Sunday, February 28, 2010


Chuck Daly said if there was one thing he would do differently in his career, he would have talked to his players more:

Players have so many answers if you will listen to them.

There is an art to listening to your players. You will be amazed by what you can learn from a player’s body language, their eyes, etc.

At the end of the game, you should look at your players and look to see who is looking at you. If they are not looking at you, then they don’t want the ball.

Clinic notes from Doc Rivers


The one quality that all leaders have in common is that they have a clear and exciting vision for the future. This is something that only the leader can do. Only the leader can think about the future and plan for the future each day.

Take the Time to Think
Excellent leaders take the time to think through and develop a clear picture of where they want the organization to be in one, three and five years. Leaders have the ability to communicate this vision in such a way that others "buy in" and eventually see the vision as belonging to them.

Motivate People to Give of Their Best
It is the vision of the future possibilities, of what can be, that arouses emotion and motivates people to give of their best. The most powerful vision is always qualitative, aimed at and described in terms of values and mission rather than quantitative, which is described in terms of money and numbers.

Money is Important
Of course, money is important, but the decision and commitment to "be the best in the business" is far more exciting.

Keep Your Cool
Another key to leadership success is for you to "keep your cool." A study at Stanford Business School examined the qualities that companies look for in promoting young managers toward senior executive positions, especially the position of Chief Executive Officer. The study concluded that the two most important qualities required for great success were, first, the ability to put together and function as part of a team. Since all work is ultimately done by teams, and the managers' output is the output of the team, the ability to select team members, set objectives, delegate responsibility and finally, get the job done, was central to success in management.

Practice is Everything
The second quality required for rapid promotion was found to be the ability to function well under pressure, and especially in a crisis. Keeping your cool in a crisis means to practice patience and self-control under difficult or disappointing circumstances.

People Are Watching
The character and quality of a leader is often demonstrated in these critical moments under fire, when everyone is watching, observing and privately taking notes. As Rudyard Kipling once said, "If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, then the world is yours and all that's in it".

Your job as a leader is to have a clear vision of where you want to go and then to keep your cool when things go wrong, as they surely will.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Below comes from ESPN's Buster Olney who is currently working on a book on Coach Meyer:

For 38 years, what Don Meyer has loved most about coaching is the problem-solving. Fixing a player's jump shot. Correcting the way his team defends the screen-and-roll. Adjusting the offense.

Meyer will coach the last home game of his career on Saturday, when Northern State University plays host to Southwest Minnesota State in Aberdeen, S.D. He has 923 career victories, and he got there by focusing on the process rather than the product, on getting his own players to execute better.

"You always knew what Don's teams were going to do," said Belmont University coach Rick Byrd, who has probably matched up against Meyer more than any other coach. "But the attitude of his teams was, 'We're going to practice it so well, execute so well and play so hard, that we're going to be better than you.'"

This kind of intense preparation required generations of players who could rise to the challenge of meeting Meyer's overwhelming intensity, who understood the message in his sometimes biting critique and window-rattling sarcasm, and who realized along the way that his lessons were about more than just basketball.

Over the years, his relentless focus on problem-solving -- the habit of looking inward and demanding accountability -- has been about more than defending the screen-and-roll. It's been about his players demanding more of themselves, as people.

"It wasn't always a bed of roses," said Wade Tomlinson, who played for Meyer at David Lipscomb College from 1986-90. "I can remember going back to my dorm room and visualizing holding him down and punching his head. But he is exactly what an 18-to-24-year-old male needs at that time in their life. He was exactly what I needed."

Meyer's success as a coach could be defined, in theory, by his record of wins and losses, of the NAIA national championship that David Lipscomb won in 1986, by the fact that the two greatest scorers in college basketball history, John Pierce and Philip Hutcheson, played for him.

Read the entire article at:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Once we start, after stretching we go full speed. Two hours and ten minutes is the longest we ever go. I don’t think you can go hard any longer than two hours.

1. Everything we do in practice is competitive.

2. Stats are kept on every player in practice, every practice.

3. We practice 6 game situations daily for 7-8 minutes. Make sure you get your players in simulated game-winning situations as often as possible.

4. All drills include both offense and defense.

5. Make sure you have carry-over into games from your drills. All drills involve full-court transition.

6. I don’t set goals—I set a standard of excellence. You’ll always have control that way whether you play a good team of poor team. This takes away the pressure to win. That takes care of itself.


A day without learning is a day without living. Learning is an incremental process. No matter what the subject, you must first learn the fundamentals, putting in long hours to master the basics. You have to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide before you can move on to quantum physics. An art student doesn’t sit down behind the canvas on the first day of class and say, “Show me how Rembrandt did it,” and a first-year writing student can’t expect to pen a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel in one sitting. Only after you’ve mastered the fundamentals can you take the next step, and the next, and the next, progressing until you have reached your goal. All talented individuals develop their talents over long periods of time, and I was no different.

From "Wins, Losses, and Lessons" by Lou Holtz

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The following comes from Denis Waitley. Check out his website and sign up for you email newsletter at

Every four years we see those five brilliant, interlocking Olympic rings on flags and in television and billboard advertising globally. The Olympic Games are where the best in the world go for the gold and the few stand, listening to their national anthem, in the coveted winner’s circle. If the five Olympic rings were attitudes of champions in every profession, these five attitudes would be prominent in the mindset of the peak performer:

Paying the Price.
Everyone wants to win, but few are willing to invest the time and effort. Paying the price means focusing on developing the skills and training regimen of champions—observation, imitation, repetition and the internalization of knowledge into habits; also, learning why and how to go the extra mile and seeing success as a marathon, not a dash. Champions view failures as temporary inconveniences and learning experiences.

The Olympian Within.
Winners believe in their worth in advance of their performance. Most people base their worth on their current status or achievement level, which means that until they are judged successful by society’s standards, they have little to be proud of. Champions believe in their dreams when they have only a dream to hang on to, even in the face of criticism and superior achievements by others.

Non-situational Integrity.
Authentic, lasting winners have an uncompromising attitude about self-honesty. They function according to an “integrity triangle,” consisting of three basic questions: (a) Are my beliefs based upon truth? (b) Do my words and actions correspond with truth and honesty? (c) Before I speak or act, do I honestly consider the impact of my decision on other people and the environment?

The “Coachability” Factor.
Champions are always open to alternatives to improve their performance. Consistent winners are not the arrogant egotists who dominate the media spotlight. The most successful individuals in the game of life are often the most approachable, most gracious, least judgmental of others and most critical of their own performances, as well as most eager to learn and improve.

Being a Team Player.
A team in harmony is synergy in motion, where the whole is greater than the sum of the individual talents. When all assignments are understood, when each takes 100 percent responsibility for the outcome, a quantum leap in performance takes place. Winners learn how to become interdependent—without sacrificing individuality—and how to stand out, while fitting in.


The following post on leadership was written by John Maxwell for Check out the website and sign up for email newsletters as well as finding a great amount of resources at the site.

As you read along, I encourage you to do your own assessment because there is no right or wrong answer. So grab a notebook and a pen and let’s get started.

A Leader’s Greatest Liability: Insecurity
Quoting my wonderful friend Wayne Schmidt, “No amount of personal competency compensates for personal insecurity.” In other words, no matter how confident you are, your competence can never outweigh and overcome your insecurity. It’s only a matter of time before your insecurity will sabotage your confidence.

In my book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, the first law I talk about is The Law of the Lid, where one’s leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness. And I feel the greatest lid on a leader’s ability to lead is insecurity. Insecure leaders are always positioning themselves to look good in the eyes of others. As a leader, when you are more concerned about how you look than how your people look, when you are more concerned about your outcome than your people’s outcome, when you are more concerned with how you are presented than how your people are presented, you are in trouble.

When I see an insecure leader, I want to get away from that person as quickly as I can. Not too long ago, I was talking to a person who was thinking about joining a staff with an insecure leader at the helm. Wanting to help, I told him he may want to reconsider. I told him it would be like handcuffing himself to this person while walking through a minefield. It’s only a matter of time until he—the insecure leader—blows himself up. And if you are handcuffed to him, guess what? You get to go, too.

Insecure leaders handcuff their people and consistently have losses along the wayside of life because they are constantly thinking about themselves first. Insecurity is a huge liability.

A Leader’s Greatest Motivation: A Challenge
Leaders love challenges. English historian Arnold Toynbee once said, “Appropriate response to challenge is the basis for the rise of any society or organization.”

I was doing a telephone interview with a magazine not too long ago, and one of the questions was how do I spot a leader. Once you understand what to look for, it’s not very complicated. Leaders love challenges. Anytime there is risk involved and a person backs up and doesn’t want to take the risk, they have already made a statement about their leadership ability.

Leaders love uncertainty. They love being on the edge where they don’t know if they are going to make or break it. They love not knowing how things are going to end up, but one thing is for sure: Good leaders bet on themselves. They will take the potential reward even though it could end up being a potential loss.

If you are looking for leaders in your company, give them a challenge, problem or issue that is way over their heads, add a little risk to it, and see if they are willing to put a little skin in the game.

I get very nervous when someone is about to launch or lead something who isn’t willing to take the risk that I’m willing to take. Because I know what will happen when it doesn’t go well. They will look to me for a parachute to save them. Leaders love a challenge.

A Leader’s Greatest Return: Developing People
What does developing people mean?

•Developing people means I value them.
•Developing people means I commit time to them.
•Developing people means I mentor them.
•Developing people means I equip them.
•Developing people means I empower them.

A Leader’s Greatest Prayer: Wisdom
I have prayed more for wisdom than for anything else. But why would a leader pray for wisdom? It’s very simple. There are many times when I don’t know what to do and am in over my head. And when you are in over your head, it doesn’t matter how deep you are, you are still in over your head. You can drown in 7 feet of water just as easy as 70 feet.

When I am in over my head, I pray to God to help me. Wisdom is knowing what to do next. What leader doesn’t need to know that? Skill is knowing how to do it. Virtue is doing it.

Dr. William J. Mayo said, “When knowledge is translated into proper action, we speak of it as wisdom.”

A Leader’s Greatest Recognition: Respect
The highest level of leadership results in respect. And respect is not a personal right. There is a quote I love on respect that says, “Everyone has the right to speak, but you have to earn the right to be heard.” It simply means go ahead and speak, but it doesn’t mean I am going to listen to you. There is a big difference between having the right to speak and the right to be heard.

Respect is usually gained on diffi cult ground. In other words, people usually gain respect through their most diffi cult times. Leaders gain respect when they take companies through very troubling fi nancial times. Presidents gain respect when they bring the country through diffi cult times. The reason Abraham Lincoln is the most revered president of the United States is because he successfully took America through its darkest hour.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


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

There is no substitute for knowledge. Knowledge and experience is what help you make an excellent play as a player and as a coach.

You should never let the other team determine what you are. General George Custer overestimated and General George McClellan underestimated their opponents. You cannot let the other team destroy what you are. You will not win or lose or have success based on what the other team is. You will have success based on what your team is. Team work is a funny thing. You can have a 427 Corvettes with oversized cams that will run 160 miles an hour, but if you don’t have the lug nuts for one tire, you are not going anywhere.

On the field, you can’t develop leadership if the coaching is doing all the leading. The players have to play and the coaches have to coach. The coaches can’t continually tell the players what to do. Bill Belichick would make the coaches go to the sidelines all the time when we had team drills. He would say to let the players play. I have senior meetings all the time. When we have them, I give the players ownership in those meetings. We have a peer group from every class that serves in a Peer Intervention Program. This program centers on behavioral issues. They deal with drugs, alcohol, agents, how to treat the other sex, spiritual issues, or any other behavior issues both positive and negative that you might have heard about. It actually is a tool to develop leadership within every group. I need groups that I can meet with to find out what is going on and be a sounding board for the team.

There are no decisions made on this team that I do not control. I can frame out any situation for them and get them to do what I want done. But they think it is their team and they are making the decisions. If you give them that type of ownership, they will lead and effect the other guy.

To be a good player on your team, you have to affect someone else on the team. You have to cause them to play better by the way you play. You affect other players with the character and attitude. To be a great player, you have to affect your entire unit. If you are a great player, every player on that unit plays better when you are on the field. The number one thing on any team that will keep your players from being selfish is respect for the other players. Having respect leads to trust and from that they begin to believe in each other. That is the way it works and that is the way it has to be.

Friday, February 19, 2010


To give yourself a handle on establishing and accomplishing goals, keep in mind these “Five Cs.”

• Consideration—What is the needed response? That’s what Mr. Berman asked himself when he asked those tough Marine drill sergeants for help.
• Credibility—What must I do to get the needed response?
• Content—What must I say to get the needed response?
• Conviction—How must I say it?
• Conclusion—What steps do I need to take to get the needed response? Now that I have said, felt, and determined to do something, what action will I take?
From "Be A People Person" by John Maxwell

Thursday, February 18, 2010


An organization can execute only if the leader’s heart and soul are immersed in the company. Leading is more than thinking big, or schmoozing with investors and lawmakers, although those are part of the job. The leader has to be engaged personally and deeply in the business. Execution requires a comprehensive understanding of a business, its people, and its environment.

The leader must be in charge of getting things done by running the three core processes—picking other leaders, setting the strategic direction, and conducting operations.

From "Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done"
By Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan


The following comes from Coach Steve Smiley of Sheridan College. Steve formerly played for Coach Meyer.

Also, here is a great idea that Coach Don Meyer really believed in, and we try to communicate to our players here at Sheridan. The idea is, the best way to learn something is to be able to teach it to somebody else. If your veterans/leaders can teach your younger players, you will have a successful program:

10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we both hear and see
70% of what we discuss with others
80% of what we experience personally
95% of what we TEACH to someone else
William Glasser

One last idea that we tried this year, and it worked well. It’s probably too late in the year to use these specific questions, but we did a Team Perception Test early in the year and had our players rate their teammates on the following questions. Our staff compiled the results and then we gave the players the choice of seeing how their teammates perceived them.

1. Who is our best practice player?
2. Who is our hardest worker?
3. Who is our most vocal leader?
4. Who controls the locker room when the coaches aren’t there?
5. Who is the best in the weight room?
6. Who is our best shooter (should be taking the shots @ the end of the game)?
7. Who is our best clutch free throw shooter?
8. Who is our best defender?
9. Who is our best rebounder?
10. Who is our toughest player (will do all of the dirty jobs)?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


"Kites rise against the wind, not with it."
-Kay Yow

Coach Yow mastered the art of reframing adversity. No matter what obstacle she faced, she found a way to use it as a motivator to propel her forward, not allowing it to keep her stuck.

Kites rise when the wind comes against them. The same is true for your team, BusyCoach. Your players’ greatest opportunity to rise to their potential happens when the team faces adversity.

If your starter goes down with a season-ending injury, for example, and you reframe it as an opportunity for others to step up, you just might see your role-playing sub turn into a conference player-of-the-week.

What adversity is your team facing today? How will you reframe it to help them overcome?

From Stephanie Zonars and "Wisdom for the BusyCoach"

I'm obviously a big fan of Stephanie's book on Coach Yow:

Monday, February 15, 2010


Great article from

Leader, manager, business coach, or consultant; whatever your title, if you are in a position that requires you to motivate and inspire others, there are certain attitudes, behaviors and personal attributes that you need to make your endeavors successful. Here are 10 questions any good leader must be able to answer in a positive way.

Am I able to recognize differences among my staff or team members in order to work effectively with each one? Being able to see these differences and respond accordingly, allows a leader to motivate on an individual level for better results.

Do I encourage suggestions and input on procedures from everyone? In order for people to feel motivated to make change or improve, they have to have some ownership of the process and believe their contributions are important.

Am I able to allow individuals to solve their own problems? A leader’s job is not to do everything but to impart the necessary knowledge, tools, and skills to others so they can do what needs to be done.

Do I understand the personal goals of each of the people on my team or in my employ? Everyone has their own motivations for doing things. By understanding what makes people work, we are better able to find ways to keep them moving ahead.

Do I provide consistent and appropriate rewards and praise where deserved? Everyone needs to be recognized for their efforts and contributions.

Am I able to identify slackers or non believers and take necessary actions to either bring them on board or find other areas for them? It is almost impossible to reach a goal when some team members just don’t want to participate.

Do I consistently try to find ways for people to grow, learn, and develop on the job? Success breeds success. The more people learn, the more they are inspired to learn, and the more they accomplish, the harder they will work toward future goals.

Do I make being available to individuals, management, and other team members a priority? It’s impossible for a leader to be invisible and make progress. The more approachable you are, the more comfortable your team and employees will be with asking questions and making suggestions. Good communication is vital to the success of any project.

Can I motivate the team as a whole towards a goal while at the same time recognizing individual efforts and contributions? While each individual’s efforts are invaluable, the team as a whole must learn to work together to make effective change.

Am I successful at promoting communication, understanding, respect, and support among the people I work with? In order to achieve success and accomplish desired goals, both team members and individuals need a leader who can create a working environment that encompasses these skills.

More articles on areas such as leadership, goal development and much more. It's worth the time to check them out.


Thanks to Coach Shane Dreiling for passing this great article on to me from Ernie Woods. Shane was quick to make sure we all know about Ernie's website:

Practices should be designed with the objective of preparing a team physically, technically, and mentally for game competition. Emphasis should be focused on execution and effort. Players must learn and develop the habit of working and playing hard at all times. Great teams are a result of the best players being the hardest workers. Motor learning and timing requires practicing at game speed. Get rid of the non-workers. No one steps on the floor without full hustle attitude. Insist on a team effort at all times.

- It is imperative that any time a coach talks everyone listens including other coaches. Demand and get eye contact of all players prior to speaking. Make sure that the coaching staff is well coordinated and uses the same offensive and defensive terminology.

- Clarify rather than confuse. Do not over coach. Keep instructions simple. Tell players what you are going to teach them, teach them, and tell them what you taught them.

- Be sure to teach when and why as well as how. There are certain fundamentals every player must master, and in addition each position also has specific fundamentals to learn.

-Coach players not the system. It's not what you run, but how you run it that counts. Basketball is not a game of offenses and defenses, but a game of effort and execution. If you are experiencing problems during games, go back and work on basic fundamentals and execution. Do not change or add new plays.

- Establish season master plan, weekly and daily practice schedules. Don’t expect players to know or execute anything that has not been covered in practice. During a game if a situation arises that you are not prepared, take note and include it in the next workout.

- Develop all of your players to the best of their capabilities. Coaching great players is easy. Where great coaches excel is in getting the most out of every player on the squad regardless to physical abilities and skills.

Make up detailed practice schedules. Post and give copies to assistant coaches. If at all possible hold a pre-practice coaches meeting, Carry a note card to refer to during practices. Every drill must have value or purpose otherwise throw it out. Alternate physically tough drills and less strenuous ones. Be sure to include individual defensive skill development in each practice.

- Whenever possible introduce and demonstrate a drill or activity one day, and then practice and make correct on the next day. Review (analyze) and reinforce skills and techniques as needed.

- Pay attention to detail. Precise execution and footwork are vital. Make precise corrections. On first time mistakes, stop action and make everyone aware of correction. On repeated mistakes substitute or wait for break in action to correct. Do not waste other players’ time to correct one individual. Do not get caught up with lengthy explanations.

- Use positive reinforcement and point out successful performances rather than negative ones. Find reasons to praise and encourage rather than condemn. Use constructive criticism when appropriate, but never yell. Have you ever heard of a successful teacher that yells at their students?

- If a drill is going poorly, stop it and go onto something else. Come back to it later or next practice. End all practices on high note or successful achievement (made pressure free throw, make ten consecutive free throws (make 10 for younger players), shooting contest, half court shot, etc.).

Some very useful scrimmage ideas. During practice have assistant coaches referee. For intersquad scrimmages bring in regualar officials.

- Have players make ten consecutive free throws before substituting. In lieu of just standing around. On jump balls, first player to dive on a loose ball gets it or give it to the defense.

- Eliminate the dribble. Especially at the start of preseason practices. During full court scrimmages make it a violation when a player dribbles. Players may struggle a little at the start, but they will soon adapt and start playing with their heads up and making cuts away from the ball. This is great for team play.

- When working half court on offense, have the defense make four or five defensive stops (combination of turnovers & defensive rebounds) before going to offense. This will provide incentive to play tougher defense which will improve the offense.

- Defense and break. During offensive half court work, allow defense to fast break on turnovers and missed shots. This will not only give the defense incentive to play harder, but it will also check and insure the defensive balance responsibilities.

- Free throw and press. When practicing full court presses or attacking full court presses, start with a made free throw.

Practice Preparation
-Starting a strenuous physical activity, such as basketball, without proper warm-up is detrimental to athletic performance and health. The purpose of a warm-up is to prepare for muscular activity, and is not an exhausting activity to bring on fatigue.

- It should be composed mainly of stretching and light running exercises. It should be of sufficient duration and intensity to adequately prepare players for the physical demands of the game or work-out.

- Cooling down and/or stretching after practice can be more beneficial to injury prevention than stretching at the start of practice. Think about ending workouts and practices by having players make 10 consecutive free throws. For younger players make 10 free throws. This will allow the players to cool down along as practice shooting free throws when tired.


The following comes from Jon Gordon's blog...check it out:

Each night before my children go to bed I ask them what their success of the day is. The idea came from a story I read about the Olympic gymnast, Bart Connor. Turns out 9 months before the 1984 Olympics he tore his bicep muscle. They said he would never make it back in time to compete in the Olympics. But not only did he make it back, he won two gold medals.

When Charlie Jones, the television broadcaster, was interviewing him, he asked Bart how he did it. Bart thanked his parents. Charlie Jones said, “Come on Bart, everyone thanks their parents when they win a gold medal.” Bart told Charlie that this was different. He said, “Every night before bed my parents would ask me what my success was. So I went to bed a success every night of my life. I woke up every morning a success. When I was injured before the Olympics, I knew I was going to make it back because I was a success every day of my life.” Talk about a confidence booster.

Since engaging in this practice with my children I can attest it works. I also know it works because I share this story in my keynotes and hear great stories from people all the time who are doing this with their children.

I also know it works for adults in businesses, schools, and organizations because when we focus on what people are doing right, they do more things right. It’s the simple, powerful message in the classic book The One Minute Manager and it’s an important part of the work I do with organizations.

Teams and organizations that focus on and celebrate success create more success. Success becomes ingrained in the culture and people naturally look for it, focus on it and expect it. That’s why certain football coaches and business leaders are always successful. They implement systems and principles that create a culture that celebrates and expects success and this drives behavior and habits that create successful outcomes.

So how do we put this into practice? The ideas are endless but here are few: If you are in sales have a sales meeting each week (in person or by phone) and share success stories. If you are in management recognize people and their success throughout the year. Not just during annual meetings. Celebrate the small wins as much as the big wins. Celebrate successful projects and implementations. As a leader you’ll want to praise people and reinforce successes that shine a spotlight on important goals and growth initiatives. For your own personal growth, keep a daily and weekly success journal. Write down your success of the day. Do this for 30 days and you’ll see amazing results. What we focus on shows up more in our life. If we look for and celebrate success we’ll see more of it. It works for Olympic athletes, children and us.


Another great article by Brian Tracy and one that hits home with our team. After a tough stretch of poor play our staff had a meeting and came to the conclusion that we had done a poor job of holding our players accountable for various phases of our play. This included most importantly our practice play. Our non-conference schedule failed short in preparing us for the challenges ahead and lured us into putting up with certain things in our play simply because we winning. We have spend the better part of the past 10 days creating consequences for individuals as well as our team and it has so far meant an increased amount of focus and execution. Here is what Tracy has to say:

The mark of the superior thinker is his or her ability to accurately predict the consequences of doing or not doing something. The potential consequences of any task or activity are the key determinants of how important it really is to you and to your company. This way of evaluating the significance of a task is how you determine what your next frog really is.

Long Time Perspective
Doctor Edward Banfield of Harvard University, after more than 50 years of research, concluded that "long-time perspective" is the most accurate single predictor of upward social and economic mobility in America. Long time perspective turns out to be more important than family background, education, race, intelligence, connections or virtually any other single factor in determining your success in life and at work.

Your attitude toward time, your "time horizon," has an enormous impact on your behavior and your choices. People who take the long view of their lives and careers always seem to make much better decisions about their time and activities than people who give very little thought to the future.

Think About Your Future
Successful people have a clear future orientation. They think five, ten and twenty years out into the future. They analyze their choices and behaviors in the present to make sure that they are consistent with the long-term future that they desire.

In your work, having a clear idea of what is really important to you in the long-term makes it much easier for you to make better decisions about your priorities in the short-term.

Determine the Consequences
By definition, something that is important has long-term potential consequences. Something that is unimportant has few or no long-term potential consequences. Before starting on anything, you should always ask yourself, "What are the potential consequences of doing or not doing this task?"

The clearer you are about your future intentions, the greater influence that clarity will have on what you do in the moment. With a clear long-term vision, you are much more capable of evaluating an activity in the present and to assure that it is consistent with where you truly want to end up.

Make It A Top Priority
If there is a task or activity with large potential positive consequences, make it a top priority and get started on it immediately. If there is something that can have large potential negative consequences if it is not done quickly and well, that becomes a top priority as well. Whatever your frog is, resolve to gulp it down first thing.

Keep Motivated
Motivation requires motive. The greater the positive potential impact that an action or behavior of yours can have on your life, once you define it clearly, the more motivated you will be to overcome procrastination and get it done quickly.

Thinking continually about the potential consequences of your choices, decisions and behaviors is one of the very best ways to determine you true priorities in your work and personal life.

Action Exercises
Review your list of tasks, activities and projects regularly. Continually ask yourself, "Which one project or activity, if I did it in an excellent and timely fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my life?"

Whatever it is that can help you the most, set it as a goal, make a plan to achieve it and go to work on your plan immediately. Remember the wonderful words of Goethe, "Just begin and the mind grows heated; continue, and the task will be completed!"


If you don't already, you need to make sure you check Coach Don Meyer's website from time to time for the wealth of information on it. The following comes from "Things I Wish An Older, More Experienced Coach Would've Told Me When I Was Younger."

Kids can spot a phony or con man a mile away. Try to adapt the good ideas of coaches you study rather than adopting the whole ball of wax.

Your personality, your personnel, your league, your school, your geographic region, resources available and many other things will impact just what you can use in your program.

Never promise wins and always provide attitude and effort.

Dick Bennett authored this one. You must be visionary, sell the vision to your people, and then everyone paints the picture.


The pain of regret is experienced in March for most teams and at the end of careers for most coaches.


Keep a low profile when you do this. Don't be obvious. Give something without expecting something in return.A hamburger feast, Wolfdog Festival, or some other event to show appreciation to those who support the program and kids.Daily acts of kindness and doing the right thing are the key to building a loyal army.

There is always something that can be done better.



My uncle on administrators

One thing YOU did well and why.
One thing WE can do better and how.

You better have good practices.(Al McGuire)

The complete list has a total of 50 things (all outstanding). To get your complete copy go to: Scroll down to "Newsletters for Coaches (New)" and click. Then click on "Wish I Had Been Taught" newsletter. You'll see a lot of other great coaching newsletters there as well.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Toward the end of Mohandas Gandhi’s extraordinary life, he listed the seven deadly sins he had encountered along the way:

1. Wealth without work
2. Pleasure without conscience
3. Knowledge without character
4. Business without morality
5. Science without humanity
6. Worship without sacrifice
7. Politics without principles

From "The Winners Manual" by Jim Tressel


We try to promote opportunities which lend themselves to the percentage shot. We believe in getting the ball inside for the shot whenever possible. Outside shots are always available. We have no reservations about shooting from the outside. However, we prefer doing so after the ball has gone inside or to the baseline initially. We then can be more confident about our offensive rebounding. Also, we will have placed pressure on the the defense to foul us while we moved the ball inside. This is vitally important. Some teams tend to overlook the importance of setting up conditions which make the defense more prone to fouling. At North Carolina, we consider this a major part of our offensive strategy.

Since we believe it is essential to move the defense before it can be penetrated, we emphasize the importance of passing several times before a shot is take against a set defend.

How do we define a good shot? The amount of defensive pressure, length of the shot, and individual player characteristics are each factors which determine what is or is not a good shot. Much depends on the shooting skill of the the individual player. Each man must be aware of his percentages from various positions on the court. For some players, a lightly guarded twenty-foot jumper will be a higher percentage shot than on taken at close range among a number of defensive players. The shooter must have confidence that his shot will go in. The other four men must assume it will not go through the net in order to provide good offensive rebounding protection and defensive balance.

Although good board coverage is designed into all our offensive plans, I would not consider rebounding a major factor responsible for our overall high field-goal percentage. I would be more inclined to attribute it to good shot selection and our pressure defense, which gives us some easy scoring opportunities off the fast break.

From "Basketball Multiple Offense and Defense" by Dean Smith

Saturday, February 13, 2010


There’s something inside the great ones that enables you to trust them more. Most often, however, winning depends on off-the-field communication.

1. Identify individual needs.
2. Time your talks.
3. Acknowledge emotions.
4. Get issues out on the table.
5. Use team talk to ventilate and motivate.

From "Ground Rules for Winners" by Joe Torre


The following is the 3rd of four parts of notes taking from a Coach Nick Saban clinic talk while he was coaching at LSU:

I think the one thing we need to do differently in motivating players and helping them be successful is not to talk about results. Our goal next year is to be a dominant football team that is a nationally recognized program. It doesn’t have anything to do with winning the SEC championship, going to bowls, or how many games we are going to win. All the expectations will be made up by that little fat guy, who never played a down and writes for some newspaper.

If you don’t get result-oriented with the kids, you can focus on the things in the process that are important to them being successful. That is the only way they are going to compete the way you want them to. It is hard to create a relentless competitor. To get a player to play every down, play hard, with toughness and responsibility, and do a good job is the most difficult part of coaching. There are three intangibles that take no athletic ability that aids a player in being responsible for this own self-determination. Those three intangibles take the most time in coaching in my opinion. Those intangibles are effort, toughness, and assignment.

When I talk bout toughness, I’m talking about mental and physical toughness. The player’s ability to make the play when the game is on the line is mental toughness. The assignment part of those intangibles is to know what your job is. Every time we don’t have a successful play, it goes back to a mental error, missed assignment, or lack of technique trying to carry out that assignment.

When you talk about results, you create problems for yourself. If you can focus on intangible things, your players will compete better for you. They will overcome adversity better for you. Everybody wants to win a national championship. But why would you put that as one of your goals? What happens when you lose the first game? Are you going to change the goal board? The personality of your team should be what you try to get them to define, not the results.

How do you make players believe in themselves? I ask my players what they think everyone in the room thinks of them. Forget about yourself; it’s about how you affected anybody in this room. I know players today are self-absorbed. That doesn’t mean they are selfish. If you are self-absorbed all you think about is how it affects you. If you are selfish you want it for yourself. When you are self-absorbed, you have a hard time thinking about how what you do effects someone else.

They have to take ownership for something big. I ask our players how big their frying pan is. That comes from a story about a fisherman in West Virginia catching catfish. He was throwing the big fish back. He said he had only a nine-inch frying pan at home. His whole deal as a fisherman was based on how he could cook them. That’s what I ask our team/ How much capacity do you have for success? How much do you believe in yourself? What do you expect to accomplish? The answer is not in wins and losses and championships. I think it is how you play the game. That point seems to have lost its importance in today’s game.


Another great article from Brian Tracy to help us stay organized:

"The first law of success is concentration - to bend all the energies to one point, and to go directly to that point, looking neither to the right or to the left." --William Mathews

The more thought you invest in planning and setting priorities before you begin, the more important things you will do and the faster you will get them done once you get started.

The more important and valuable the task is to you, the more you will be motivated to overcome procrastination and launch yourself into the job.

A Simple and Powerful Technique
The ABC Method is a powerful priority setting technique that you can use every single day. This technique is so simple and effective that it can, all by itself, make you one of the most efficient and effective people in your field.

The power of this technique lies in its simplicity. Here's how it works: You start with a list of everything you have to do for the coming day. Think on paper. You then place an A, B, or C before each item on your list before you begin the first task.

Determine Your Top Priorities
An "A" item is defined as something that is very important. This is something that you must do. This is a task for which there can be serious consequences if you do it or fail to do it, like visiting a key customer or finishing a report for your boss that she needs for an upcoming board meeting. These are the frogs of your life.

If you have more than one "A" task, you prioritize these tasks by writing A-1, A-2, A-3, and so on in front of each item. Your A-1 task is your biggest, ugliest frog of all.

Decide on Your Secondary Tasks
A "B" item is defined as a task that you should do. But it only has mild consequences. These are the tadpoles of your work life. This means that someone may be unhappy or inconvenienced if you don't do it, but it is nowhere as important as an "A" task. Returning an unimportant telephone message or reviewing your email would be a "B" task. The rule is that you should never do a "B" task when there is an "A" task left undone. You should never be distracted by a tadpole when there is a big frog sitting there waiting to be eaten.

Analyze the Consequences of Doing It
A "C" task is defined as something that would be nice to do, but for which there are no consequences at all, whether you do it or not. "C" tasks include phoning a friend, having coffee or lunch with a coworker or completing some personal business during work hours. This sort of activity has no affect at all on your work life.

After you have applied the ABC Method to your list, you will now be completely organized and ready to get more important things done faster.

Start on Your A-1 Task
The key to making this ABC Method work is for you to now discipline yourself to start immediately on your "A-1" task and then stay at it until it is complete. Use your willpower to get going and stay going on this one job, the most important single task you could possibly be doing. Eat the whole frog and don't stop until its finished completely.

Your ability to think through, analyze your work list and determine your "A-1" task is the springboard to higher levels of accomplishment, and greater self-esteem, self-respect and personal pride.

When you develop the habit of concentrating on your "A-1," most important activity, you will start getting more done than any two or three people around you.

Action Exercises
Review you work list right now and put an A, B, or C next to each task or activity. Select your A-1 job or project and begin on it immediately. Discipline yourself to do nothing else until this one job is complete.

Practice this ABC Method every day and on every work or project list, before you begin work, for the next month. By that time, you will have developed the habit of setting and working on your highest priority tasks and your future will be assured!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


This comes from my latest email newsletter from Hoop Tactics. If you aren't subsrcribing to their email newsletter you are missing out. Go to: They also have a pay site that is an amazing resource!

When behind late in game
The clock is the enemy, not the opponents. Seconds are precious. Every effort should be made to prevent time from running off the clock. By proper use of time outs and fouls the last few minutes of a game can be an eternity so don't ever give up.

1. Take a charge.
2. Create a five (5) second violation.
3. Steal the inbounds pass.
4. Give a foul
5. Rebound aggressively at both ends. Putbacks and second efforts are vital.
6. Push the ball on offense. Be quick but do not hurry. Make successful passes.
7. Go strong to the basket. The opposing players usually play poor defense since they do not want to foul.

When ahead late in the game
The clock is your ally. Do not stop it (unless in very serious trouble). Be sure that players know how many timeouts are remaining and if they have a foul(s) to give. Being aware of the timeout and team foul situations can make the difference in winning or losing.

1. Maintain disruptive pressure without fouling.
2. Deny dribble penetration. Build cushion staying between your opponent and the basket.
3. Pressure all three point shots with both hands up high.
4. Use half court press to defend against fast breaks and slow game tempo.
5. Box out and rebound. Do not allow any second efforts.
6. Take care of the ball offensively. Maintain proper spacing and use sharp accurate passes.
7. Move the ball and do not allow the opponent to stop the clock by fouling.

Intentionally missing a free throw
Chances are good during the season that an end of game situation will be encountered that requires the intentionally missing of a free throw; therefore, teams must be prepared for it. Intentional missing a free throw must be taught and practiced. Players must recognize and know what their assignments are on an "intentionally" missed free throw situation. Shooters must not only practice the intentional miss, they also need to be aware of the rule that the ball must hit the rim on the attempt.


From the Coaching Toolbox comes John Wooden's Desirable Coaching Traits...we've listed these before but they certainly deserve repeating:

Attentiveness to Detail
You must prepare to win in order to be a winner. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

This is a must, but you must remember that you must not treat everyone alike as they are all different. Give each one the treatment earned and deserved.

Teaching Skill
It isn’t enough that you know the game, you must be able to teach it. Follow the laws of learning.

Most essential for proper concentration and group organization.

The coach must be of an affable disposition because of the various groups with who he must associate.

You must be firm without being bullheaded.

Constant observation of all going on around and about are necessary for improved learning and decision making.

The pessimist isn’t likely to produce a confident team that will play near to their full capability.

Desire to Improve
Lack of ambition will result in complacency and laziness.

A Picture of the possible must be shown to your players to provide a goal for them.

Consideration For Others
You must be truly considerate of others if you expect them to be considerate of you. You must listen to them if you want them to listen to you.

You must be ever ready to make necessary adjustments according to the situation and the personnel that you have available.

An essential for all who work with others and are dependent on others in various ways.

Trust be commanded, not demanded. Others are working with you, not for you. Be interested in finding the best way rather than having your own way.

There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile things should never be easy to attain.

If you are to stimulate others, your heart must be in your work. Enthusiasm brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact.

You must be truly interested in those under your supervision and be sympathetic with their problems.

Good judgment must be exercised in your decisions and they must be made through reason not emotion.

Insincerity can be spotted very quickly and cause loss of respect.

Check out Brian Williams article (and site)...scroll to the bottom to watch a video interview with Coach Wooden:


More thanks to Coach Eric Musselman for passing on these thoughts from Lou Holtz:

"The only things that change you from where you are today to where you are going to be five years from now are the people you meet and the books you read."

"There are certain things in this world we all have in common, such as time. The difference is what we do with that time and how we use it. "If you're killing time, it's not murder, but pure suicide."

"Everybody has enthusiasm. Some people have it for thirty minutes. Some have it for thirty days, but the individual who can possess enthusiasm for 30 years will be the one people feel has been born on third base."

"Self discipline is the greatest asset any individual can possess. Without it, we cannot control our own destiny. We have scientists who have conquered space and the oceans but we cannot conquer ourselves."

"I have never known anyone who stood up and said the reason I'm successful is drugs or alcohol, but I have seen and read ofthousands who said my life is a mess because of drugs and alcohol."

"Ability determines capability; attitude dictates performance."

"We don't sell the next 4 years to our players. We sell thenext forty."


Via Coach Eric Musselman comes a comment from Del Harris on what a player should do after he has been screened:

"Keep coming after you get screened. A common strength of good defenders is that they are hard to screen. And, if they get screened they just keep on coming through the hit and pursue their man relentlessly. "The average defender will stop or straighten up when hitand that puts a lot of pressure on his teammates to cover for him until he decides to get back into the defense again. "Be tough and aggressive--make the screener feel pain-- and keep coming. Don't be the one the team defense has to bail out all the time."


The following is the 2nd of four parts of notes taking from a Coach Nick Saban clinic talk while he was coaching at LSU:

What is success? Success comes from consistency in performance. People who have consistent performance do it a certain way.

No one goes to the army anymore and gains that natural discipline. And very few people have ever worked on a farm. The old adage, you reap what you sow, is probably the most significant true statement that we could ever have.

How can you overcome adversity and beat the system if there is no suffering? If you are going to be persistent you have to fail at something. You have to have a negative experience. You have to be able to bounce back from a negative experience and make it into a positive experience. You can’t get frustrated. If we show our frustration to a player when he doesn’t do something right, he learns to show his frustration. Don’t let your ego get in the way of coaching. If you think a player’s poor play is a reflection on your coaching and you chew his butt out for it, you are wrong as a coach. I tell my coached that all the time. We need to teach him for the next play.

The player won’t know how to compete on the next play if they are frustrated or you are frustrated with them. That is the key to success.

I will not allow my players to put their hand on their knees or show in their face they are tired going into the fourth quarter. If they do, they are going to get their butt whipped. If they do that, they are showing the other team they can be beat.

People have to go through the process to improve. The bad thing about today’s athletes is they don’t think there is a process to go through. They think they are good from the start so there is no process to go through. Coaches are all about the process.

The best example I can give you about persistence was a commercial Michael Jordan did for Nike about three years ago. He pulled up in a limo and was going into the back door of the gym. The announcer was giving a lot of statistics about Michael Jordan. He said he had missed 26 game-winning shorts and he had missed 2,963 shots as a NBA player, and he had lost 293 games in the NBA. Michael opened the door, looked at the camera, and said, “Because I fail is why I succeed.”

Earle Bruce was the coach then, and Woody Hayes hadn’t had anything to do with the team or the school since the incident in the bowl game against Clemson. We got him to go on a trip with us and come and address the team. His speech centered on this statement: “There can be no great victories in life unless there is tremendous adversity.”

He turned all the adversity into opportunity.


Another great email posting from Brian Tracy on the importance of character. It reminds me in a way of John Maxwell's thoughts 360 degree leadership and his philosophy that in great organizations everyone shoulders some responsibility for leadership regardless of position. The same is true with character. Certainly it must start at the top. But truly great teams have coaches with great character...administrators with great character...and players with great character. In regard to the players, it can often be a situation of developing character. But is must be prevalent in order to have a quality program. Here is what Tracy has to say about it:

The fundamental glue that holds our society together is the quality of character. It is the foundation of happy families, companies, and organizations. It assures survival, civility, and blessings of a peaceful cooperation. Your character is the crystallization of your true values and beliefs, your innermost convictions. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said with regard to character, "What you are shouts at me so loudly that I can't hear a word you say."

Choices and Decisions
Everything you do in life involves a choice, a decision on your part. Because you have so many options, you are constantly choosing among alternatives, between what you value more and what you value less. Your choices and actions tell you and others what you truly value the most, or intend that reveals your character. It is only what you do at the moment of choosing, especially when you have to choose between what is right and what is expedient.

The Core Quality of Character
The core quality of character is integrity. This can be measured by how absolutely honest one is with himself and others. The depth of your integrity largely determines the strength of your commitment to each of your other values. A person of great character is one who would never compromise his or her "sacred honor" under any circumstances.

The Measure of Character
Strength of character can be measured on a scale from one to ten, from lowest to highest. In addition, each separate quality or virtue can be organized on a scale of intensity from one to ten. How high a person ranks on the scale of one to ten in any particular virtue and in the measure of character overall is determined by the percentage of the time that individual practices that quality throughout his or her daily life.

Justification and Rationalization
Most people know there is something inherently wrong with taking free money, with living off the government, with being dependent and making no contribution to the society in which they live. To compensate for this deep inner feeling of unease, people who are getting something for nothing create elaborate justifications and rationales to explain to themselves, and to others, why they are entitled to this free money. Every rationale or excuse comes back to the same explanation, those people have low moral character.

The Need to Lead
The greatest need we have today, in every area, is for men and women to practice the values of integrity, discipline, responsibility, courage, and long-term perspective, both as individuals in the workplace and with their families. These are the key qualities of leadership. Our society needs leaders at all levels that have high moral character, and know the difference between right and wrong.

Find out more about Brian Tracy as:

Thursday, February 4, 2010


It's about zoom-focusing with your mind, too. Every day you'll have a million distractions coming at yo, and you'll need to tune them out and focus on our priorities. To do this you'll want to use these three techniques.

1. First, ask one question.
Each day when you wake up in the morning ask the question, "What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?" Then each day take action on those three things.

2. Second, say no and yes.
My friend once told me, "If the devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy." He reminded me that we need to stop scattering our energy and wasting our time on trivial things that have nothing to do with our vision and goals and start saying yes to our priorities and to what truly matters. Each day we must make choices, and those choices include saying no to some people and opportunities is that we can say yes to the greater work we are meant to do.

3. Third, tune out distractions.
Don't listen to what other say about you. After all, we don't talk this game, we play it. Tune out the distractions and zoom-focus on what you need to do every day to be your best. Do your talking on the field. Don't compare yourself to others. Don't look at the depth chart. Don't listen to the naysayers.k Every day, focus on continuous improvement and getting better.

From Jon Gordon's "Training Camp"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


From, "The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork" by John C. Maxwell:

Check your compass!

A moral compass (look above): “A great business is seldom if ever built up, except on lines of strictest integrity.” -Andrew Carnegie

An intuitive compass (look within): “Visions spring forth from our intuition. If necessity is the mother of invention, intuition is the mother of vision. Experience feeds our intuition and enhances our insight.” -James Kouzes and Barry Posner
A historical compass (look behind): “Don’t remove the fence before you know why it’s there.” Anytime you cast vision, you must create a connection between the past, the present, and the future. You must bring them together. People won’t reach for the future until they have touched the past.

A directional compass (look ahead): “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” -Henry David Thoreau

A strategic compass (look around): As Vince Abner remarked, “Vision isn’t enough—it must be combines with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs.” People need more than information and inspiration. They need instruction in what to do to make the vision become reality and a way to get there. A strategy provides that.

A visionary compass (look beyond): A truly great vision speaks to what team members can become if they truly live out their values and work according to their highest standards.

Without a challenge many people tend to fall or fade away. “You must have a long-range vision to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.” -Charles Noble


From Ernie Woods and Bob Kloppenburg's site comes information on Tex Winter:

You may or may not be aware that Tex Winter, Triangle Post Offense, is recovering from a serious stroke. He has now progressed to a point where he can read. For those of you who like to take the time to write him a short note his address is:

Tex Winter c/o Springridge Assisted Living,
32100 SW French Prairie Road
Wilsonville, Oregon 97070

Your well wishes, appreciation, and support would be deeply appreciated and helpful.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I loves this posting on Coach Sundance Wicks facebook page today:

"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.'"

-John Chaney