Wednesday, February 11, 2009


“Nothing can stop the person with the right mental attitude from achieving their goal; nothing on earth can help the person with the wrong mental attitude.”

-Thomas Jefferson-
Third President of the United States


A study out of the University of Virginia found that "someone who is energizing elevates the performance of other people around them." But "energizers" are different than high-energy people with lots of charisma, who tend to "generate what psychologists call 'high arousal emotions' in others."

Energizing behavior is about letting other people know they matter. The ability to energize isn’t a function of personality; it has to do with the behaviors you exhibit in your interactions with others.

For example, when someone comes into your office to speak with you, you devote your physical presence and undivided attention to that person. Even a shy person can be energizing in this way.

An energizer isn’t a cheerleader or a wild-eyed optimist; he simply focuses on the opportunities rather than the constraints. When energizers hear a suggestion they disagree with, instead of dismissing it outright, they’ll search for what’s good in that suggestion.

De-energizing people tend to be more negative, focusing on all the reasons why you can’t do something.


1. Know who you are: Whatever your personal qualities are—aggressive or genteel; elegant or sporty; collaborative or competitive—don’t be afraid to use them.

2. Blossom where you were planted: Every experience that we have—both good and bad—helps shape who we are.

3. Find a fresh perspective: It does not matter who you are or what kind of product or service you sell; be the first to explore and execute outrageous and unconventional strategies.

4. Understand that your so-called liabilities can be your assets: It is tough to compete with people who are identical to you. Being different gives me an edge. Being different is not a liability; it makes you unique.

5. Change your circumstances, so your liabilities become your strengths

6. On the other side of your strengths lie your weaknesses: The universe contains five elements: water, fire, wood, metal, earth. Water can conquer fire, wood, and metal. Yet earth can conquer water. The same principle goes for fire, wood, metal, and earth. In each element’s strength lies its weakness.

From the "Art of War for Women"
By chin-ning chu

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


These from Alan Loy McGinnin in his book "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 movement in the annals of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm."


MYTH: Trust is soft.
REALITY: Trust is hard, real and quantifiable. It measurably affects both speed and cost.

MYTH: Trust is slow.
REALITY: Nothing is as fast as the speed of trust.

MYTH: Trust is built solely on integrity.
REALITY: Trust is a function of both character (which includes integrity) and competence.

MYTH: You either have trust or you don’t.
REALITY: Trust can be both created and destroyed.

TRUST: Once lost, trust cannot be restored.
REALITY: Though difficult, in most cases lost trust can be restored.

MYTH: You can’t teach trust.
REALITY: Trust can be effectively taught and learned, and it can become a leverageable, strategic advantage.

MYTH: Trust is established one person at a time.
REALITY: Establishing trust with one establishes trust with many.

“The Speed of Trust”
By Stephen M. R. Covery


We really like the use of restrictions to both emphasize and correct in terms of our offensive play.

Your team is not getting the ball inside enough: “No perimeter shots until we have two low post touches.”

Your team doesn’t look to set re-screens after setting back screens: “We can only score off of a back screen with a re-screen.”

Your team is not reversing the basketball: “Two ball reversals before a jump shot.”

Again, what you do with your restrictions is limited only to your imagination. We usually apply a restriction daily to our offense for at least one drill and it is usually derived either from something that we didn’t do well in our last practice or game, or it is something that we want to emphasize for our next opponent.

A great example of this is playing 3/3, 4/4, or 5/5 against a switching defense while using the restriction that you can only pass the ball to a screener. This is a great way to “adjust your player’s vision” against this type of defense. How many times do you see a team come out and pass the ball in the waiting hands of a defender who switched a screen and didn’t have to move? We teach our team that against the switch, the screener has a better chance of being open than the cutter. Now it is easy to tell your team this – it is quite another to prepare them for it. If you are use to passing to cutters it is not necessarily all that natural to switch and pass to the screener. That’s why this drill is so effective and important. Not only do you put the emphasis of the passer to look for the screener but also you now have put pressure on the screener to make a good second cut to get open for a pass.


For those that might have missed it, Jay Bilas wrote an outstanding article on those merits the define toughness in basketball. Below are a few of my favorites:

Set a good screen: The toughest players to guard are the players who set good screens. When you set a good screen, you are improving the chances for a teammate to get open, and you are greatly improving your chances of getting open. A good screen can force the defense to make a mistake. A lazy or bad screen is a waste of everyone's time and energy. To be a tough player, you need to be a "screener/scorer," a player who screens hard and immediately looks for an opportunity on offense. On the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team, Bob Knight made Michael Jordan set a screen before he could get a shot. If it is good enough for Jordan, arguably the toughest player ever, it is good enough for you.

Talk on defense: The toughest players talk on defense, and communicate with their teammates. It is almost impossible to talk on defense and not be in a stance, down and ready, with a vision of man and ball. If you talk, you let your teammates know you are there, and make them and yourself better defenders. It also lets your opponent know that you are fully engaged.

Post your man, not a spot: Most post players just blindly run to the low block and get into a shoving match for a spot on the floor. The toughest post players are posting their defensive man. A tough post player is always open, and working to get the ball to the proper angle to get a post feed. Tough post players seal on ball reversal and call for the ball, and they continue to post strong even if their teammates miss them.

Get to your teammate first: When your teammate lays his body on the line to dive on the floor or take a charge, the tough players get to him first to help him back up. If your teammate misses a free throw, tough players get to him right away. Tough players are also great teammates.

Show strength in your body language: Tough players project confidence and security with their body language. They do not hang their heads, do not react negatively to a mistake of a teammate, and do not whine and complain to officials. Tough players project strength, and do not cause their teammates to worry about them. Tough players do their jobs, and their body language communicates that to their teammates -- and to their opponents.

Concentrate, and encourage your teammates to concentrate: Concentration is a skill, and tough players work hard to concentrate on every play. Tough players go as hard as they can for as long as they can.

Make every game important: Tough players don't categorize opponents and games. They know that if they are playing, it is important. Tough players understand that if they want to play in championship games, they must treat every game as a championship game.

Click on the link below for the entire article -- well worth the read!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


"Don't play what's there, play what's not there."
-Miles Davis-

"Creation is a drug I can't do without."
-Cecil B. DeMille-

"It is wise to learn; it is God-like to create."
-John Saxe-

"Man was made at the end of the week's
work when God was tired."

-Mark Twain-

"Ideas are the root of creation."
-Ernest Dimnet-

"The world embarrasses me, and I cannot dream
That this watch exists and has no watchmaker."

"Never tell people how to do things.
Tell them what to do and they
will surprise you with their ingenuity."
-George S. Patton, Jr.-


An excellent way to drive the point of shot selection across to your team is by using a “shooting scale.” We first got the idea from Cal Bailey, a baseball coach at West Virginia State College who used a “hitting scale” for his team. If you hit a line drive you scored a 6. If you hit the ball fairly hard you scored a 5. A good hard grounder got you a 4 and so on. The theory was that it didn’t matter if you were getting hits as long as you were hitting the ball well. Continue to hit the ball well and the base hits will eventually come your way. Cal explained that he thought players focused too much on their batting averages. A player may go 0 for his last 8 and even though he is hitting the ball well sees his average decline and might start tinkering with his swing. Cal wouldn’t give his players their batting average but their scale average. Just another reason why he is one of the best baseball coaches in the nation. For basketball, we might play 5/5 or 4/4 and instead of keeping the traditional score, the staff will rank the type of shot using the following formula:

4 = Lay-Up

3 = Open Jumper for Good Shooter

2 = Decent Shot
(Open for Average Shooter/Contested for Good Shooter)

1 = Bad Shot

0 = Turnover

By using this formula to keep score, especially if you run the losing team, you will find the players concentrating more on getting good shots. We also occasionally use this to chart shot selection after a game. It is important to do it both after a game where your shot selection is excellent as well as one when it is not up to your standard so they can see the contrasting score.


Thomas Alva Edison invented the incandescent light bulb, the movie camera and the batteries that start our cars. Toward the autumn years of his life, he worked in a modest building that resembles a barn. There, with his son, Edison would often remain late into the night, laboring to perfect his inventions. One evening, in an attempt to improve the retention of a battery’s charge, an unfortunate combination of chemicals caused his latest experiment to burst into flames. The fire quickly spread through the old wooden structure, and what began as a minor chemical combustion exploded into a towering inferno.

Edison’s son quickly evacuated the building. Using his smock to shield him from the heat of the flames, he desperately called for his father, fearing Edison might still be in the barn trying to save his precious lifework. Running frantically, the young man circled the barn, hoping his father had escaped through another exit. On his second time around the building, he turned a corner and, to his great relief, there stood his legendary father. Edison’s hands were buried deep in his soot-speckled smock, his white hair blackened with ash. He was watching intently as flames devoured the structure.

“Father!” cried Edison’s son. “I was afraid you were still inside!” Without taking his eyes off the flames, Edison said, with a sense of urgency, “Son, go get your mother!”

“Why, dad?”

With a twinkle in his eyes his father replied, “Because your mother comes from a small town and she’s never seen a fire like this before!”

When the flames had finished their work, leaving only a twisted frame, Edison turned to his son. “You know anyone who has a tractor?”

“Yes, Dad, but why?”
Edison answered, “Because it’s time to rebuild, Boy. It’s time to rebuild.”

From "Attitudes That Attract Success"
By Wayne Cordeiro