Sunday, January 31, 2010


These come from Coach Don Meyer:

• Shared Ownership
......Can’t have renters on your team
......Can’t have mercenaries
......They must invest
• Shared Suffering
......Nothing brings people together like suffering
......Practices tougher than games
• Individual Responsibility
......Test kids. Make them accountable.
......Only time we use “individual” is in responsibility.
• Collective Pride
......No I, Me or My
......Only US, OURS, WE


Brian Tracy speaks on Leadership Excellence:

As a leader, your job is to be excellent at what you do, to be the best in your chosen field of endeavor. Your job is to have high standards in serving people. You not only exemplify excellence in your own behavior, but you also translate it to others so that they, too, become committed to this vision.
Leadership Excellence
The key to leadership is the commitment to doing work of the highest quality in the service of other people, both inside and outside the organization. Leadership today requires a focus on the people who must do the job, and an equal focus on the people who are expected to benefit from the job.

The single most respected quality of motivational leaders is integrity. Integrity is complete, unflinching honesty with regard to everything that you say and do. Integrity underlies all the other qualities. Integrity means that when someone asks you at the end of the day, "Did you do your very best?" you can look him in the eye and say, "Yes!" Integrity means that you, as a leader, admit your shortcomings. It means that you work to develop your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses.

Courage, combined with Integrity, is the foundation of character. One form of courage is the ability to stick to your principles, to stand for what you believe in, and to refuse to budge unless you feel right about the alternative. Courage is also the ability to step out in faith, to launch into the unknown and then face the inevitable doubt and uncertainty that accompany every new venture.

Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great, the king of the Macedonians, was one of the most superb leaders of all time. He became king at the age of 20, and in the next 11 years, he conquered much of the known world. When he was at the height of his power, he would still draw his sword at the beginning of battle and lead his men forward into the conflict. He insisted on leading by example. Alexander felt that he could not ask men to risk their lives unless he was willing to demonstrate by his actions that he had complete confidence in the outcome. The sight of Alexander charging forward excited and motivated his soldiers so much that no force on earth could stand before them.

Realism is a form of intellectual honesty. The realist insists upon seeing the world as it really is, not as he wishes it were. This objectivity, this refusal to engage in self-delusion, is a mark of the true leader.

Responsibility is perhaps the hardest of all leadership qualities to develop. The acceptance of responsibility means that, as President Harry Truman said, "The buck stops here." If you run into an obstacle or have a setback, and you make excuses rather than accept responsibility, it can mean the difference between success and failure.

Check out Brian Tracy's home page at:

Saturday, January 30, 2010


From "Get Motivated" magazine: Rick Belluzzo, former Microsoft President, explains why failure is never final:

• 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.


From Jim Calhoun's "A Passion To Lead" come thoughts developing a team:

At UConn, we word diligently every year at building the concept of team. One idea that I constantly emphasize is this: When we benefit, I benefit. In other words, when the team performs well, everyone on the team will share in its success. I want the players, as a group, to take ownership of the team. And one thing I do to promote team “ownership” is to make sure that every player, whether he’s an All-American or a benchwarmer, knows that he is making contributions to the team. I tell my players constantly that UConn is not a collection of individuals. We are a team on and off the court. During the fall, we all tailgate together at UConn football games to promote camaraderie.


Another great email lesson from Brian good I am posting it on both blogs so coaches and players but will hopefully read:

The turning point in my life came when I discovered the law of cause and effect, the great law of the universe, and human destiny. I learned that everything happens for a reason. I discovered that success is not an accident. Failure is not an accident, either. I also discovered that people who are successful in any area usually are those who have learned the cause-and-effect relationship between what they want and how to get it.

Determine Your Personal Growth and Development Values
To realize your full potential for personal and professional growth and development, begin with your values as they apply to your own abilities. As you know, your values are expressed in your words and actions.

You can tell what your values are by looking at what you do and how you respond to the world around you. Your values are the root causes of your motivations and your behaviors.

Clarify Your Personal Growth and Development Vision
Create a long-term vision for yourself in the area of personal growth. Project forward five or ten years and imagine that you are developed fully in every important part of your life. Idealize and see yourself as outstanding in every respect. Refuse to compromise on your personal dreams.

Set Goals for Your Personal Growth and Development
Now take your vision and crystallize it into specific goals. Here is a good way to start. Take out a piece of paper and write down ten goals that you would like to achieve in the area of personal and professional development in the months and years ahead. Write in the present tense, exactly as if you were already the person you intend to be.

Determine exactly what you want to be able to do. Decide who you want to become. Describe exactly what you will look like when you become truly excellent in your field and in your personal life.

Upgrade Your Personal Knowledge and Skills
Set specific measures for each of your goals. If your goal is to excel in your field, determine how you will know when you have achieved it. Decide how you can measure your progress and evaluate your success.

Perhaps you can use as a measure the number of hours you study in your field each week. Perhaps you can measure the number of books you read or the number of audio programs you listen to. Perhaps you could measure your progress by the number of sales you make as the result of your growing skills.

Develop Winning Personal Growth and Development Habits
Select the specific habits and behaviors you will need to practice every day to become the person you want to become. These could be the habits of clarity, planning, thoroughness, studiousness, hard work, determination, and persistence.

Action Exercise
Decide today to develop yourself to the point where you can achieve every financial and personal goal you ever set and become everything you are capable of becoming. Write down your goals and make sure to look at them every day, then ponder ways you possibly achieve these goals.


Another great article from Jeff Janssen's "Championship Coaches Network." If you don't have this website bookmarked, you are missing out on quality information that can help you as a coach help your team...and that includes the premium service he provides for which I subscrible to. In this article, Jeff talks about the importance of teams talking and why the don't do it more often. More importantly he gives 12 techniques to help you improve:

Seems like many of them can chat for hours on their cell phones, or talk non-stop before, (during), and after practice about the latest happenings, gossip, movies, YouTube clips, and other trivial matters off the field/court/track.

So why then is it so hard to get them to talk to their teammates during practices and competition to share highly relevant and critical performance-related information?

Sadly, many games have been lost simply because of a lack of communication between teammates. Getting athletes, and especially leaders, to be more vocal on the court and field is a challenging and ongoing problem for many coaches.

Further, you absolutely need certain athletes at specific positions like point guard, catcher, setter, and quarterback to be vocal for your team to be successful.

One of our primary goals with our Leadership Academies is to develop athletes into strong, effective, and vocal leaders. As 21-time national champion North Carolina women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance says, "The best type of leadership to me is the student-athlete who is a coach on the field. I want a driving, verbal force who won't let standards slip. That's how teams with ordinary talent win championships."

So if your lone voice is the only one heard at your practices, you've got a problem. As Duke men's basketball Coach K says, "On our Duke Basketball teams, I never want to be the only communicator. In order for a message to get across, it must be echoed by every member of the group. I constantly look for the members of my team who can help convey the message."

We train emerging student-athlete leaders to be vocal in working with the coaches to co-lead the team. We want them leading vocally by setting the tone, reminding people about their responsibilities, reinforcing the positives, refocusing distracted teammates, calling out those who are falling below the team's standards, and being the voice in the locker room when the coach is not around. Getting them to this point though is often a process that takes time, training, practice, and coaching. Helping an athlete to find their voice takes time - but pays off in a multitude of ways for you and your program.

This article features 12 proven techniques you can use to help your athletes, and especially your leaders, become a more vocal presence for your team.

Click here to read the 12 techniques (must reading):


One day my mentor Mr. Shoaff said, “Jim, if you want to be wealthy and happy, learn this lesson well: Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

Since that time I’ve been working on my own personal development. And I must admit that this has been the most challenging assignment of all. This business of personal development lasts a lifetime.

You see, what you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not, “What am I getting?” Instead, you should ask, “What am I becoming?” Getting and becoming are like Siamese twins: What you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today you have attracted by becoming the person you are today.

I’ve also found that income rarely exceeds personal development. Sometimes income takes a lucky jump, but unless you learn to handle the responsibilities that come with it, it will usually shrink back to the amount you can handle.

If someone hands you a million dollars, you’d better hurry up and become a millionaire. A very rich man once said, “If you took all the money in the world and divided it equally among everybody, it would soon be back in the same pockets it was before.”

It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development. So here’s the great axiom of life:
To have more than you’ve got, become more than you are.

This is where you should focus most of your attention. Otherwise, you just might have to contend with the axiom of not changing, which is:

Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Coach Eric Musselman let's us know that Mauro Panaggio, 3 time CBA Coach of the Year, has a new ebook out, "DEEEFENSE WINS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS." It is a complete book on basketball defense, loaded with information and defensive drills. A few tips from the book:

* Force your opponent to his second choice. Do not allow him his first choice.
* If beaten by the dribbler, execute the "open and run" technique; "When Beat Retreat", "You trail--You Fail."
* On a shot blocking attempt, don't try to block while the ball is in the shooter's hand. Allow the ball to be released from the shooter's hand. Less likely to have a foul call.
* Don't foul needlessly. It loses too many games.
* Below the foul line, defense your man on the high side.
* Don't allow screeners to get to your body. Hold them off with your forearm.
* Challenge every shot but don't foul, especially the jump shooter.
* See the ball and your man. If you can't see both, see the ball and retreat quickly toward the basket until both are again visible.
* Force opposing guards to one side of the court by over- playing them, and then keep them on that side by double-teaming or further overplay.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Have become a big Jon Gordon fan after reading "The Energy Bus." He has a great website and wonderful newsletter. Here is what his most recent email newsletter had to say about motivaitng your team:

1. Lead with Optimism - Negativity and fear are likely knocking your people off balance and it’s time to regroup, refocus, and unite to create a winning mindset, culture and positive team environment. Now, more than ever, is a time for positive leadership. Now is the time to uplift, encourage and inspire your teams. When your folks talk about the challenges, you talk about the opportunities. When others talk about why they can’t succeed, you give them every reason why they can. So often the difference between success and failure is belief and as a positive leader you need to inspire this belief and optimism in your people.
2. Jump into the Trenches – You need to be humble and hungry. Humble in that you seek to learn, grow, and improve every day, and hungry with a passion to work harder than everyone else. Now is not a time to be barricaded in your office. Now is a time to be in the trenches with your people, leading, working, and building a successful future.
3. Fill the Void - These are uncertain times. Employees are questioning how their industries and jobs will be impacted by the current economy. They’re unsure about what actions to take. Unfortunately this uncertainly creates a void and where there is a void, negativity will fill it. In the absence of clear and positive communication, people start to assume the worst, and they will act accordingly. Make transparency the norm, not the exception—after all, the more you communicate, the more you foster trust, and the more loyalty is built. Talk to your team members often, and let them know where they stand. Host frequent town hall meetings, host a weekly conference call, send out a daily email, and share your positive vision for the future. As a leader, you must continually communicate, communicate, and communicate.

4. Share a Positive Vision – Rally your team around a positive vision for the road ahead. Instead of being disappointed about where you are, decide to be optimistic about where you are going. Vision helps you and your team see the road ahead and it gives you something meaningful and valuable to strive towards. Discuss where you have been, where you are going and why you are going there. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream/vision and he changed the world with it. Share your dream and improve your organization with it. After all, if you think your best days are behind you, they are. If you think your best days are ahead of you, they are.
5. Teach Your People to Be Heroes, Not Victims - Heroes and victims get knocked down. The distinction between the two groups lies in the fact that heroes get back up while victims simply give up. Help your employees to realize that they are not victims of circumstance. Rather, remind them that they have a high locus of control—in other words, they have a significant influence over how things turn out. As I wrote in The Shark and the Goldfish, goldfish let fear paralyze them, but sharks choose to swim ahead, believing that the best is yet to come. Faith and belief in a positive future lead to powerful actions today! Life is a story, and the story we tell ourselves and the role we play determines the quality and direction of our life. The most successful people and teams are able to overcome adversity by telling themselves a more positive story than the rest. Instead of a drama or a horror movie, they define their life as an inspirational tale. Instead of being the victim (Goldfish), they see themselves as a fighter and over-comer (Nice Shark).

Visit: and sign up for his newsletter.


If Murray Arnold could start his coaching career again he would coaching fouling better.

I totally under coaches fouling.
In college every year you have 360 fouls you can commit before the bonus.
In the NBA you have 1400 fouls you can commit.
It’s a different situation from when you’re in the bonus to when you’re not.
Players make dumb fouls every game.
Players should be aware of:
.......How many fouls they have.
.......How many fouls the team has.
.......How many fouls the opposing team has.
.......If either team is in the bonus.


The following is the first of four parts of notes taking from a Coach Nick Saban clinic talk while he was coaching at LSU:

You have to relate all the good and bad things that happen to you to some individual play or player. Sometimes players hide within the team. They don’t do what they are supposed to do. I see it in the fourth quarter or in our off-season program all the time. What it boils down to and what I address with the players is, “You don’t get what you want, you get what you deserve.” You are going to get out of the program to what you put in it.

The challenge is greater for coaches, plus the kids are different. Are kids different today or does it just seems that way to me? I have a 16-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl at home. They are different because they are not allowed to suffer through anything. We coach a competitive game. In that game there is adversity and failure. In that game you have to play the next play and try to overcome that adversity and failure to receive self-gratification. That is really important.

None of the kids are allowed to suffer. As soon as something gets hard for them, someone fixes it for them. They grow up not knowing the difference between cause and effect.

Discipline is getting people to do what they are supposed to do, when they’re supposed to do it, and the way it is supposed to be done. Discipline is not punishment. Discipline is changing someone’s behavior to get him to do what you want him to do.

Whatever you take away from the players in terms of discipline had better mean something to them. We have a simple rule at LSU. If the player doesn’t do what he is supposed to do, he doesn’t play in the game.

I have suspended seven players for academics in 10 years of being a head coach. We are 7-0 in the games where I had that player suspended.

It is our responsibility as coaches to get them to do the right thing, not enable them to do the wrong thing.

As teachers and coaches, we have to get guys to understand the reasons behind doing things a particular way. That is the best way to coach. Everybody has to have a vision of what they think they can accomplish. You don’t have to be able to see it to do it. Ray Charles sings “America the Beautiful” better than anyone I know. Everything he is singing about he has never seen. He has never seen the sky or the mountains but he has a vision. It is important that people understand what they want to do and how they want to do it. I think you have to have a road map and direction in your program so guys can see that.

We have principles and values in our program. Players have to know what is important within a program. Our principles start with helping the individual become successful as a person. We want the player to be more successful for having been in our program than he would have been if he were not here. We want to continue to develop the commitment and character of the players.

We want our players to get an education. We have an academic support program that will help the players get that education. The players need to know that their welfare and best interest is at heart with the coach, his staff, and the people whoa re trying to help them.

We want every player who comes to LSU to have the opportunity to win a championship before they leave. Since I have been coaching here, all our guys have had a chance to do that. There are no individual goals included in this section.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The following comes from Spencer Wood of Icebox ( According to a study based on professional athletes in the NBA, NFL, and NHL, the following eight traits were found to constitute the ultimate athlete:

1. Ability to work hard and sustain intensity.
2. Competitiveness.
3. Athletic ability.
4. Sacrifice for the team.
5. Coping with criticism, failure, and success.
6. Clutch performance, poise, and focus.
7. Ability to execute game strategy.
8. Passion for the sport and commitment to excellence.

By admission of the coaches in attendance five of the above traits are considered to be mainly mental attributes.


Take a look at the following eight principles set forth by John Maxwell in his book "Self-Improvement 101." They’ll help you develop into a person dedicated to personal growth:

1. Choose a life of growth.
• It’s said that when Spanish composer-cellist Pablo Casals was in the final years of his life, a young reporter asked him, “Mr. Casals, you are ninety-five years old and the greatest cellist that ever lived. Why do you still practice six hours a day?” What was Casals answer? “Because I think I’m making progress.” That’s the kind of dedication to continual growth that you should have.
• You need to have an attitude like that of General George Patton. It’s said that he told his troops, “There is one thing I want you to remember. I don’t want to get any messages saying we are holding our position. We are advancing constantly.” Patton’s motto was, “Always take the offensive. Never dig in.”

2. Start growing today.
• Napoleon Hill said, “It’s not what you are going to do, but it’s what you are doing now that counts.”
• Why do you need to determine to start growing today? There are several reasons:
i. Growth is no automatic.
ii. Growth today will provide a better tomorrow.
iii. Growth is your responsibility.

3. Focus on self-development, not self-fulfillment.
• Rabbi Samuel M. Silver taught that “the greatest of all miracles is that we need not be tomorrow what we are today, but we can improve if we make use of the potential implanted in us by God.”

4. Never stay satisfied with current accomplishments.
• My friend Rick Warren says, “The greatest enemy of tomorrow’s success is today’s success.”
• It’s another characteristic of destination disease. But successful people don’t sit back and rest on their laurels.
• Sydney Harris insisted that “a winner knows how much he still had to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others; a loser wants to be considered an expert by others before he has learned enough to know how little he knows.”

5. Be a continual learner.
• The best way to keep from becoming satisfied with your current achievements is to make yourself a continual learner. That kind of commitment may be rarer than you realize. For example, a study performed by the University of Michigan several years ago found that one-third of all physicians in the United States are so busy working that they’re two years behind the breakthroughs in their own fields.
• Henry Ford said, “It’s been my observation that most successful people get ahead during the time other people waste.”
• Frank A. Clark stated, “Most of us must learn a great deal every day in order to keep ahead of what we forget.”

6. Develop a plan for growth.
• The key to a life of continual learning and improvement lies in developing a specific plan for growth and following through with it.
• Earl Nightingale, which says, “If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject.

7. Pay the price.
• President Theodore Roosevelt boldly stated, “There has not yet been a person in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.”

8. Find a way to apply what you learn.
• Jim Rohn urged, “Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.”
• Successful people develop positive daily habits that help them to grow and learn.
• “Something in human nature tempts us to stay where we’re comfortable. We try to find a plateau, a resting place, where we have comfortable associations with people, without the intimidation of meeting new people and entering strange situations.” (author and leadership expert Fred Smith)

Saturday, January 16, 2010


"I always say to my guys, 'The most important day of your life is today. This very minute is the most important of you life. You must win this minute. You must win this day. And tomorrow will take care of itself.'"

-Coach John Chaney
From "How to Succeed in the Game of Life" by Christian Klemash

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Came across an excellent article from written by John Maxwell on the subject of "hope." I believe the best coaches understand the importance of hope and know how to give it properly and at the right time to both a team as well as players individually. Here is part of the article with a link to the complete writing at the end:

I've learned a lot of lessons throughout myyears teaching leadership. I would like to share one of these with you: how to be a dealer in hope.

I was signing books at a crowded convention recently, and a lady came up to me, handed me her book to sign and said, “For the last eight years, I’ve been reading your books and have been following the teachings you’ve given me—a wonderful gift and I’m grateful.” After asking her what gift I had given her, with big tears in her eyes, she said, “Hope.” She said when she reads my books, they give her hope.

The experience reminded me of what Napoleon said: “Leaders are dealers in hope.”

Indeed, one of the most powerful, energizing words in the English language is the word hope. Hope is a power that keeps us going in the toughest times of life. It’s a power that energizes us with excitement and anticipation as we look forward to the future.

Hope gives us reason to live. It takes obstacles and transforms them into possibilities. Hope gives us the strength and the courage we need to make the most of life. Those early experiences convinced me that the best way to help people is to give them hope. So I have decided to be a hope dealer for others.

In 1979, 10 years after learning this lesson, I wrote the following words in my fi rst book, Think on These Things:

What does hope do for mankind?

Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.
Hope motivates when discouragement comes.
Hope energizes when the body is tired.
Hope sweetens when the bitterness bites.
Hope sings when all melodies are gone.
Hope believes when the evidence is eliminated.
Hope listens for answers when no one is talking.
Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping.
Hope endures hardship when no one is caring.
Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing.
Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking.
Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging.
Hope dares to give when no one is sharing.

Read the entire article (well worth it) at:


· Control the tempo
· Get best shooters open shots
· Create mismatches
· Can run any offense w/out making an entry pass
· Goal is to get 2 defenders to guard the ball
· Spread the floor
· Take shot blocker away from the rim (put in PNR)
· Put best defender in PNR
· Put worst defender in PNR
· Create confusion in opponents defensive philosophy
· Cause players not to believe in staff
· Teach “pickers/screeners” to slip vs. show or blitz
· Pick up easy foul on Big (rondo into top shoulder)
· Relieve full court pressure on PG
· Make 1 defender play 2
· Picker: don’t roll to the rim, sprint to the rim
· Attack at different angles
· Feel “yours” – see “his” –as the dribbler (defender)
· No pressure Defense can take you out of this offense
· Screener must arrive w/out defender
· Spread defense allows you to get offensive rebounds
· Ultimate team game
· When trapped – advance ball ahead
· When defender goes under – set lower

Saturday, January 9, 2010


In a time where athletes and coaches sometime stray from the ideals we'd like to model for our young people comes a quality article from Brian Tracy: Four Questions to Stay on Track

There are four questions that you can ask and answer every day to keep yourself on track in each part of your life. First, ask yourself; "What kind of a world would this be if everyone in it was just like me?"

When you ask and answer this question honestly, you will admit that if everyone in the world was just like you, this would probably not be the best of all possible worlds. Look inside yourself and think about some of the things that you could change or do differently to become a better "citizen of the world."

The second question you can ask is, "What kind of a country would America be, if everyone in it was just like me?"

This is perhaps the most important question that we can ask and answer for ourselves. If everyone in America did the same thing that you did, every single day, would America be better, happier, healthier, and a more prosperous democracy? If not, what are some of the changes that you could make in your behaviors that would make America a better place?

The third question you can ask is, "What kind of a company would my company be if everyone in it was just like me?"

If you are honest with yourself, you will see different things that you could do to become a more valuable and important contributor to your company. Perhaps you should start a little earlier, work a little harder or stay a little later. Perhaps you could volunteer for more assignments, or upgrade your knowledge and skills as they relate to your job. How could you become the very best person you could possibly become at your work?

The final question, and perhaps the more important, is, "What kind of family would my family be if everyone in it was just like me?"

If everyone in your family behaved the way you do, and treated everyone else the way you treat them, would your family be a warmer, happier, and more loving group of people? What could you do, starting today, to be a better family member?


The following post from from by Tracy Brinkman:

Daily we are given mountains of tasks to accomplish, bills to pay, problems to fix and customers to call. Standing at the base looking up this mountain of to-dos seems enormous – or worse yet standing on top looking down the sheer drop we would encounter should we falter.
It is sheer madness. How on earth are we going to accomplish this feat? Mountains are big; let us climb this one…

The task before you could be a 2500-meter climb, a 10,000-meter race, to organize next motivational seminar, buy a pallet of goods or to just keep to your schedule in order to please an important client. In either of these cases, the task before you is indeed a mountain if that is what you see in it!

Take a good look at what lies ahead of you. Let us say you have a relatively short amount of time to organize a meeting for your boss. If the first thing that pops into your head is that you probably will not achieve it in time, therein lies the problem. Without this pre-conception, your job is a simple undertaking. However, when you have convinced yourself it is not possible, you have just created Mt. Fuji when only a moment earlier it was mere baseball mound
Give yourself some credit. You did not get to where you are now by selling yourself short! Bring the baseball mound back.

It is important to do some research first. There are always many possible answers to the one single problem. We all know it is easier to work our way around the hill rather than to tackle the peak itself. Is the goal to climb to the peak or simply to get to the other side?

If your destination is just to get to the other side then adjust your plan accordingly. Conserve your energy for those things that are indeed closer to your heart.

This is very important here. Be overly honest with yourself. Why are you going to climb this mountain? Is it because deep down you really want to accomplish this feat or is it to please somebody else? This is probably the most important issue here. If you climb for the wrong reasons the chances are, at worst, you will fail; and at best, you will have a feeling of being unfulfilled from within.

Do not do everything simply to please someone else. It will severely deflate you. You are the most important person in the world. Treat yourself with the respect you deserve. If you do not, others may infinitely be pressing your buttons

If you have wanted to get to the peak of this hill then for heavens sake go there and achieve it. The feeling will be exhilarating. If you are indifferent, then find your niche. You will have to seek it out, as it is highly unlikely that it will find you.

A group of individuals with the same common goal has a habit of drawing incredible power and strength from one another. Plan your trip carefully with experienced mountaineers. A team with the same target has a much greater chance of success than a lone ranger with summit fever.

In relation to your professional life, it is important that you seek out as much knowledge and professional advice as possible from the wealth of information available from others. Tap into as many different success formulae as you can. Educate yourself in your field, even to the point of immersing yourself into it! Become an expert. Even if you are already an expert in your field there are always mountains (pardon the pun) of new material regularly released that will assist you in your endeavors.

This is an important training exercise. As you envision, in your mind, the goal (i.e. in this case reaching the summit) as already being achieved, you will sub-consciously adjust your surroundings to make getting there substantially easier.

Visions of success will increase your confidence and therefore your chances of success. Put a goal sheet on your wall, beside your desk, inside your cap, in your wallet, purse…anywhere! Anyway they will be visible to you.

Experience has shown that the journey will be easier when you start from as close as possible to your goal. Prepare thoroughly. In a nutshell be PT’d (prepared thoroughly) for everything you do.

When thoroughly prepared you will have created answers to problems that have at this time not developed into problems, but will be easily recognizable and solvable if and when they transpire.

You have decided to climb the hill. There is only one lifetime and therefore no time for regrets. Enjoy your climb. If you do not you should not really be there in the first place.
Enjoy what you do, always!

It is always good to be prepared for anything that can potentially happen. Plan ahead and cover all your options. It may seem nit-picking but every parachutist, every motor car racer, virtually every professional will plan for all situations. It is not much point realizing what you need WHEN you need it. Sometimes WHEN you need it, is TOO late and you will go splat.

This is straightforward. What you take with you, you will need to carry. There is not much chance of an industrial strength hair drier coming in handy on a way to the top of Mt. Fugi. So, do not take one.

In a business sense, make sure your home life stays in balance with your business life. If you have issues developing on the home front due to your lack of attention to it, your output will indeed be impeded. This will weigh you down and have the same effect a laden backpack would
Give your mind a break. Do not fill your backpack with non-necessities… Free your mind of these weights by keeping a work/life balance. When those times creep up that require burning some midnight oil. Let the family know – a supportive family will understand the need of extra hours for those special projects and upcoming important clients. Especially when you have been treating them like the most important client you will ever have. (Cause you know they are!)

You will pass through incredible heights during your journey. Make them memorable; this is a marvelous feat you are accomplishing. Realize it for what it is and you will enjoy it and gain an incredible amount of strength from your accomplishment.

Visit Tracy Brinkman's site at:

Friday, January 8, 2010


Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ summed up a series of profound thoughts on human conduct by saying, “Therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you” (Matt. 7:12).

Five Ways You Want Others To Treat You

1. You want others to encourage you. There is no better exercise for strengthening the heart then reaching down and lifting people up. The happiest people are those who have invested their time in others. The unhappiest people are those who wonder how the world is going to make them happy. Karl Menninger, the great psychiatrist, was asked what a lonely, unhappy person should do. He said, “Lock the door behind you, go across the street, dins someone who is hurting, and help them.” Forget about yourself to help others.

2. You want others to appreciate you. William James said, The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."

• Principle: We cannot underestimate the value of a single person.
• Principle: Don’t take advantage of people. J.C. Staehle, after analyzing many surveys, found that the principle causes of unrest among workers were the following, listen in order of their importance:
#1 Failure to give credit for suggestions.
#2 Failure to correct grievances.
#3 Failure to encourage.
#4 Criticizing employees in front of other people.
#5 Failure to ask employees their opinions.
#6 Failure to inform employees of their progress.
#7 Favoritism.

3. You want others to forgive you. Almost all emotional problems and stress come from unresolved conflicts and failure to have developed right relationships with people. The two great marks of a Christian are that they are giving and forgiving. Show me a person who walks with God, and I’ll show you a person who has a giving heart and is forgiving of others. People who find it difficult to forgive don’t see themselves realistically. They are either terribly arrogant or tremendously insecure.

4. You want others to listen to you. There’s a difference between hearing people and listening to them. Listening is wanting to hear.

5. You want others to understand you. How do you feel when you’re misunderstood? What kinds of feelings well up inside you? Loneliness? Frustration? Disappointment? Resentment? These are common feelings when we have been misunderstood. Peter Drucker, often called the “Father of American Management,” claims that 60 percent of all management problems are a result of faulty communication.

• The least important word: I (gets the least amount done)
• The most important word: We (gets the most amount done)—relationships
• The two most important words: Thank you—appreciation
• The three most important words: All is forgiven—forgiveness
• The four most important words: What is your opinion?—listening
• The five most important words: You did a good job—encouragement
• The six most important words: I want to know you better—understanding

From John Maxwell's "Be A People Person"


The following is a few excerpts of an article that ran on Coach Nick Saban in the Investor's Business Journal when he was coaching at LSU. It was written by Amy Alexander and we give the entire article to our team each fall:

It's Saturday night at Louisiana State University's Tiger Stadium, where everyone loves a winner. Except coach Nick Saban, who sometimes prefers losers.

That would be sacrilege in many locker rooms. Not in Saban's; he maintains that losers are more willing to polish their techniques, practice hard and do whatever it takes, even into the wee hours, to become the absolute best.

"When you lose, everybody's willing to think, 'What did I do wrong? What do I need to do better?'" Saban said during an interview in his Baton Rouge, La office. "I think the worst thing you can do is play poorly and still win."

Saban, 53, demands improvement from his players, even when they're top dog. Why? Because winning national championships isn't natural, he says. You must bend your entire life around becoming great, beating the urge to rest after you've achieved a little taste of success."

"You have to have a special commitment and willingness to do a lot of things that some aren't willing to do," Saban said.

When Saban arrived at LSU in November 1999, he concentrated on molding players' attitudes as much as on strengthening their muscles. At the time, many had gotten into what Saban calls, "catastrophe syndrome," giveing up when little things would go wrong.

To this day, Saban tells his players not to sneak even a single glance at the scoreboard while they're playing. How come?

"You want them to focus on the present moment," he said. "Whether you're ahead or behind should not affect how your participate in your next play."

In Spring of 2003, Saban laid out these five day-to-day goals for his players for the coming season:

1. Respect and trust your teammates
2. Have a positive impact on someone else
3. Dominate your opponent
4. Be responsible
5. Act like a champion

"Not a single one of the goals was to win the national championship," Saban said.

That might be an odd strategy. But Saban explains, success doesn't come from just pie-in-the-sky thinking. It's the result of consciously doing something each day that'll add to your overall excellence.

To get his players thinking about performing at their absolute best, individual best, Saban will often placer the locker room before games with gripping quotes. A favorite is from Martin Luther King, Jr.

It reflects Saban's method: "If you are called to be a street sweeper, sweep streets even as Michaelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Those three magic words, “I love you” are words that are important and meaningful in any culture. But there are four words that are not said nearly enough by families interacting with kids or people interacting in a team environment.

In all forms of leadership, whether you are a coach, a CEO, or a parent, there are four words that, when said, can bring out the best in your team, your employees, and your family.

“I believe in you.”

Those four words can mean the difference between a fear of failure and the courage to try.

On a team or in a family, believe makes each individual stronger and also fortifies the group as a whole.

From “Beyond Basketball” by Mike Krzyzewski with Jamie Spatola


One of the things I learned from Don Meyer very early that has been important to me is to keep a journal. Not a diary. I'm not writing down what I did -- I'm writing down what I learned. It has been a great source of release for me. I keep with me at all times. Below is an article from the late Jim Rohn on keeping a journal:

If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual, keep a journal. Don’t trust your memory. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down.

I used to take notes on pieces of paper and torn-off corners and backs of old envelopes. I wrote ideas on restaurant placemats. On long sheets, narrow sheets and little sheets and pieces of paper thrown in a drawer. Then I found out that the best way to organize those ideas is to keep a journal. I’ve been keeping these journals since the age of 25. The discipline makes up a valuable part of my learning, and the journals are a valuable part of my library.

I am a buyer of blank books. Kids find it interesting that I would buy a blank book. They say, “Twenty-six dollars for a blank book! Why would you pay that?” The reason I pay 26 dollars is to challenge myself to find something worth 26 dollars to put in there. All my journals are private, but if you ever got a hold of one of them, you wouldn’t have to look very far to discover it is worth more than 26 dollars.

I must admit, if you got a glimpse of my journals, you’d have to say that I am a serious student. I’m not just committed to my craft; I’m committed to life, committed to learning new concepts and skills. I want to see what I can do with seed, soil, sunshine and rain to turn them into the building blocks of a productive life.

Keeping a journal is so important. I call it one of the three treasures to leave behind for the next generation. In fact, future generations will find these three treasures far more valuable than your furniture.

The first treasure is your pictures. Take a lot of pictures. Don’t be lazy in capturing the event. How long does it take to capture the event? A fraction of a second. How long does it take to miss the event? A fraction of a second. So don’t miss the pictures. When you’re gone, they’ll keep the memories alive.

The second treasure is your library. This is the library that taught you, that instructed you, that helped you defend your ideals. It helped you develop a philosophy. It helped you become wealthy, powerful, healthy, sophisticated and unique. It may have helped you conquer some disease. It may have helped you conquer poverty. It may have caused you to walk away from the ghetto. Your library—the books that instructed you, fed your mind and fed your soul—is one of the greatest gifts you can leave behind.

The third treasure is your journals: the ideas that you picked up, the information that you meticulously gathered. But of the three, journal writing is one of the greatest indications that you’re a serious student. Taking pictures, that is pretty easy. Buying a book at a bookstore, that’s pretty easy. It is a little more challenging to be a student of your own life, your own future, your own destiny. Take the time to keep notes and to keep a journal. You’ll be so glad you did. What a treasure to leave behind when you go. What a treasure to enjoy today!

Monday, January 4, 2010


1. Start the practice by warming up.

2. Close th4 practice with team drills.

3. Vary the drills every day so they don’t become monotonous.

4. Explain the purpose of the drills and you will get a better response.

5. Don’t continue the same drill too long.

6. Teach in small doses and give these doses frequently.

7. Follow difficult drills with easier drills and vice versa.

8. Teach new things early in practice when players are still fresh mentally and physically.

9. Stress shooting drills every day.

10. Stress fundamental drills daily.

11. Analyze each day’s practice while it is still fresh in your mind (before you leave, work out that day).

12. Early season practices are progressive in intensity and build up as you get nearer to playing games.

13. Use small organized groups of 3 to 5 players in teaching the fundamentals.

14. Don’t have 4 or 5 players standing around while 6 are working; have them all working all the time.

15. Shooting drills should be game-like (and working in pairs rather than alone).

16. Stress defense and offense on alternate days, but still work on each daily.

17. I believe, and have said many times, that most of our championships were won on defense.

18. How many of you coaches spend more time on defense than on offense? Offense takes more time because you must do things with the basketball. You have to learn to shoot the basketball, pass the basketball, dribble the basketball, protect the basketball, stop and turn with the basketball. You don’t have to do these things on defense. There is no question in my mind that the coach who spends more time on defense is not using his time properly. They are equally important, but it takes more time for offense than it does for defense. This is because of the object involved.

19. On days when offense is emphasized, the top 7 of 8 players will be on defense and second-line players will work offense. Many things I have mentioned here apply to both offense and defense.

20. When players come on the floor, they have been told certain things they need to work on. Early in the year, they shoot a number of free throws in succession to develop a rhythm and style for each individual – later on they seldom shoot many in succession, usually 1-on-1 or sometimes 5 or 10 in succession.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


From "Leadership Gold" by John Maxwell:

Making it to the top is essential to taking others to the top: A leader’s credibility begins with personal success. It ends with helping others achieve personal success.

To gain credibility, you must consistently demonstrate three things:
1. Initiative: You have to get up to go up.
2. Sacrifice:
You have to give up to go up.
3. Maturity:
You have to grow up to go up.


Jim Tressel on the subject of "hope" -- from "The Winner's Manual."

Hope is an unseen ingredient in any successful endeavor.

Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier.

The type of hope I want to instill in my players is proactive and is based on reality, not on fantasy or wishful thinking. It’s not the kind if hope a person might have when buying a lottery ticket with the last of the grocery money. Instead, it’s a constant believe in the work that’s already been done, the planning that’s in place, and the potential that lies ahead.

"Hope is one of the principal springs that keeps mankind in motion." -Andrew Fuller

Saturday, January 2, 2010


From one of Coach Eric Musselman's archives is a story about Kobe Bryant's pre-game ritual that had ran in the Los Angeles Times:

There are few things more important to Kobe Bryant before a game than his portable DVD player. It goes wherever he goes before tipoff. On the padded table in the trainer's room. On the floor for a pregame stretching routine. Perched in front of his locker. The Lakers' all-star stares at his 10-inch screen, watching basketball clips of the players he'll be guarding. It is part of his longtime commitment to studying video, one of the foundations of a career still going strong in its 13th season.

The Lakers have had dozens of great players over the years, but according to the team's director of video services Chris Bodaken, "Hands down, he's the biggest video fiend we've ever had. I didn't know if it was possible to be more competitive than Magic was, but I think he might be. It carries over into his preparation, and this is part of that.

"The Lakers' video staff goes "through an opponent's last few games and find key plays from the players Bryant will guard, presenting him with eight to 12 minutes of edited footage."

The goal is for Bryant to pick up tendencies of rival players. Have they added any new moves? Have they been aggressively driving to the basket or have they been satisfied to drift from the hoop and settle for outside jump shots? Kobe's objective is "to find ways to take away comfort zones from opponents."

"It's a blueprint," said Bryant, an eight-time member of the NBA all-defensive team. "So if something goes down, it's not something you haven't seen before. Everybody's got tendencies. If he scores 40 on Monday, he's going to try to do it on Tuesday. You've got to take him out of his spots. That's the key."Says Patrick O'Keefe, another member of the Lakers' video staff:

"It's like a straight-A student who still goes to all the extra study sessions."


Control What You Can Control: Let the Score Take Care of Itself

1. Flying by the seat of your pants precedes crashing by the seat of your pants.

2. Planning for foul or fair weather, “scripting” as it applies to your organization, improves the odds of making a safe landing and is a key to success. When you prepare for everything, you’re ready for anything.

3. Create a crisis-management team that is smart enough to anticipate and plan for crises. Being decisive isn’t enough. A wrong call made in a decisive manner is still the wrong call. I hadn’t planned for the “crisis” up in the booth against the Oakland Raiders, and we lost; I had planned for the “crisis” against Cincinnati when we got the ball with two seconds left on the clock and won. The former desperate situation was, indeed, desperate; the latter was not, because we were ready for it.

4. All personnel must recognize that your organization is adaptive and dynamic in facing unstable “weather”. It is a state of mind. Situations and circumstances change so quickly in football or business that no one can afford to get locked into one way of doing things. You must take steps to prepare employees to be flexible when the situation and circumstances warrant it.

5. In the face of massive and often conflicting pressures, an organization must be resolute in its vision of the future and the contingent plans to get where it wants to go.

6. You bring on failure by reacting in an inappropriate manner to pressure or adversity. Your version of “scripting” helps ensure that you will offer the appropriate response in a professional manner, that you will act like a leader.

From "The Score Takes Care of Itself" by Bill Walsh


Even after you have begun to focus on the person with whom you are conversing, you may still experience many potential barriers to effective listening. Here are a few of them:

1. Distractions: Phone calls, TV, pagers and things of that sort can make good listening nearly impossible.
2.Defensiveness: If you view complaints or criticism as a personal attack, you can become defensive. Once you begin to protect yourself, you will care little about what others thing or how they feel.
3. Closed-mindedness: When you think you have all the answers, you close you mind. And when you close your mind, you close your eyes.
4. Projection: Automatically attributing your own thoughts and feelings to others prevents you from perceiving how they feel.
5. Assumptions: When you jump to conclusions, you take away your own incentive to listen.
6. Pride: Thinking we have little to learn from others is, perhaps, the most deadly of distractions to listening. Being full of yourself leaves little room for input from others.

From "25 Ways You Win With People" by John Maxwell


Two teaching techniques that Murray Arnold "thought were awesome":

Emphasis on defensive transition. Opened every practice with the same drill. Five-on-four disadvantage at one end, twelve seconds on shot clock.
·Even if they score they take it out of the net and run.
·Don’t take the ball out of bounds during a defensive transition drill (it slows things down).

Four-on-four basketball:
·The game can be taught much better with four-on-four.
·Practice defensive transition and stopping penetration.
·During the preseason, they have a four-on-four competition with rules and a scoring system. Trophies are given to the winners at the team banquet.


1. Transition: push hard for early threes.
2. Dribble Penetration: drive and kick opportunities.
3. Post Kickouts: passing out of double-teams followed by ball reversal.
4. Offensive Rebounds: best time for open threes. Bigs feel that they’re entitled to shoot the ball off of an o-board, but this is a great time to find a shooter sprinting to spot up in an open area.