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Sunday, July 28, 2013


A few weeks ago, I had a post about a book and made reference to the fact that I would have loved to have read it when I first started coaching.  In fact, it would be in my Top 10 books that I think could've impacted me greatly as a young coach just starting out.  I have since received a great number of requests asking for the complete list and so each day, over the next few weeks, I will list a book that I think young coaches would benefit from reading as they start their coaching journey.  I would imagine that many will be looking for X&O books -- just as I did when I first started coaching -- but instead you will find a list of books that will not only make you a better coach, but a better person. Books that concentrate on teaching, goal setting, communication and leadership.

Book #4

Today Matters
John Maxwell

First, I am such an amazing believer in the words written by John Maxwell. To me, he is the leading author of my generation in terms of improving ourselves.  I could write a list on the top 10 books written by Maxwell but this book in particular is great for beginning coaches because it is about living out today to its fullest – understanding the priorities of today in order to be successful tomorrow.  And this is something that young coaches can sometimes struggle with as they are living in the future while forgetting about today.

Each summer we try to coin a phrase to center our team's motivation around. This summer the phase is simply, "WIN TODAY." We told our team that to have a great summer that we needed them to rise out of bed each morning and ask, "What do I need to do to win today." It could mean extra effort in the weight could mean some extra conditioning or agility with Jen could mean getting the gym to work on your shot or ball could mean eating could mean taking some time to help one of our freshman who is away at college for the first could mean not going out tonight because you have an important exam in summer school tomorrow.
But our goal is to WIN TODAY. We have talked to our players about understanding they will win or lose games this summer even though we are months from practice. We have a chance to improve individually as well as improve as a team each day and that will only get us closer to our goals.

We have did several things to remind our players about winning the day that are both physical and visual and I will share them with you at a later day. For now, I want to share some passages from John Maxwell's book, "Today Matters." It was the inspiration in us coming up with this summer motto and some of these passage are ones that we share with our team throughout the next few months.

“Everyone wants to have a good day, but not many people know what a good day looks like — much less how to create one. And even few people understand the way you live today impacts your tomorrow.”
-John Maxwell

“You don’t win an Olympic gold medal with a few weeks of intensive training. There’s no such thing as an overnight opera sensation. Great law firms or design companies don’t spring up overnight...Every great company, every great brand, and every great career has been build in exactly the same way: bit by bit, step by step, little by little.”
-Seth Godin

“Real, sustainable change doesn’t happen in a moment. It’s a process.”
-John Maxwell

“When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”
-John Wooden

“People create success in their lives by focusing on today. It may sound trite, but today is the only time you have. It’s too late for yesterday. And you can’t depend on tomorrow. That’s why today matters!”
-John Maxwell

“The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”
-John Maxwell

“Successful people make right decisions early and manage those decisions daily. The earlier you make those right decisions and the longer you manage them, the more successful you can become. The people who neglect to make those decisions and to manage them well often look back on their lives with pain and regret — no matter how much talent they possessed or how many opportunities they once had.”
-John Maxwell

“One today is worth two tomorrows; what I am to be, I am now becoming.”
-Benjamin Franklin

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. You see, success doesn’t just suddenly occur one day in someone’s life. For that matter, neither does failure. Each is a process. Every day of your life is merely preparation for the next. What you become is the result of what you do today.
-John Maxwell

“The way you live your life today is preparing you for your tomorrow. The question is, ‘What are you preparing for? Are you grooming yourself for success of failure?’”
-John Maxwell

“The only adequate preparation for tomorrow is the right use of today.”
-John Maxwell

“What you do in practice is going to determine your level of success. I used to tell my players, ‘You have to give 100 percent every day. What you don’t give, you can’t make up for tomorrow. If you only give 75 percent today, you can’t give 125 percent tomorrow to make up for it.’”
-John Wooden

You’ve heard the phrase “All’s well that ends well.” Here’s another that I believe is equally true: “All’s well that begins well!”
-John Maxwell

“Everything you now do is something you have chosen to do. Some people don’t want to believe that. To change your life, you need to change your priorities.”
-John Maxwell

“The reason most goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first.”
-Robert McKain

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Neglect enough todays, and you’ll experience the ‘someday’ you’ve wanted to avoid.”
-John Maxwell
“The greatest of all insights is that we cannot do tomorrow what we do not do today.”
-John Maxwell