Wednesday, January 28, 2009


"I used to be in the Marines, and the Marines get a lot of credit for building people’s values. But that’s not the way it really works. The Marine Corps recruits people who share the corps’ value, then provides then with the training required to accomplish the organization’s mission. We look at it the same way at Pitney Bowes. We have more people who want to do the right thing than most companies. We don’t just look at experience. We want to know: Who are they? Why are they? We find out who they are by asking then why they made decisions in their life. The answers to these questions give us insight into their core values."

-Jim Collins-
From "Good to Great"


"The biggest sin is sitting on your ass."
-Florynce R. Kenndy-

"Inaction, contrary for its reputation as being a refuge,
is neither safe nor comfortable."
-Madeline Kuhn-

"There are so many things that
we wish we had done yesterday,
so few that we feel like doing today."
-Mignon McLaughlin-

"What you don't do can be a destructive force."
-Eleanor Roosevelt-

"So much attention is paid to the aggressive sins, such as
violence and cruelty and greed with all their tragic effects, that too little
attention is paid to the passive sins, such as apathy and laziness,
which in the long run can have a more devastating and
destructive effect upon our society than the others."
-Eleanor Roosevelt-

"The most ominous of fallacies--
the belief that things can be kept static by inaction."
-Freyda Stark-


"We didn’t emphasize winning as much we talked about playing well. We thought that if we played well and did certain things in a game, winning would take care of itself. If we played well and the other team had more talent and played better, there wasn’t anything we could do about it. So I always tried—and I suggest that you try—to be intrinsically motivated. Remind yourself every day what’s most important, and keep the broad view in mind. Winning is what you and your administration define it to be. It’s essential that you understand each other clearly on that point. John Wooden never talked to his players about winning."

-Tom Osborne-


Some thoughts on organization from Coach Rick Pitino:

You organize your drive each and every day.

Being driven is all about being organized.

My daily routine facilitates my drive. It is organized and as close to airtight as I can make it—there isn’t much dead time built in, because dead time rarely helps you attain those daily goals.
An organized plan of attack helps everyone.

To keep my schedule as organized as possible, I write it all down on a daily basis. This is an idea I borrowed from my old boss Hubie Brown, who wrote down everything—he’d take notes on phone conversations, and would refer back to them weeks later. Hubie wrote his daily duties on a notebook page divided in half: calls he had to make, other duties to perform, and things to improve. What didn’t get done on Monday, he moved across the page to his list for Tuesday. I’ve modified that system, using my trusty note cards and a blue pen I carry with me at all times. At the end of the day, I review what happened, and I circle in red everything that didn’t get done and needs to carry over to tomorrow. Then I chart the next day before I go to bed. I’ve learned better than to leave it up to memory. Passing thoughts and sudden ideas need to be written down, or else I’ll forget. If I’m recruiting a player and I go watch his high school team practice, when I leave the gym, I’ll grab a card and jot down what I saw or something that came up in conversation with his coach.

If I’m not in a place where I can write something down—say, in the car—I’ll keep a tape recorder handy. There have been several occasions when I’ve used the tape recorder to gather my thoughts for a motivational talk to my team or points of emphasis in a pregame press conference.

From Rebound Rules: The Art of Success 2.0
By Rick Pitino

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Today, college basketball has lost one of it's great coaches but the human race has lost a giant. Coach Kay Yow's legacy will be someone that faced great personal pain and suffering with class and dignity and passed on the gift of courage to all those who knew her. This morning she passed away after several courageous battles with breast cancer.

It was during March Madness of 2007 and our Lady Tigers were in the Regionals in Fresno, California. Joining us was Connecticut, Florida State and Coach Yow's NC State Wolfpack. I can vividly remember watching an ESPN feature on Coach Yow with my wife in the hotel. It spoke of Coach Yow actually taking a chemo treatment while on the charter plane with her team to participate in the regionals. Sherie, my wife, simply commented, "What an amazing women."

Truer words were never spoken. Three months later Sherie was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the Final Four in Tampa in 2008, both Sherie and I had the opportunity to speak at Kay Yow Foundation event, sharing the stage with this amazing person. My wife had the opportunity in front of Coach Yow to tell what an inspiration she had been as Sherie went through her own personal battle.

This will also be her legacy -- inspiring us all to be better, stronger, more giving -- to live the good fight. As I spoke at the Kay Yow Foundation event last spring, I said that often when a loved one is stricken with such a serious illness that we often find ourselves questioning God as to why...why must this person have to fight this battle. But I know why God chose Coach Yow. He went out and found a strong, gracious, courageous warrior that would inspire thousands with the same disease. God chose a woman that would inspire us all to work towards finding a cure for such a tragic disease.

If you are the coach of a girls basketball team, the odds are amazing that at least one of your players will one day hear those difficult words, "You have breast cancer." Are you a spouse, or maybe the parents of daughters? Then learn all you can about early detection and find ways to give to those organizations that are working hard to find a cure as well as to comfort and aid those that have already been diagnosed. There are numerous organizations out there doing wonderful things...of course the organization of choice both Sherie and myself is the Kay Yow Foundation which is a branch of the Jimmy V Foundation. For more information please click on the link below:

Video report on Coach Yow from

A wonderfully written story by Michelle Vopel

Friday, January 23, 2009


On several occasions I have wrote of the wonderful job done by Brian Williams and the people at the Coaching Toolbox. Each morning I look forward to their email and their daily basketball topic. In keeping up with cutting edge of technology, Coaching Toolbox they are bringing us a "webinar" clinic from April McDivit. I had the opportunity to coach against April when she was the point guard at Tennessee and she is a very impressive young lady that has tremendous knowledge as to how to play the game. Some of the things you can look forward to from the webinar include:

1. Listen In as they interview a great player with a great background.
2. Sign Up now and they will get you warmed up over the next week with access to some short videos.
3. They will allow you to get a feel for Coach McDivitt's teaching style before the webinar.
4. You'll even have a chance to ask your own questions!
5. Receive webinar updates.

For more information, click on the this link:

Thursday, January 22, 2009


One of my dearest friends in coach is Jim Boone at Tusculum College. Jim is one of the foremost best teachers in the game where they play Motion Offense and Pack Man Defense. This past season Jim hired another friend of mine in Mike McBride and the result has been an 11-6 start this season. One of the things that I have in common with Jim and Mike (and that we learned from Don Meyer) is to take that which we learned and share it with other coaches. Tusculum has recently started a basketball newsletter with some great content. In one of their more recent ones they talk about offensive play and those things important to execution at Tusculum. I am sharing some of that with you below but I would strongly encourage everyone to drop Mike an email and ask to be put on his mailing list so that you can get the entire series as it is produced. You can email Mike at:

Regardless of offensive system, there are several aspects of play that are of vital importance to the productivity of a team’s offense. Spacing, inside play, driving action, screening, cutting, and offensive rebounding are just a few of the areas that are part of any offensive system. At Tusculum, we utilize a Motion Offense that is predicated in large part on our ability to screen and cut. The following are some of our thoughts regarding these key areas of offensive play:

Screening is the meat of motion offense. It is imperative that players are sound in their ability to recognize screening opportunities, set solid screens, read screens correctly, and then 2nd cut appropriately. In all screens there are two cutters.
The screener becomes the 2nd cutter after laying the defense out with body-to-body contact (look legal). In all screens one player should cut to the lane and the other should cut to the perimeter.

·Be decisive in the communication of and movement to screen.
·Sight the defense, communicate the screen – “wait, wait, wait” call to the cutter, and get the proper angle.
·Have a quick pace to screen & HIT THE TARGET. Do not “roll through” or “pull out” of the screen.
·Hold the screen with a low, wide base and hold for a two count.


My friend and mentor Dale Brown just sent me an email with a few passages from "Quiet Strength" by Tony Dungy and thought I'd pass them on.

The first step toward creating an improved future is developing the ability to envision it. VISION will ignite the fire of passion that fuels our commitment to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to achieve excellence. Only VISION allows us to transform dreams of greatness into the reality of achievement through human action. VISION has no boundaries and knows no limits. Our VISION is what we become in life.

If we get caught up in chasing what the world defines as success, we can use our time and talent to do some great things. We might even become famous. But in the end, what will it mean?

What will people remember us for? Are other people’s lives better because we lived? Did we make a difference? Did we use to the fullest the gifts and abilities God gave us? Did we give our best effort, and did we do it for the right reasons?

God’s definition of success is really one of significance—the significant difference our lives can make in the lives of others. This significance doesn’t show up in win-loss records, long resumes, or the trophies gathering dust on our mantels. It’s found in the hearts and lives of those we’ve come across who are in some way better because of the way we lived.

A good leader gets people to follow him because they want to, not because he makes them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


The following comes from high school football coach George Curry. It's his list of "10 Don'ts" that he gives to the parents of players. He tell the parents they will follow these if they sincerely want the sons to be successful.

1. Don’t try to live your lives through your son.
You had your chance to be young. Let your youngster do his thing. Don’t force football or any sport down his throat.

2. Don’t be negative with your son.
It rubs off. If you complain about why your son isn’t in the starting lineup, he will do the same. Be positive. Motivate and encourage your son.

3. Don’t be unrealistic.
The good Lord gave all of us certain abilities. Accept your son as he is. We would all like to be big, tall, handsome, intelligent, and strong, but it doesn’t happen that way. Accept what the Lord blessed you with and go on with your life. Make the best of it. It’s the same in football—someone may be bigger, faster, tougher, or smarter. Know your son’s limitations and encourage him to make the best of it. Accept his role on the team.

4. Don’t know the coaching staff.
How can you expect your son to perform to his fullest if all he hears from you about the coach is negative? The coach represents authority. You will give your youngster the wrong message if you ridicule the coach or his teachers. Support the coach’s rules, philosophies, playbook and so on.

5. Don’t be envious of other players.
Treat each player as if he were your son. Don’t dislike a player because you don’t like his parents.

6. Don’t be a know-it-all.
Coaches work with youngsters 12 months of the year. They spend many hours with these youngsters in situations that their parents may never see. In some cases, coaches know more about the player than the parents do. Don’t exert pressure on your son by telling him things he shouldn’t have to hear. Be a good role model. Let the coaches coach.

7.Don’t be an absent parent.
Monitor your son’s grades. Insist that your son study and earn good grades. If you put academics first, your son will be more successful.

8. Don’t neglect your son’s social activities.
Monitor his friends, hangouts, girlfriend, curfew, language, rules, and so on. Talk to your son about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use. Encourage your son to make the right choices. If you don’t communicate well in these areas, the wrong people may influence your son.

9. Don’t be selfish.
Don’t use football for the wrong reasons. Don’t push your son to play for a scholarship. Doing so pressures him unduly. If he is good enough, he will earn a scholarship. Let him play because he loves the game.

10. Don’t baby your son.
Sever the umbilical cord. It’s a tough world out there. Let him begin preparing for it by not babying him. Let the coaches push your son. Let the coaches make him tougher mentally by challenging him. A youngster can learn mental toughness regardless of whether he plays.

Monday, January 19, 2009


We cannot begin to say enough about the importance of moving without the basketball — but only if it is correct movement. As John Wooden once said, “Don’t mistake activity for achievement.” What “effective movement” without the basketball does is eliminate the move needed to create the shot once you receive the basketball. Don Nelson says that “Less is more,” in the paint. Also, if you move constantly and correctly, you force the defense to play behind you.

Most people think of moving without the basketball as something done by perimeter players but it is equally as important for post players. Movement without the basketball in the low post includes the following:

We want our post players to be down the floor and to post up in less than four seconds. Beat the opposition down the floor for a basket or out hustle her and gain control of the box.

We teach the use of the v-cut with a one-step set up to get from one side of the lane to the other. If the defender is high, we set up high and cut low; if the defender is low, we set up low and cut high.

On dribble penetration, we want our post player to step away from the drive. If it is a baseline drive, we want to buttonhook (slide post up the lane and open to the ball for a possible pass); on a direct drive down the lane, extend to the short corner.

This is used when the low post is opposite the basketball. On ball reversal such as a swing pass or skip pass, we want to turn and face our defender and drive her into the paint for a seal-in.


From former Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry:

1. To look on one’s coaching work as an integral part of the school system with a definite contribution to make to the cause of education.

2. To keep in the foreground the fundamental, educational objective of athletic competition and to make other ends subservient to this main purpose.

3. To consider the welfare of players of paramount important and not to tolerate their exploitation for personal or private gain.

4. To cultivate the confidence and respect of rival coaches, to look on them as colleagues and friends, and to treat them and talk to them as such.

5. To use one’s influence to counteract unfounded rumors of questionable practices or violations of rules by opponents.

6. To give all reasonable support to the officials in charge of the game.

7. To refuse to teach or permit techniques or play contrary to the letter or spirit of the rules.

8. To encourage players to respect and accept, without wrangling, the authority and decisions of the officials and to refrain from insulting them or the opponents.

9. To discourage illegitimate recruiting, betting on games, and all other practiced that tend to commercialize players and deprive them of the character-building opportunities that should be a vital part of football training.

10. To be gentlemanly and considerate in victory, undismayed and courageous in defeat.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


For anyone who missed the feature on Coach Meyer this morning on College Game Day:


From Og Mandino

1. Count your blessings.
2. Today, and every day, deliver more than you are getting paid to do.
3. Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don't look back at it too long.
4. Always reward your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family.
5. Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts.
6. Live this day as if it will be your last.
7. Laugh at yourself and at life.
8. Never neglect the little things.
9. Welcome every morning with a smile.
10. Search for the seed of good in every adversity.


I know I've spoke of his blog before, but if you aren't reading Coach Mussleman's blog on a daily basis you are missing out and some tremendous things to help you as a coach become better as well as to improve your team. I think it is the best blog out there -- regardless of what sport you coach. I've found it so valuable that I now have a 3-ring binder to catalog certain entries that I want to use for our team.


During his coaching career at UCLA, John Wooden led the basketball team to an 88-game winning streak and 10 NCAA championship titles. But Wooden is equally famous for being a mentor and lifelong teacher, with several books published on his insights and methods for leadership. The following include some of the key strategies he still teaches today-at 97.

Be enthusiastic about your work. Enthusiasm is one of the cornerstones of Wooden's "Pyramid of Success." "Without enthusiasm, you cannot work up to your fullest ability and potential; you're just going through the motions. And just going through the motions won't bring you to the level of competitive greatness we seek, whether in basketball, business or life."

Don't get angry when people test you. "People are going to test you. But don't back down from them on the things in which you believe, because once they take advantage of you and get away with it, they'll keep it up."

A famous incident involving the coach being tested involved All-American center Bill Walton, who defiantly showed up to Picture Day on the eve of the season's first practice with a full beard, which Wooden forbade his players to have. Walton told Wooden that he didn't have the right to tell him how to wear his hair. Wooden agreed that he didn't have the right to tell him how to wear his hair, but he did, however, have the right to decide who would play on the team. "We'll miss you," he told Walton, who shaved his beard before practice the next day.

To get cooperation, you must give cooperation. "The sharing of ideas, information, creativity, responsibilities and tasks is a priority of good leadership. The only thing that is not shared is blame. A strong leader accepts blame and gives the credit (when deserved) to others."
Don't be afraid to fail. "If you are afraid to fail, you will never do the things you are capable of doing. If you have thoroughly prepared and are ready to give it all you've got, there is no shame if you fail-nothing to fear in failure. But fear of failure is what often prevents one from taking action."

Be confident but not arrogant. "Arrogance, or elitism, is the feeling of superiority that fosters the assumption that past success will be repeated without the same hard effort that brought it about in the first place. Thus, I have never gone into a game assuming victory. All opponents have been respected, none feared. I taught those under my supervision to do the same. This reflects confidence, not arrogance. Arrogance will bring you down by your own hands."

Pay attention to the little things. As a coach, Wooden was known for teaching his players how to put on their socks and shoes on the first day of practice. The lesson: Every detail matters.

Be loyal to yourself and to your organization. "A leader who has loyalty is the leader whose team I wish to be a part of. And so do others. Most people, the overwhelming majority of us, wish to be in an organization whose leadership cares about them, provides fairness and respect, dignity and consideration…. [Be loyal] and you will subsequently lead an organization that will not waffle in the wind when things get tough."

Remember that success is not defined by victories. Wooden's definition of success: "peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable."

From Success Magazine
Sources: Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections; Wooden on Leadership; The Essential Wooden; and

Friday, January 16, 2009


"We live in a world where these two great words—discipline and loyalty—are becoming meaningless. Does this mean that they are worthless? On the contrary, they are becoming priceless qualities because they are so hard to develop in the first place. And should you be one of the fortunate few who, by God's grace, has caught the vision, your battle has just begun, because the greatest battle is to keep what you've learned through these two priceless qualities. Discipline is that great quality few people use that enables them to be constructively busy all the time. Even in discouragement and defeat, discipline will rescue you and usher you to a new place to keep constructively busy while you forget about doubt, worry and self-pity. Oh, that more in this day would realize the absolute necessity of discipline and the degree of growth and happiness to be attained from it.Most people think that loyalty is to a thing or to a person when actually it is really to one's own self. Some think that it is to a goal or an objective, but again it is to one's own convictions. If loyalty has to be earned, then it is deserved and is hardy, more than devoted emotion based on a temporary feeling. No, loyalty is the character of a person who has given himself the task before him and he will always realize that out of a loyal heart will spring all the other virtues that make life one of depth and growth. "

-Charlie "T" Jones-

Founder of Life Management Services


Pete Carroll 's daunting record on the field underscores a bigger life philosophy. Here's 8 ways the USC coach cultivates champions.

1. Recruit Well.
Considered one of the best recruiters in college football, Carroll has mastered this idea. Nothing builds championship teams better than talented players to fill every spot on the roster. And that even includes the second team. So whether it's on the playing field or in a conference room, you want the best players you can find. Take time to recruit the best candidates for a job and then take even more time finding out what motivates them, where their passions lie, and how they will work in your game plan. And they should be good on defense (help to protect the brand you worked hard to build) and on the offense (with new ideas and ways to grow the business).

2. Use Social Networking Tools.
Pete Carroll has a USC-run page on Facebook that's used to help with recruiting and finding new people to join his team. With nearly 70 million users, that's a lot of recruits.

3. Think Positively.
According to those who are close to the legendary coach, Carroll is an eternal optimist and has even been quoted as saying, "I always think something good is just about to happen." With numerous national championships under his belt, it seems as though that strategy of positive thinking is working.

4. Let the Stars Shine.
Carroll turned out three Heisman Trophy winners in four years --- showing that you've got to let the natural leaders on your team rise to the top and shine in the spotlight for a job well done. Five titles in the Pac-10 prove that the rest of his team will support the leaders and find ways to win.

5. Have Fun.
Carroll invited USC alum Will Ferrell to give a motivational speech up to give the team a motivational speech. In true Ferrell style, he came as his Ricky Bobby character from Talladega Nights wearing the driving suit from the movie. A practical joker himself, Carroll played the part and also wore a NASCAR suit.

6. Build Fans.
Under Carroll's tenure, USC home games have consistently sold out … meaning he's sharing his successes with thousands of people. Get the word out about all you've accomplished and watch your fan base grow.

7. Give Your Team Stability.
Each off-season, talk is rampant that Carroll will jump to the ranks of the NFL, but year after year, he makes the decision to remain loyal to the Trojans. This way, his team members and recruits have faith that their leader will stick around to help work toward another championship.

8. Let Your Team Know You're One of Them.
Known to join his players on the field during practice sessions, Carroll will run sprints and routes, and toss the ball around from time to time. He strives to let his players know that he's willing to work as hard as they do and is as dedicated to winning each and every game as they are.

From Success Magazine


From the book "Organizing Genius" by Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman.

These are the fifteen top take-home lessons of Great groups:

1. Greatness starts with superb people.

Recruiting the most talented people possible is the first task of anyone who hopes to create a Great Group. The people who can achieve something truly unprecedented have more than enormous talent and intelligence. They have original minds. They see things differently.

2. Great Groups and great leaders create each other.
The heads of Great Groups have to act decisively, but never arbitrarily. They have to make decisions without limiting the perceived autonomy of the other participants. Devising and maintaining an atmosphere in which others can put a dent in the universe is the leader’s creative act.

3. Every Great Group has a strong leader.
Great Groups are made up of people with rare gifts working together as equals. yet, in virtually every one there is one person who acts as maestro, organizing the genius of the others.

4. The leaders of Great Groups love talent and know where to find it.
Great Groups are headed by people confident enough to recruit people better than themselves. They revel in the talent of others.

5. Great Groups are full of talented people who can work together.
Certain tasks can only be performed collaboratively, and it is madness to recruit people, however gifted, who are incapable of working side by side toward a common goal.

6. Great Groups think they are on a mission from God.
People in Great Groups often have the zeal of converts, people who have come only recently to see some great truth and follow it wherever it leads.

7. Every Great Group is an island — but an island with a bridge to the mainland.
Great Groups become their own words. They also tend to be physically removed from the world around them.

8. Great Groups see themselves as winning underdogs.
Much of the gleeful energy of Great Groups seems to stem from this view of themselves as upstarts who will snatch the prize from the fumbling hands of a bigger but less wily competitor.

9. Great Groups always have an enemy.
When there is not enemy, you have to make one up. Whether the enemy occurs in nature or is manufactured, it serves the same purpose. It raises the stakes of the competition, it helps your group rally and define itself, and it also frees up to be spurred by that time-honored motivator — self-righteous hatred.

10. People in Great Groups have blinders on.
The project is all they see. In Great Groups, you don’t find people who are distracted by peripheral concerns, including such perfectly laudable ones as professional advancement and the quality of their private lives.

11. Great Groups are optimistic, not realistic.
People in Great Groups believe they can do things no one has every done before. Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.

12. In Great Groups the right person has the right job.
The failure to find the right niche for people — or to let them find their own perfect niches — is a major reason that so many workplaces are mediocre, even toxic, in spite of the presence of talent.

13. The leaders of Great Groups give them what they need and free them from the rest.
Great Groups are never places where memos are the primary form of communication. They aren’t places where anything is filed in triplicate. Time that can go into thinking and making is never wasted on activities, such as writing reports, that serve only some bureaucratic or corporate function outside the group.

14. Great Groupship.
Successful collaborations are dreams with deadlines. By definition, Great Groups continue to struggle until the project is brought to a successful conclusion.

15. Great work is its own reward.
Great Groups are engaged in solving hard, meaningful problems. Paradoxically, that process is difficult but exhilarating as well. The payoff is not money, or even glory. The reward is the creative process itself.


“There’s a simple doctrine: Outside of a person’s love, the most sacred thing they can give is their labor.”
—James Carville—

LSU Graduate


"I don’t get a big charge out of being the leading scorer. The object of competing is winning. I just try to do what has to be done for us to win. That might be anything at the time — defense, rebounding, passing. I get great satisfaction out of being a team player.”

NBA Hall-Of-Famer


re-spect (ri-spekt’) Hold sacred. To regard as important. Pay
attention to. A just regard for and appreciation of worth. Honor and esteem. Hold serious compliance for an observance. Rendering of honor.






The following excerpts were taken from an article on NBA Hall-Of-Famer Bill Russell in Sports Illustrated written by Frank Deford.
Fourteen times in Russell’s career it came down to one game, win you must, or lose and go home. Fourteen times the team with Bill Russell on it won. I have posted it before but shared it with out team today and thought I'd repost it.

Russell: “It’s better to understand than to be understood.”

Tom Heinsohn: “Look, all I know is the guy won two NCAA championships, 50-some college games in a row, the Olympics, then he came to Boston and won 11 championships in 13 years.”

Some years Russell would be so exhausted after the playoffs that, as he describes it, “I’d literally be tired to my bones. I mean, for four, five weeks, my bones would hurt.”

Russell: “To be the best in the world. Not last week. Not next year. But right now. You are the best. And it’s even more satisfying as a team, because that’s more difficult. If I play well, that’s one thing. But to make others play better…”

What do you remember your father told you, Bill? “Accept responsibility for your actions...Honor thy father and mother...If they give you $10 for a day’s work, you give them $12 worth in return.”

The Celtics really did get along the way teams are supposed to in sports mythology. Russell threw Christmas parties for his teammates and their families. In 1962 he took the astonished rookie John Havlicek around town to get a good price on a stereo. “All of us were strangers in a place far from home,” Russell says. “But we made it into a unique situation. Cousy started it. He was absolutely sincere about being a good teammate.”

Russell was a great admirer of Bob Cousy, though, and the two led together. If they called a team meeting, they’d start of by soliciting opinion on how they – Russell and Cousy — were lacking.

Russell’s simple key to a successful team was to encourage each player to do what he did best. “Remember, each of us has a finite amount of energy, and things you do well don’t require as much. Things you don’t do well take more concentration. And if you’re fatigued by that, then the things you do best are going to be affected. You must let your energy flow to the team.”

And sometimes, of course, you simply must sacrifice. For instance, one of the hardest things Russell had to learn to accept was that if he filled one lane on a fast break and Heinsohn was on the other flank, Cousy would give Heinsohn the ball – and the basket. Every time. “He simply had so much confidence in Heine,” Russell says. “So I had to discipline myself to run that break all-out, even if I knew I wasn’t going to get the ball.”

Unashamed, he sought to play the perfect game. “Certain standards I set for that,” he says. “First, of course, we had to win. I had to get 25 rebounds, eight assists and eight blocks. I had to make 60% of my shots, and I had to run all my plays perfectly, setting screens and filling the lanes. Also, I had to say the right things to my teammates.”


"But to understand why San Antonio’s Tim Duncan is so good, you have to look in the other direction. It’s feet first. The footwork is the foundation of everything he does on the basketball floor. And with that foundation beneath him, Duncan, at 23 and in only his second NBA season, could very well already be the best player in the NBA.”
-David DuPree-
USA Today

“His instincts are what I admire most about his game. He’s a thinker and he’s athletic. That’s what makes him so good. He’s so confident that he makes everything look easy and effortless.
-Marcus Camby-
New York Knicks

“What interesting about him is his capacity to learn and outdo his game. If you think about him now compared to college, he’s guarding people out on the floor where he never did that before; he’s facing the basket and pulling up for jumpers and driving where he really hadn’t done that before. We’ve had him guard every position on the floor. His capacity for the game is very large.” -Gregg Popovich-
San Antonio Head Coach


When it comes to commitment, there are really only four types of people.

COP-OUTS: People who have no goals and do not commit.

HOLDOUTS: People who don’t know if they can reach their goals, so they’re afraid to commit.

DROPOUTS: People who start toward a goal but quit when the going gets tough.

ALL-OUTS: People who set goals, commit to them, and pay the price to reach them.

The 21 Indispensable Qualities Of A Leader
By John C. Maxwell


“The scoreboard has nothing to do with the process. Each possession you look across at the opponent you are defending and commit yourself to dominating that person. If you make a bad play, it’s over and you move on to the next play. It’s about individuals dominating the individuals they are playing against and our team dominating their team. If you can do this
...if you can focus on the one possession and wipe out the distractions...then you will be satisfied with the result. That was the approach we took and we won the national championship.”

-Nick Saban addressing the LSU Women's Basketball Team
April 2, 2004

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


This from Championship Performance's January newsletter:

The following suggestions will help make your locker room talks more compelling by dispelling athlete doubts and instilling greater motivation.

People equate eye contact with honesty, and honesty is the key to success in motivation.

Avoid such flabby terms as "sort of," "maybe," "perhaps," etc. Be firm and precise. Show confidence in yourself, your goals, and your team. All this is an integral part of motivation.

Yelling can be effective, but certainly not before every contest. Change-ups in tone can be useful, however. You may shock and surprise the players when they least expect it -- yell when they expect a whisper or whisper when they expect a yell. A silent stare or a sly smile may also work effective.

Decide upon a mood and then stick with it. Don't rain a serious mood with a joke. Sure, your team can use a laugh from time to time, but it shouldn't come in the middle of a serious motivational talk.

Overly strong appeals can defeat the purpose of a speech. When fear or emotion is strongly aroused and not fully relieved, the audience tends to shy away from the speaker.

The important constants in any speech are to keep everything simple, unwavering, and altogether credible. A team has to believe in the coach to accept his philosophy and to talk it up with others. Good attitudes and good relationships make for good morale, good practices and good games.

Tom Osborne explained: "All that fire-up emotion is good, but any time we line up in a formation we're not prepared for, all that emotion won't do any good. We believe that a highly motivated team is a team that is basically very soundly prepared."

Monday, January 12, 2009


GOOD players can take
criticism and construction…
GREAT players can take
criticism and construction
and LEARN!


The following is a story told by Anthony Robbins in his book "Awaken The Giant Within."

"The power of conditioning can’t be overestimated. I read recently that Boston Celtics great Larry Bird was doing a soft-drink commercial in which he was suppose to miss a jump shot. He made nine baskets in a row before he could get himself to miss! That’s how strongly he’s conditioned himself over the years. When that ball hits his hands, he automatically goes through a pattern that is aimed at putting the ball through the hoop. I’m sure that if you examined the portion of Larry Bird’s brain that is linked to that motion, you would discover a substantial neural pathway. Realize that you and I can condition any behavior within ourselves if we do it with enough repetition and emotional intensity."


“Fundamentals are the most crucial part of my game in the NBA. Everything I did, everything I achieved, can be traced back to the way I approached the fundamentals and how I applied them to my abilities. They really are the basic building blocks or principles that make everything work. I don’t care what you’re doing or what you’re trying to accomplish — you can’t skip fundamentals if you want to be the best. The minute you get away from fundamentals, the bottom can fall out. You have to monitor your fundamentals constantly because the only thing that never changes will be your attention to them. The fundamentals will never change. It comes down to a very simple saying: There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your fundamentals are wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.”


Saturday, January 10, 2009


"Motivation is the will to do something to the absolute best of one’s ability. A motivated man refuses to surrender even when there is nothing left to give. The enormity of the task does not matter. Neither do overwhelming odds against success. An effort may at times fall short of its goal, but a motivated team never allows itself to come up short of effort. Success isn’t a case of never making mistakes. It’s a case of never giving up after making mistakes. That’s motivation! Ordinary men make promises to achieve excellence. Motivated men are fearless. They take it one step further. They make commitments, and they never compromise. The late Bob Zuppke, who coached the University of Illinois football team for 29 years, once said, “The difference between champions and near champions is the ability to play for something outside of self.” That’s motivation! No one can achieve lasting success without it."

Bo Schembechler

Thursday, January 8, 2009


"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good. That's just way it is. And if you believe that and live by it, you'd be surprised at how much fun you can have."

"Paralyze resistance with persistence."

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"The only meaningful statistic is number of games won."

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization."

"A man is always better than he thinks."

"I don't live in the past. I'm a student of the past, and I try to learn from the past, although some people will say, 'You haven't done a very good job of it.' But for me to live in the past? Hell, no.'"

"Statistics always remind me of fellow who drowned in a river where the average depth was only three feet."

"I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying."

"The time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect."

"Success - it 's what you do with what you've got."

"Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside
their players heads and motivate them."


The following comes from an article in Success Magazine by Mary Vinnedge:

For all his career achievements, Colin Powell says he did not build his life around goals: “I never put chalk marks on the wall [that indicated] I’ve got to do this. I’ve tried to do my best at what has come my way…. I’m not without ambition, but I’m not driven by ambition. I’ve had a full and active public life.” Powell says he would like to be remembered “as a good soldier who served well and is well thought of by his fellows.” Those fellows include his greatest mentors, “the captains and majors who taught me as a lieutenant and kept me going straight ahead.”

His best advice for others: “Look for something you love to do and you do well. Go for it. It will give you satisfaction in life. It could mean money, but it may not. It could mean a lot of titles, but it may not. But it will give you satisfaction.”

Read the entire article here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


We’ve all heard that it’s not what you know but rather who you know that determines your success. But when it comes to building sales relationships, what really counts is “who is GLAD they know you?”

Ask yourself, when you come through the door or place a call to your customers and prospects, do you look like good news to them? Do they look forward to their contact with you? The more you can bring value to everyone you meet, the more they will open their doors and wallets to you.

There are three essential qualities in every high-value relationship:

1. Both parties are committed to the success of the relationship (it can’t be one-sided except in the early stages).

2. There must be enough trust for the truth to flow freely.

3. You need clear agreements. Both of you need to understand what you can expect from the other person.

Jim Cathcart


1. Constant ball pressure
2. Contest every shot
3. Retreat to ball line
4. Deny all penetrating passes or dribbles
5. Don't deny non-penetrating pass
6. Always see the ball and the man (especially the ball)
7. Up the court: on the line up the line
8. Intercept the lob and bounce pass
9. Jump to the ball
10. Communicate


Below is a series of thoughts from Brian Tracy that came from his outstanding book "Time Power."

Four ideas for personal organization

1. Neatness is a key habit. Remember that neatness is a key habit for personal productivity. You can dramatically increase your productivity and output simply by cleaning up and organizing your workspace.

2. Stand back and evaluate yourself. Stand back from your desk or work area and ask, “What kind of person works at that desk?”

In a serious interview with senior executives, fifty out of fifty-two of the respondents said that they would not promote a person with a messy desk or a cluttered work environment.

3. Refuse to make excuses. Many people working in a messy environment use their intelligence against themselves. They use their cleverness to justify and excuse themselves or the messiness of their workspace. They say things like, “I know where everything is.”

4. Work from a clean desk. Direct mail entrepreneur Joe Sugarman once wrote a book explaining his five rules for success. One of his five principles was, “End every day with a clean desk.” He made this rule throughout his organization.

Three steps to organizing your workspace

1. Clear your desk. Begin your process of getting organized by clearing your desk of everything but the one thing that you are working on at the moment.

2. Assemble everything you need. Arrange to have everything you need at hand before you begin any task.

3. Handle each piece of paper only once. Resolve to handle every piece of paper only once. Make a decision to do something with it when you pick it up, and don’t pick it up unless you are ready to act on it.

There are four things you can do with any piece of paper

1. Throw it away. One of the best time management tools at home or office is the wastebasket. The fastest way to save time in reading anything is to simply throw it away and not read it at all. This applies to junk mail, unwanted subscriptions to catalogs, sales circulars, and everything else that is not relevant to your goals.

2. Delegate it to someone else. You can refer or delegate the task to someone else. When you pick up a piece of paper, ask yourself is there is someone else who should be acting on this matter.

3. Take personal action. You can take action on the piece of paper. These are the letters, proposals, and messages that you must personally do something about.

4. File it for future reference. You can file it away. But before you file anything, remember that 80 percent of papers filed are never needed, used, or seen again. Before you decide to put something in your files, ask yourself, “What would happen if I couldn’t find this piece of paper?” What would be the negative consequences of not having this information available?

When you are finished with something, put it away. Complete your transactions. Finish your jobs. Discipline yourself to stay at it until the job is 100 percent complete.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


"We must dare to think “unthinkable” thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world."

-James William Fulbright-


From Urban's Way by Buddy Martin:

Meyer adopted Donovan’s idea of a new psychological approach on a season schedule—“It’s only a hundred and seven days”—as opposed to twelve games or six months. “A hundred and seven days! We used that big-game time, even on our highlight videos,” Meyer said. “I’ll never forget, later in the season, ‘Only thirty-seven days left.’ That’s when you get the guys’ attention. That all came from Billy. “And then they work up on the morning of the game and we had a big sign made: ‘Zero days left! It’s time to go play the game.’”

“One of the biggest misconceptions for these kids is that they think they understand competition,” Donovan said. “And what happens is that when they are highly touted—and they’ve been billed or dubbed as the next NFL star or next NBA star—there can be a lot of easy ways of going through and they’ve never faced adversity. “I think what Urban is doing every day is creating [competitive] confrontation out on the football field to show these guys, ‘When you leave this place, you’re not going to have somebody walking you to your job. There’s not going to somebody checking to see if you’re on time. If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, you get a pink slip and you’re being fired.’ I don’t want to say it’s tough love—it’s reality of the way it is.”


An excerpt of an article on Coach Wooden:

Sunday, January 4, 2009


FAYETTE, Iowa – After leading by as many as 17 in the first half, the Northern State University Wolves had to work to preserve a 63-58 win over the host Upper Iowa University Peacocks Saturday evening in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference men’s basketball action.

The win, which moved NSU to 11-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play, also marked the 902nd career victory for head coach Don Meyer, who is now tied with Bob Knight for most career wins by an NCAA men’s coach. Meyer and Knight are the only two coaches in NCAA men’s basketball history to reach the 900-win plateau.


"My role as a head coach was to do three things: One, bring in people who are committed to being the very best; two, eliminate people who are not committed to being the very best; and three, the most important of my responsibilities, create an atmosphere where they could achieve their goals and the goals we set for our team. I wanted to put them in the right environment and delegate responsibility so they could be the best they could be."

-Jimmy Johnson-
From John C. Maxwell's "Leadership Gold"


The following comes from Alan Loy McGinnis' "Bringing Out The Best In People."

Scudder N. Parker once said, "People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be -- not what you nag them to be."

The last characteristic of high-morale organizations is that they seem to have fun together.

Peer pressure is always more successful than pressure from the top.

Emerson said, "Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm."

Friday, January 2, 2009


The following comes from James E. Loehr, Ed.D.

Emotion rules sport and life. Passion, joy, love, confidence, hope and even happiness are feelings and emotions. The right emotions empower our physical bodies and free our spirits. The wrong emotions block, trap and blind us. Fear, anger, fatigue, and uncontrolled depression dis empower us -- often to a tragic degree -- by setting up panic, mistakes, accidents, failures, poor health and unhappiness.

Emotional flexibility is the capacity to remain open and non-defensive in the highly stressed competitive situations of living, whether one meets them in business, sport, or personal life.

When they compete, the emotionally tough are fully alive emotionally to the present; they are not locked up, withdrawn or mentally absent. They are able to be themselves in the most positive and constructive way.

Under pressure, the mentally tough are passionate. They have the ability to summon high levels of positive emotional strength under the most stressful circumstances.

One learns about an athlete's mental toughness by observing how quickly he bounces back from emotional hits -- such as missing free throws. Watch the truly great competitors when they're losing or playing badly. They can take an emotional hit -- lots of hits -- and be right back in your face, hammering at your weak points, forcing you to make mistakes. The capacity to bounce back emotionally is a critical part of mental toughness.

"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines."

-Satchel Paige-

Thursday, January 1, 2009


In 1952, Ohio State pulled upset wins over Illinois and arch rival Michigan by identical 27-6 scores. Woody Hayes then bumped into a lady and had the following conversation:

"This nice lady came up to me," said Hayes, "and asked, 'What was the score of Illinois game?' and I said, '27-6.' The she asked, 'What was the score of your Michigan game?' and I said '27-6."

She commented, 'You aren't making much improvement, are you?'"