what we get, but what we give. If you can make it your goal to each day find a way to add more value to people’s lives than anyone else, then you’ll never have to worry about success. But if you’re constantly just trying to make a deal, trying to make a trade—‘I’ll give you this if you give me that,’ you’ll find yourself struggling to prosper. Remember, the secret to living is giving. We’re not made to be selfish. We can succeed and achieve, but what we want deep in our souls is to feel like life matters, that we’re givers, not
takers. If each day you can sincerely feel like you’ve given something of value to those around you, I can promise you you’ll experience the ultimate victory of life; a life of meaning and joy.

From Success Magazine

PROGRAM POINTER: NEWSLETTER

The absolute most valuable information we can depart to you in regard to creating a Basketball Newsletter for your program is that you can build it in any shape or form you desire. You are the creator, the editor in chief! We are now in the 8th year of publishing Full Court Press. There is not enough space to tell you the response we have had in that short amount of time.

So why have a newsletter? First and foremost, it is a tremendous way to let those who have played for you in the past know that they are still a part of the “family”. Practically every great program that we know about, regardless of the level of play, is dripping in tradition. Utilizing tradition to help your program means you must find ways to link the past with the future. At LSU, we send newsletters to every former player, manager, student trainer, and assistant coach that have been a part of Lady Tiger Basketball. We also send them to the parents of all those listed above. In fact, a great portion of our response comes from those parents. Also on the mailing out list are key members of our administration as well as supporters of our basketball program. It has also been a major component to our Fast Break Club, which is our booster organization. Our newsletter is a great means of addressing the issues of our program to those who support us.

The newsletter is also a great way to promote your program in a wide variety of ways. You can promote events that your program is sponsoring, such as fundraisers, games, banquets, etc. We also use our newsletter to promote the Lady Tiger philosophy, which deals largely with attitude and its importance in becoming successful in life.

For instance, in our newsletter we always have an inspirational quote on the bottom of the first page titled, “Thought of the Month” which deals totally with a motivational thought. At times, we will also add other motivational items that we want to share with our “family”.

How do we create a newsletter? It’s actually very easy — if you allow it to be! We already added some color in the banner of our newsletter. In our 2nd year, we wanted to spice it up a little bit. However, it’s important for you to understand that our first newsletter wasn’t nearly as nice as the one we are turning out now. Just as in coaching basketball, it is critical to keep it simple. Our first newsletter had no photos and very little art. The important thing for you is to just get started. You also can add on, and spruce it up as you go.

Without question, a computer is a major advantage for a newsletter but don’t think you can’t get by without one. Still, if you don’t have one available to your program, there will be someone who does that would probably love to put the copy in newsletter form for you. Possibly a student in your school or someone on your faculty. Talk them into doing the newsletter on the computer for you and give them a credit each issue. For simplicity, we do our newsletter on a computer but then run off our copies on our copying machine. The color comes from pre-printed stock that we put in the copy machine. Obviously you can’t do the same things that you can with a computer but coaching usually brings out the best of your imagination in the most difficult of times.

How often should we print an issue? One of the first questions to ask yourself is how often do you publish a newsletter. The answer to this one is easy — as often as you want or feel it would be beneficial to your goals and needs. We choose to publish once a month. We have the information monthly to go out as well as the time and manpower to meet our objectives. But again, it’s your call. You might choose to go out bi-monthly (6 times a year); you might decide to go seasonally- spring, summer, fall, and winter; you could go out twice a year or even once a year. These are all answers for you to decide and there are no wrong ones.

We tried to put our newsletter together by using some very common principles to make it as attractive as possible. Here are some areas that have been successful for us that might also be of help to you.

Personalize your newsletter as much as possible. It is an old maxim in journalism that anyone will read a newspaper with their name printed in it. We use several angles to involve players’ names. One way is to list former players’ birthdays for that particular month. Each month we also have a feature titled “Where Are They Now” that we use to update the readers on past players and what they are doing these days. We also have a segment called “Getting To Know Your Lady Tigers,” which is about current players in the program and things they have accomplished or are involved in.

Use short quick hitters. Most newspapers actually use what they call “word count quotas”. This means that each article in the newspaper has a certain number of words that it cannot extend. Few wordy articles are ever read while short quick hitters are read by up to 90%. In our newsletter, the quick hitters include Thought of the Month, Alumni Update, Did You Know, and In The SEC.

Talk to your readers. This is hard for most newspapers to do, but very easy with a newsletter- especially one that is directed to a select audience. We use a personal letter from Coach Chancellor to the reader titled “Dear Friends & Family”. We take this space to send a personal message, just as if it were an actual letter to the reader. It is almost always something along the motivational line.

Use comedy/cartoons. Another prospect we are exploring is the use of cartoons. There is a service that you can subscribe to that provides cartoons for newsletters. Almost everyone will stop to read a cartoon. Another possibility is a “Joke of the Month”.

Utilize quizzes and contests. About twice a year we run a segment titled “Did You Know? Test Your LSU Basketball Knowledge”. In this section, we have trivia questions about our basketball program. We usually run 4-5 questions and add the answer at the bottom of the article. We have thought about once a year having a trivia contest where the winner would win an LSU item, such as a sweatshirt. Reader participation items are always a big hit, as well as a way of extending positive facts about your program to those who are reading.

Accentuate the positive. Newsletters are one of the best ways to spread good will and promote the positive aspects of your program. Good PR is often hard to come by for athletic programs but you are in complete control of what you want your readers to read. Spread the good news about your program. It’s a tremendous way to get people enthusiastic about what you have done as well as what you are about to do.

Use the newsletter as Advertising. Having a fundraiser next month? Want to let others know about your basketball banquet? Starting a season ticket drive and want to let everyone know how they can help? Whatever you need to let anyone know, the newsletter is the perfect medium.

Take advantage of the mail out. We used to send our newsletter in envelopes. That way we can add anything we want in the envelope with the newsletter. For instance, we always send out schedule cards with the November newsletter. Sometimes we may also send a motivational pass out along with the newsletter.

Email the mail. We now send our newsletter out in a PDF format via email. It allows us to utilize a lot more color and there is no printing or postage expenses and we can literally email them to everyone but recruits.

A newsletter will create more than you can ever imagine. For a copy of our newsletter, email me at rstarke@lsu.edu and I will email you a copy of our newsletter.

VISIONARY LEADERSHIP

Former President Gerald Ford discusses six fundamentals of leadership:

Respect Differing Opinions
Among the principles that a leader can never compromise is respect for others whose principles differ from their own. I questioned their ideas, not their motives, and never their patriotism. I had opponents, but not enemies. Good leaders are pragmatists. They want to make things work. They want to do the decent thing for others.

Keep Good People
I was often accused of surrounding myself with people who were smarter than me. In truth, the ability to interest high-caliber individuals in your cause and get them to come on board is the mark of a true leader. Keeping them is good management.

Work For the Future
No good leader approves short-term benefits if they undermine long-range purposes.

Speak and Act With Conviction
A leader is one who can stand before an antagonistic audience and speak with conviction, strength, and persuasion.

Improve Conditions for Others
I believe successful leaders are compassionate human beings by the very nature of what they do. They try to improve conditions for others. When making difficult decisions, I often ask myself, “Have I attempted revenge or extended forgiveness?”

Accept the Consequences of Your Actions
A leader takes his wins and losses with equal grace. No passing the buck.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

901 - 1 TO TIE!!!

After a 15-day layoff, the Northern State University men’s basketball squad was back on the court Sunday afternoon, and found itself in a fight to the end with the visiting Midland Lutheran College Warriors. The Wolves, playing in their first game since an exhilarating win over Minnesota State on Dec. 13, managed to outlast the Warriors 77-74 to improve to 10-1 on the season.

The Wolves, ranked 19th in the country in the latest NABC/Division II Coaches Poll, needed a few late-game heroics from junior Mitch Boeck (Arlington, S.D.) and senior Kevin Ratzsch (Bloomington, Ill.) to pull out the victory after the Warriors snagged the lead at 71-70 at the 2:10 mark. MLC erased an 11-point deficit in just under three minutes, using a 13-4 run capped by an Evan Lamprecht layup to take the lead.

The win also marks career victory number 901 for NSU head coach Don Meyer, who is now just one win shy of the NCAA career record held by Bob Knight.

The Wolves will be back in action next weekend, as they resume Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play with road games at Winona State and Upper Iowa on Friday and Saturday, respectively. NSU returns home on Jan. 10 for a televised match-up against the University of Mary.

BREAK DOWN THE DEFENSE


"Find good things to break down a defense. Break the whole defense down, then find ways to allow an individual to break his defender down."

-Pete Guadet-

Saturday, December 27, 2008

CONCENTRATION KEYS

I've long been a believer that one of the most important things that we can teach our players is the ability to concentrated for long, extended periods of time. It allows them to not only do more but to learn more when they can focus in spite of all the surroundings.

I came across an interesting website: http://www.mentaltoughness.me/

It has several areas of discussion and is very much worthy of a visit. One of the topics was concentration and the site listed some of these as concentration keys:

Practice Fatigue
If an athlete tends to lose focus when he is fatigued, he should arrange his practices so that he is fatigued. Then he must practice concentrating while being fatigued. If an athlete does not like being watched, he should practice while people watch. Most of all, athletes should approach practice as if it were the real thing. The game face should not be reserved for game day only. Every time an athlete goes out onto the court, field, or ice she should go out there focused and ready to perform.

Practice Distraction
Practice with distractions surrounding you, and acclimate yourself in ignoring them. Fixating on external factors outside of your control (weather conditions, poor warm-up, or mistakes from prior contests) will disrupt your concentration coming into the contest at hand. Negative thoughts cost energy, creates anxiety, and serves as a distraction to your teammates.

Use pre-performance routines
These can be very subtle or extremely elaborate. Routines help increase concentration and focus because they help block out both internal and external distractions. The consistency a routine provides also helps the athlete perform consistently.

Use cues and triggers
These are effective tools in improving the ability to concentrate. Cues that are task-related help the athlete focus on exactly what they are doing and keep them in the present. For example, a tennis player having trouble with her forehand might use the cue "follow through" to get back on track.

Use key words
Come up with a few key words to remind you on what you should be focusing on during the competition. These key words should also help with your visualization of the event as well. Visualization is one of the best training mechanisms to bring your mind and body together, and also helps you to focus on your everyday cares in your non-athletic life.

Label
Label what your doing 'thinking' just as prescribed in meditation. Don't judge yourself. Don't be angry to yourself for losing concentration. Just label what you're doing 'thinking' and gently bring yourself back to the here and now. Catching yourself doing this by labeling without judging will decrease the amount of times you lose focus and the length.

WHEN YOUR LEADER IS YOUR HARDEST WORKER

Coach Don Meyer always talks about the fact that "if your best player is also your hardest worker, you have a chance to be a good team."

The following, from Pat William's book, "How To Be Like Mike," lends credibility to his statement.
 
"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. Without a word, all eleven of his teammates joined him."


PASSIONATE LEADERSHIP

The following passage is yet another pearl from John Maxwell. This comes from his outstanding book "Leadership Gold."

Passion is an incredible asset for any person, but especially for leaders. It keeps up going when others quit. It become contagious and influences other to follow us. It pushes us through the toughest of times and gives us energy we did not know we possessed. If fuels us in ways that the following assets can't:

Talent...is never enough to enable us to reach our potential. To be a successful leader -- to be a successful person -- you need more than just talent.

Opportunity...will never get us to the top by itself. As my friend Howard Hendricks says, "Don't put live eggs under dead chickens." That's what opportunities are to people without passion.

Knowledge...can be a great asset, but it won't make us "all we can be." I possess three college degrees including a doctorate, but I believe they have contributed very little to my success as a leader.

A great team...can fall short. It's true that leaders cannot be successful without a good team. But having a good team does not guarantee success.

What does a leader need to succeed? Passion. Passion is a real difference maker. It separates the extraordinary for the ordinary. I recognize that passion has enable me to do the following:

Believe things I would not have believed

Feel things I would not have felt

Attempt things I would not have attempted

Accomplish things I would not have accomplished

Meet people I would not have met

Motivate people I would not have motivated

Lead people I would not have led

CEO Jack Welch says, "The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders...people who not only have enormous amounts of energy, but who can energize those whom they lead." In all my years of observing people, I have yet to meet an individual who reached his potential but didn't possess passion.

Friday, December 26, 2008

TALENT

"The luck of having talent is not enough;
one must also have a talent for luck."
-Hector Berlioz-

"Genius does what it must, talent does what it can."
-Edward Bulwer-Lytton-

"Conciseness is the sister of talent."
-Anton Checkhov-

"There is no substitute for talent.
Industry and all its virtues are of no avail."
-Aldous Huxley-

"Everyone has a talent.
What is rare is the courage to follow the
talent to the dark places where it leads."
-Erica Jong-

"Great talents are the most lovely and often
the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity.
They hang upon the most slender twigs
that are easily snapped off."
-Carl Jung-

"The crowning blessing of life --
to be born with a bias to some pursuit."
-S.C. Tallentyre-

HIGH POST DEFENSE

The defending of the post is one of the most difficult yet critically important parts of any defense. You must have a sound philosophy for both contesting the pass to the post area, as well as how you will defend the ball should it be caught in the post. The high post area is often overlooked or at the least not emphasized enough with many teams. In our offensive system, one of the primary goals of our offense is to get the ball to the high post. We believe it is the perfect ball location for attacking. When the ball is in the high post area, there is no helpside or ballside for the defense. This often leaves isolated low post play. All of which puts tremendous pressure on the defense. Therefore, we want to spend time in practice during both part and whole-method teaching to concentrate on how we will defend the high post.

We defend the high post by being down in our stance and tightly guarding the offensive player. Our terminology for this is “ear in the chest.” This tells us how low and how close we should be in our stance. Another teaching point is that we want the lead foot in the passing lane (Photo #1) — as opposed to having a hand in the passing lane (Photo #2). By having a good stance in the passing lane, we have our body positioned between the ball and the high post receiver. Often, if you teach hand in the passing lane, a defender will be caught behind the receiver if she seals her out properly. This can lead to a cheap foul as well as an easy step and seal for the high post player to create a receiving lane.

WHAT WILL MATTER

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days.All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame, and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.

It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.

Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built; not what you got but what you gave.What will matter is not your success but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.

What will matter are not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom, and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

By Michael Josephson

Monday, December 22, 2008

THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL BEFORE CHRISTMAS


This will be our last post until following Christmas. We come off of Christmas with three games in seven days so the next few days I will be breaking down tape and squeezing in some Christmas shopping. Below is a motivational passout that Coach Dale Brown would mail out each Christmas. It speaks to our ability to teach...not teaching subjects (or plays)...but teaching students (and players) -- and there is a big difference. Enjoy and may you all have a wonderful holiday season!

When Tony Campolo was in Chattanooga last week to speak at the annual “Gathering of Men” breakfast, the noted sociologist told a story that begs to be repeated, especially on this day:

It seems that there was a lady named Jean Thompson and when she stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the very first day of school in the fall, she told the children a lie.

Like most teachers, she looked at her pupils and said that she loved them all the same, that she would treat them all alike. And that was impossible because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the third row, was a boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed he didn’t play well with other children, that his clothes were unkept and that he constantly needed a bath. Add to it the fact Teddy was unpleasant.

It got to the point during the first few months that she would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold ‘X’s and then marking the ‘F’ at the top of the paper biggest of all.
Because Teddy was a sullen little boy, nobody else seemed to enjoy him, either.

Now at the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s records and--because of things--put Teddy’s off until last. But when she opened his file, she was in for a surprise.

His first-grade teacher had written, “Teddy is a bright, inquisitive child with a ready laugh. He does work neatly and has good manners … he is a joy to be around.”

His second-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student and is well-liked by his classmates--but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”

The third-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy continues to work hard but his mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class. His is tardy and could become a problem.”

By now Mrs. Thompson realized the problem but Christmas was coming fast.

It was all she could do, with the school play and all, until the day before the holidays began and she was suddenly forced to focus on Teddy Stoddard on that last day before the vacation would begin.

Her children brought her presents, all in gay ribbon and bright paper, except for Teddy’s, which was clumsily wrapped in heavy, brown paper of scissored grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents and some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet, with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of cologne.

But she stifled the laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and she dabbed some of the perfume behind the other wrist.

At the end of the day, as the other children joyously raced from the room, Teddy Stoddard stayed behind, just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my mom used to.”

As soon as Teddy left, Mrs. Thompson knelt at her desk and there, after the last day of school before Christmas, she cried for at least an hour.

And, on that very day, she quit teaching reading and writing and spelling. Instead she began to teach children. And Jean Thompson paid particular attention to one they all called Teddy.

As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded and, on days that there would be an important test, Mrs. Thompson would remember the cologne.

By the end of the year he had become one of the smartest children in the class and … well, he had also become the “pet” of the teacher who had once vowed to love all of her children exactly the same.

A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that of all the teachers he’d had in elementary school, she was his favorite.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. And then he wrote that as he finished high school, third in his class, she was still his favorite teacher of all time.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, that he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and graduated from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson she was still his favorite teacher.

Then four more years passed and another letter came.

This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. That she was still his favorite teacher but now that his name was a little longer. And the letter was signed, “Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.”

The story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said that… well, that he’d met his girl and was to be married.

He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering … well, if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the pew usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

You’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not she wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing.

But I bet on that special day, Jean Thompson smelled just like … well, just like she smelled many years before on the last day of school before the Christmas Holidays begin.

Friday, December 19, 2008

GARY BOREN ON FREE THROWS

While attending a coaching clinic a few springs ago, we had a chance to spend some quality time with Don Meyer of Northern State University. When the discussion of free throw shooting came up, Coach Meyer didn’t hesitate to recommend a video tape on the subject that had highly impressed him.

The video, How To Shoot Free Throws is by Gary Boren, the shooting coach for the San Antonio Spurs. The video is one the best, if not the best, on the subject of free throw shooting that we’ve seen. First, Boren’s credentials give him instant credibility as he has transformed the Spurs into a solid shooting team and annually one of the best in the NBA from the free throw line.

It is easy to see from watching the video that Boren has a great passion for the shot and all that goes into being a successful shooter. He gives great insight to the smallest details that can help each shooter improve. Some of his concepts were new to us and we have already starting applying some in an effort to improve our free throw shooting individually and as a team.

Just a few of the things we picked up from Boren’s video include:

The starting point is not “How do we do it?”, it’s “What are we trying to do?”

Major misconceptions
#1 You shoot at a round target
#2 You should aim at the middle
#3 You should aim over the front of the rim

Muscle memory is locked in to old ways...your brain will want to do it the new way but your muscles will want to it the old way.

Work on each teaching point for five shots and then move on.

You can overcoach shooting.

Feet are a big part of good FT shooting.

Arc! — the higher the arc, the bigger the hole.

The way you practice is important — must make everything count.

Shoot until we make 100.

Emphasize importance of FT’s in practice.
De-Emphasize the importance of FT’s in games.

Major part of practice is to have some game-like free throw situations.

Mental part of free throw is overrated. It is 95% mechanical.

Mental part of free throw shooting:
-Stay in the present
-Have a short memory on bad things
-Have a long memory on good things

And this is just a very quick look at the video as Boren goes on to give over 30 principles for good free throw shooting including:

#5 Don’t start ball too low
“You want whatever motion is necessary but no extra motion. Extra motion makes it difficult to repeat. You want it simple and repeatable.”

...and:

#29 Shooting side foot should be all the way up to the foul line
“Only shot you can be exact on distance...be consistent.”

At LSU, we are big believers in the value of getting to the free throw line. We are working to be better at making the most of every opportunity. This video has helped us and will help you as well.

CIRCLE: ZONE ENTRY

“Circle” is an entry that we will use against zone defenses. It is a great quick hitter cagainst the zone that we got from Rick Majeus while he was coaching at Utah. There is no initial alignment necessary to get into Circle but Diagram #1 shows an example.

#1 wants to take the ball off the top and make the guard defending her stay with her.

Once the ball is driven off the top, we then want the remaining players (except for #5) to rotate to one of three spots including the top of the key, the wing, and the corner.

#1 can pass to the top of the key for ball reversal or skip it to opposite wing.

We are looking to attack the backside forward and force her to decided whether she wants to cover #2 or #3.

CONCENTRATED STRENGTH

"Patience is not passive;
on the contrary, it is active;
it is concentrated strength."

-Novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton -
(via Eric Musselman) - great quote to share Coach Musselman!

ACTION

"The essential thing is action. Action has three stages; the decision born of thought, the order or preparation for execution, and the execution itself. All three staged are governed by the will. the will is rooted in character, and for the man of action, character is of more critical importance than intellect. Intellect without will is worthless, will without intellect is dangerous."
-Hans von Seekt-

EMPOWERMENT

"Everything you are against weakens you.
Everything you are for empowers you."

-Wayne Dyer-

VERBAL COMMUNICATION

"Most of the verbal communicating you do is from one individual to another. This is true whether you're in a family, social, or a work setting.

One-on-one verbal communication affords the greatest opportunity for precision, because immediate feedback can tell you whether you were understood accurately.

But communicating effectively involves more than just accuracy.

The purpose of most communication is to influence the attitudes and behaviors of those whom we address. Since the human race is composed of billions of individuals, each with a different way of responding, no one approach is universally effective. So it's important that you learn to express yourself accurately and in a way that will accomplish your purpose toward the individual you're addressing.

The Basic Process of Communicating
To achieve precision and effectiveness in communicating, you should understand the basic process of communication. It has four requirements:

¨ A message must be conveyed. ¨ The message must be received. ¨ There must be a response. ¨
Each message must be understood. Let's look at these requirements one at a time.

A Message Must Be Conveyed
That sounds simple enough. You know what your thoughts are, and you know how to translate them into words. But that's where we lose the simplicity.

Each of us has our own mental dialect. It is the common language of the culture in which we grow up, modified by our own unique life's experiences. Our life's experiences add color and shades of meaning to different words.

When you speak, your mental dialect must be translated into the mental dialect of the hearer. So the words you speak acquire a different color when they pass through the ears of the person who hears you.

It Depends Upon Where You Are
You can probably think of numerous opportunities for misunderstandings on your job and in your culture. If you tell your travel agent you want a flight to Portland, be sure to specify Maine or Oregon. Otherwise, you may end up on the wrong coast. A colleague of mine once flew to Ohio to keep a speaking engagement in Columbus. Too late, he realized that the group he was to address was in Columbus, Georgia. If someone in my hometown of High Point, North Carolina asks me, "How did Carolina do in the big game last night?" I know the reference is to the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina. If somebody in Columbia puts the question in those precise words, I know that "Carolina" means the Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina. In most cities, if you ask a newsstand operator for the Sunday Times, you'll be handed a New York Times. But in St. Petersburg, Florida, or Seattle, Washington, you're likely to get the local newspaper.

A Message Must Be Received
The second basic requirement of the one-on-one communication process is that the message be received and understood. Effective communicators know that they have not conveyed their meaning until they have made sure that the other person has received it exactly as they sent it. They test, with questions and observations, to make sure that the real meaning they wanted to convey has passed through the filters and has been received and understood.

There Must Be A Response
The goal of all communication is to obtain the desired response. You want to say something correctly, and have your hearer understand what you mean by it. But you also want the hearer to do something in response.

Each Message Must Be Understood
Once a message has been delivered, received and responded to, it's time to take stock of what each person has communicated. The cycle of communication is complete only when you come away with a clearer understanding of the person with whom you sought to communicate. You may not always agree with the other person, and the other person may not always agree with you -- but it is important that you understand each other. "

-Nido Qubein, President of High Point University-

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ROY WILLIAMS' OFFENSIVE KEYS

SHOT SELECTION
I'll stop practice and ask "How many of you liked that shot?"

BOARD COVERAGE
Don't surprise your teammates by shooting the ball...they should be able to anticipate you will shoot.

THREE PASSES UNLESS YOU HAVE A LAY-UP
Change sides of the floor with the ball. Give the defense a chance to make a mistake. If it takes two more passes, then let's take the five or 10 extra seconds.

PUT PLAYERS IN POSITION WHERE YOU CAN USE THEIR STRENGTHS

RECOGNIZE NO ONE CAN TAKE YOU OUT OF YOUR OFFENSE

MAKING CHAMPIONS OF YOUR CHILDREN (PLAYERS)

We have tried various ways with each of our children to make them champions. The following ten keys apply to making champions of the people you employ, manage or lead.

First, work to build self-esteem.
Express confidence in them and in their potential...try not to compare them with each other or with other people.

Second, encourage primary greatness.
Teach them that there are two kinds of greatness: primary greatness -- which is the principle-centered character -- and secondary greatness, which is the greatness that the world acknowledges. Try to inspire them to go primary greatness first and to compensate for character weakness by substituting or borrowing strength from secondary sources (popularity, reputation, possessions, natural talents, and so on).

Third, encourage them to develop their own interest.
When we detect real talent in our children, we encourage them to develop it.

Fourth, try to create an enjoyable culture.
There should be no feeling of limitation, no feeling that you can't do something.

Fifth, plan ahead.
Plan several major team events at least six month in advance.

Sixth, try to set an example of excellence.
We all try to excel in what we do so that excellent becomes an unspoken, unwritten norm. We have never had to tell our kids to study and do their homework, perhaps because they constantly sense the value or reading and learning.

Seventh, teach to visualize to help them realize their own potential.
World-class athletes are almost all visualizers; they literally experience their victories in their minds long before they experience them in fact.

Eighth, adopt their friends.
Any time something gets out of alignment -- when there's a problem with a peer, for example -- we just adopt the peer. It's better than trying to get them to drop the peer.

Ninth, teach them to have faith, to believe and trust others, and to affirm, build, bless and serve others.
If you're going to build champions, you've got to take an interest in people, especially the downcast and outcast. The key to the ninety-nine is the one...People become great if you treat them in terms of their potential. They key to success with people is to believe in them, to affirm them.

Tenth, provide support, resources, and feedback.
We rely on each other for honest feedback, as good feedback is essential to growth.

Building champions requires constant effort. We strive endlessly and find the need to return to the basics often.

Stephen R. Covey
From "Principle-Centered Leadership"

WHY WE WIN (#3)

This is our third installment from Billy Packer's book "Why We Win" in which he ask coaches of all sports for insight on their philosophy.

Could you talk about defeat and/or failure?

Bob Knight: "...to win and to understand how to win, you've got to know how to prevent losing. And that's what's going to cause you to lose are these things: poor ball-handling, bad blockout, shot selection, quickness of execution, or effectiveness of execution."

Joe Gibbs: "I probably remember the defeats, the real bitters ones...they're as vivid as the great victories...there was a fear of failure for me. And I don't think you overcome that. I think if that's in you -- a fear of failure -- I think that motivates you. Even after won our third Super Bowl, the next year I was right back in the same mind-set."

Pat Summitt: "Our emphasis is on execution, not winning. We're talking about how we need to go out and perform today. And if you execute and you're prepared, then that takes care of it...I'm not even going to talk about failure."

Tommy Lasorda: "I think the fear of facing failure has to be there at all times. I think that is what generates your interest. This is what motivates you, is the fear of failing. Abraham Lincoln once said, 'Where there is fear, there is a great deal of courage.'"

Dean Smith: "I think that motivation is greater if you've failed before. When it fails, or loses, I think you'll see a team respond -- the good, the championship teams will really respond the next night out."

Mike Krzyzewski: "It's the coach's responsibility to profit from defeat. We've always tried to take a positive out of a loss. However, you don't want to get in a habit of losing all the time, so that's the only way of taking positives...I'm not afraid to fail, but I don't want to fail. It's a sense of motivation for me."

Sparky Anderson: "I think my whole career, the thing that drove me to try to do things right, was the fear that I would fail, not only myself, but fail a player."

Bill Walsh: "I think the bottom line for the coach and his squad is how they deal with frustration, disappointment and failure -- how they deal failure. And I think that's really the best way to judge and to analyze a coach and a program -- it's how they rebound from frustration and failure."

TRANSITION SHOULD NOT EQUAL MORE TURNOVERS

"The most important thing in the break is to get there with the ball, and then work to get a good shot...Everybody says, 'If you run, you're going to have more turnovers.' I never accepted that. If you can handle the ball you can handle the ball. If you can handle the ball under the pressure of good half-court defense, you sure as hell ought to be able to handle it in full-court play against very little pressure."

Coach Bob Knight
From "Knight: My Story by Bob Knight with Bob Hammel

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

RESPONSIBILITY

"Responsibility is the price of greatness."
-Winston Churchill-

"Every human being has a work to carry on within, duties to perform abroad, influence to exert, which are peculiarly his, and which no conscience but his own can teach."
-William Ellery Channing-

"Responsibility educates."
-Wendell Phillips-

"You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living. They don't seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together."
-Henry Ford II-

"The Buck Stops Here!"
-Harry S. Truman-

"Responsibility is the thing people dread most of all. Yet it is the one thing in the world that develops us, gives us manhood or womanhood fibre."
-Frank Crane-

Monday, December 15, 2008

GOLD MEDAL GOAL SETTING

The following are some observations from the 2008 Olympics by Corinne Elletson:

The 2008 Olympics in Beijing has come to a close. We will once again be at a loss for something to watch on TV or discuss around the water cooler at work. The 2008 Olympics stood out among those that came before it for a number of reasons that captivated audiences around the globe. Though the games started out with controversy over the host city, I believe the games will be remembered most for the positive achievements of the athletes. Athletes at the 2008 Olympic games broke more Olympic and World Records than any games before it.A few of the most remarkable achievements of the 2008 Games :

1. Michael Phelps of the U.S.A. won eight gold medals
2. Rohullah Nikpai won Afghanistan's first ever Olympic medal
3. Natalie du Toit of South Africa became the first Amputee swimmer to compete in the Olympic Games instead of the Para-Olympic Games.
4. After promising his wife on her deathbed that he would become a German Citizen and win Gold for Germany, Matthias Steiner succeeded by winning gold in weightlifting, surpassing the favored competitors and finding unbelievable strength when he needed it.

I will remember the Beijing Olympics as being one of the most exciting and inspirational Olympics I have had the privilege of watching.

The difference between those that stood out at the 2008 Olympics and those that went home overshadowed and disappointed had much to do with Mind Set.

The best case in point is Michael Phelps. He set for himself a Goal of getting an unprecedented eight gold medals in swimming. Many, including the previous record holder with seven gold medals in one Olympic Games, said that Michale could not do it. With all of the negative thoughts and the media poised and waiting for his failure, Michael achieved his goal.

How?

Michael set the goal for himself and never once said "I don't think I can", "maybe I can" , "it would be great if..." or "it would be ok if I didn't make it". Michael, in all of the interviews, had a positive Mind Set and smiled as he said "I will do it". And he did.Goal Setting is not about writing them down, although that can help to visualize them.

Goal Setting is really about creating a positive Mind Set and a positive self dialogue about the things you want to achieve. We all talk to ourselves all the time. Most of us do this internally in our heads, though some of us do this out loud in the bathroom when we think no one is listening. If the dialogue we have with ourselves is positive or negative will have a big impact on our daily lives and on achieving the goals we have set for ourselves.It does not matter if the goal is small, huge, or even outrageous. How we choose to approach the goals we set will in the end determine their success or failure. That's right, Mind Set is a choice. No matter the adversity you may face while on the path to your goal, you can choose to keep positive and focused.

Here are some simple ways to get your Goal Setting in the right Mind Set

1. Give yourself small, achievable Daily Goals and say something positive to yourself when you reach them.

2. If you give yourself a negative criticism, change it into a positive critique. For example, instead of saying "I completely failed" when a sales prospect falls through, say "That is ok, I will learn from this and be successful next time. My goal is still achievable".

3. Don't let others drag you down. Brush off critique that is harsh and not helpful to building success. You, and only you, are in control of achieving your goals.

4. Learn to accept Constructive Criticism, especially from yourself.

5. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere, no one is perfect, if someone had figured it all out we would all be out of business, and the only thing stopping you from being effective and successful is You.

SELF-CONFIDENCE

Zoltan Roth on developing SELF-CONFIDENCE:
Developing self confidence is a learning process. Constant studying, improving your skills, building your knowledge and accepting yourself and others are the main characteristics of developing self confidence.

Self confidence is having faith in yourself and your ability to handle whatever situations are presented to you. You are blessed with freedom from doubt in yourself. When you need to perform a task or complete a project, you have no question in your mind that you will succeed. You are not afraid to look people in the eye or to express your thoughts.

Self confidence is a feeling which is based on your faith and your experience. Even successful people can feel insecurity inside. But what separates them from many people is their approach toward their experiences, their mental attitude what knows exactly what to do and they see their “problems” as a new, wonderful gift which is begging for the solution.

In the following you will find some tips and techniques to boost your confidence. Use the exercises you like or you feel comfortable with.

1. ENCOURAGE YOURSELF
By whatever means necessary, you need to develop the habit of self-encouragement. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”

2. WATCH HOW YOU SIT AND STAND
Lift up your chin, pull back your shoulder, stomach in, chest out and tell me that you are ready to climb the Mount Everest.

3. SMILE
Smiling has probably the strongest effect on people. When you take a walk or go for a meeting start with smiling at the first seconds. Just look at their face, their reaction to your warm, friendly smile. They will most likely respond back to you on the same way, with a big smile in return your friendliness.

4. KEEP A JOURNAL
Keep track of what you are doing, why you are doing it and what the results are. All self-improvement starts with self-awareness. Keeping a daily journal allows you to look back a day later or a week later with a certain degree of impartiality and evaluate what really happened, what could have been done differently. Over a period of time, you will clearly be able to see your own progress.

5. FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS
Always, always focus on what you are good at and try to be the best at it.

6. THINK POSITIVE
You have to take charge of your own mind. You have to develop a winner mentality, and to do this you have to root out the negativity that is holding you back and replace it with a positive influence. This is where positive thinking comes in. Think about what you’ve done right and what you like about yourself. Think about the goals that you are in the process of accomplishing.

7. HELP OTHERS
Nothing builds self confidence like extending a hand to someone in need. By thinking of the needs of others, you will stop dwelling on your flaws.

The amount of success you achieve in life has a lot to do with how much self confidence you have. Making the decision to work at improving your self confidence could be the most important decision you ever make.

PAUL MEYER ON ENTHUSIASM

Enthusiasm is that extra spark that makes you great; it's the inspiration that wakes you up each morning with the desire to really live; it's the persona that says to the world, "I've got what it takes" without you ever having to utter a word.
Aristotle called enthusiasm "the regenerative force of conviction," Victor Hugo referred to it as "the fever of reason" while Ralph Waldo Emerson described it as "the height of man; the passing of the human to the divine." Enthusiasm spreads like a Prairie fire in the wind, blasts away every obstacle, and helps you sell your ideas with total confidence. Enthusiasm is powerful stuff!

What is the source of enthusiasm?
Enthusiasm is the outward manifestation of an emotion that originates deep within the heart. It is as impossible to hide as deep sorrow or abiding love. It is natural and unrestrained being neither flamboyant nor intentionally sedate.

There are many kinds of enthusiasm - as many kinds as there are kinds of people. Your type of enthusiasm will fit your personality. Socrates had a quiet, probing enthusiasm while St. Paul had a palpable zeal for his newfound faith.

Why is enthusiasm so important?

The most important reason for having enthusiasm is this: Enthusiasm Sells! It is an outward reflection of an inner confidence, a knowledge indicator, an energy generator, an obstacle blaster. And it is highly contagious! Enthusiasm is your greatest source of:

· Productivity · Power · Natural expression · Success

Many mistakenly believe that enthusiasm is only experienced after you make a sale but psychologist William James says it's quite the opposite. The real steps are these:

· A problem presents · You bring enthusiasm to your presentation · Enthusiasm stimulates an action that overcomes any objections · You make the sale!

In other words, your customer sees and begins to share your interest in your idea or product, admires and covets your knowledge, and becomes caught up in your beliefs about your product, your service, and yourself. Result? Sale accomplished!

How can I maintain an enthusiastic momentum?

Everyone can experience a momentary exuberance such as the excitement generated during a championship football game. But sustained genuine enthusiasm can only come through one thing: the discovery of your purpose, the why behind whatever you have decided to do or accomplish.

When you take the time to truly identify your purpose you have laid the foundation for sustained, consistent enthusiasm. By daily reviewing your purpose and what you hope to achieve, you will develop a deep belief in your idea, product, or work. By keeping it fresh in your mind you will be motivated to persevere through any obstacle, roadblock, or objection.

Genuine enthusiasm unlocks all your talents, delivers consistent energy, and dispels all fear and indecision. It's the source of your "can-do, will-do" attitude, the secret ingredient for a zest-filled successful life. Now, wouldn't you agree…that's something to be enthusiastic about!

Paul J. Meyer, best-selling New York Times author and founder of the Success Motivation Institute has written two dozen full-length programs plus numerous books on attitude, motivation, goal setting, management, leadership, and time management. In his inspirational and instructive CD, How to Develop the Power of Enthusiasm available at www.pauljmeyer.com.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

EMBRACING CHANGE

Embrace Change Because It Creates Opportunity: Dramatic changed open the door for dramatic improvements. I am convinced that the difference between success and failure is a function of how we respond to change. In short, we should pursue change with enthusiasm and believe that in every circumstance we can find new potential to experience greater success.

Be Willing to Try Something New: When I took on the assignment as a marketing executive, I felt like I had entered a strange new world. It was exciting, but foreign to me. I soon realized that to succeed, I needed to learn new skills—and fast. I began taking classes and reading as much as I could. My self-imposed marketing boot camp did the trick. Even now, I keep reading and learning to endure that I never get stale.

Don’t Be a Victim-Maintain a Positive Outlook: When setbacks occur, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of feeling like a victim. Even subconsciously, we may blame other people for our misfortunes. While these feeling are natural. It’s better to not let them dominate you. Here’s how I approach it: First, I try to understand what went wrong and what I have done differently. I then accept the experiences and lessons that resulted. Finally, I move on, believing that I’m a better, stronger person because of the valuable lesson I learned from the experience. In the end, our response to challenged perfects our character.

Enjoy the Opportunity to Reinvent Yourself: When I was displaced, I know that it wouldn’t be the only hardship I’d face in my career. Rather than dread the future, I became eagerly excited. I looked forward to facing additional experiences that would require me to “reinvent” myself.

Rick Belluzzo, former Microsoft President