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Tuesday, October 30, 2012


My friend Don Yaegar is a special writer.  He has a great ability to see past the outer layer of coaches and athletes and paint word pictures with his writing and take you places that only a few can.  Here is a recent post of his for

“You coach against perfection, not your opponent and you’ll find you win quite a few,” was the response from Saban that quickly caught my attention.

Legendary UCLA basketball coach– and my mentor– John Wooden used a similar motto 40 years ago. “Don’t focus on your opponent. Focus instead on what you are capable of doing,” was one of Wooden’s many golden lessons.

Both coaches built teams of great respect and success. Both believed that perfection should be the demand at all times. Both believed that success didn’t begin with simply trying to beat everyone else, but rather in trying to be so well-prepared that the opposition didn’t stand a chance.

Saban believes that if you focus on your personal performance on each play, you will find that the scoreboard is in your favor more times than not. Just as he eliminated his own lunch options to avoid seemingly insignificant decisions, so too has Saban eliminated the distractions of championship predictions by challenging his players to focus solely on where they will be at the end of each play. If his team perfects how they execute each play, then the sum of perfection will most likely equal victory.

Too many of us are focused strictly on the end result when each play deserves that same kind of attention. We should all strive to be extraordinary and that starts with a focus on our own capabilities instead of those of our opponents. The myriad of distractions, predictions, and feigned finish lines only create room for disappointment, failure and lack of preparation.

What “play” do you have in front of you today that deserves your full attention? Are there current decisions in your life that should require more of your focus? Join the conversation today.

Read Don's entire article:

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