Monday, August 30, 2010


1. Tell yourself a positive story. Life is a story. The story we tell ourselves and the role we play in that story determines the quality and direction of our life. Successful people 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, they see themselves as a fighter and over-comer. You may not be able to control the economy, but you can influence the outcome of your story.

2. Model yourself after success. Are there people in your industry succeeding today? Of course there are. Seek out those people in your industry and ask to meet with them. Learn from their advice and model their attitudes and actions. If they can succeed, so can you.

3. Focus on the important stuff. Tune out the negative voices and start making positive choices. What are you doing on a daily basis to grow yourself, your team, and your business? Don’t focus on the negative things other people and the media are saying. Instead, focus on marketing your business, taking care of clients, and building loyal relationships. Every morning ask yourself this question: "What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?" Then take action on those items.

4. Replace "have to" with "get to." This simple word swap can change your mind-set and your approach to work and life. It turns a complaining voice to an appreciative voice, and acknowledges that life is a gift—not an obligation. So often we grudgingly say things like "I have to go to this meeting," "I have to meet with this client," or "I have to make a bunch of phone calls." In reality, it’s not about what we have to do. It’s about what we get to do. Research shows that when we practice gratitude, we get a measurable boost in happiness that energizes us and enhances our health. It’s also physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time.

5. Refuse to participate in the recession. Professionals who’ve thrived during past recessions continued to go about business as usual regardless of market conditions. They worked hard and focused on taking actions to grow their business. As others are paralyzed by fear, take the opportunity to charge forward.

6. Boost your marketing and advertising. It may seem counterintuitive to spend more money on advertising and marketing right now. But with so many of your competitors cutting back in these areas, this is a great opportunity to build your brand and gain market share. People are still buying and selling, and they will buy from those whom they trust and see in the marketplace.

7. Create a positive vision. Instead of being disappointed about where you are, make the decision to be optimistic about where you are going. Create a positive vision for your future and the future of your team. Vision helps you see the road ahead and it gives you something meaningful and valuable to strive towards.
8. Invite others on your bus. Invite colleagues and customers to board your bus for a positive ride. Send them an e-bus ticket at Share your vision with team members and ask them to join you in making this vision a reality. Be a positive influence.

9. No more complaining. Abide by the "no complaining" rule. When you realize you’re about to complain, replace your thoughts and words with positive actions. Let your complaints help you identify what you don’t want so that you can focus on what you do want. The key is to turn complaints into solutions.


This was written by Napoleon Hill and passed on to me from Coach Creighton Burns:

Persistence is a state of mind, therefore it can be cultivated. Like all states of mind, persistence is based upon definite causes, among them these:

1. Definiteness of purpose. Knowing what one wants is the first and, perhaps, the most important step toward the development of persistence. A strong motive forces one to surmount many difficulties.

2. Desire. It is comparatively easy to acquire and to maintain persistence in pursuing the object of intense desire.

3. Self-reliance. Belief in one’s ability to carry out a plan encourages one to follow the plan through with persistence.

4. Definiteness of plans. Organized plans, even though they may be weak and entirely impractical, encourage persistence.

5. Accurate knowledge. Knowing that one’s plans are sound, based upon experience or observation, encourages persistence; “guessing” instead of “knowing” destroys persistence.

6. Cooperation. Sympathy, understanding, and harmonious cooperation with others tend to develop persistence.

7. Will-power. The habit of concentrating one’s thoughts upon the building of plans for the attainment of a definite purpose leads to persistence.

8. Habit. Persistence is the direct result of habit. The mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experiences upon which it feeds. Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage. Everyone who has seen active service in war knows this.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


There have been a handful of books that have had an extreme influence on me and one of those is "Today Matters" by John Maxwell. It has had a profound effect on me in terms of how I view each day as well as how we want our team to view each day. We have t-shirts for our team that they wear the year round that simply says "Win Today." And by "Win" we mean being the absolute best we can be everyday. We have purple bands that they players wear around their wrists in the off-season. One one side is say "The Lady Tiger Way" and on the other side it says "Win Today." We recently presented our team with a booklet we made in the office on winning each day. On each calendar day it has a quote (90% of them come from Maxwell's "Today Matters" book.) And we ask them each day to do one thing above and beyond what is scheduled to make them a little bit better.

If you'd like a PDF copy of the 42-page booklet, simply email me at: and ask for the "Win Today Workbook."

Here is John Maxwell talking about how successful people decided on principles for themselves and then work each day based on those principles.


1. Jealousy:
It’s a surefire way to disrupt the unity of any team. We must instill a belief with all our team members that everyone succeeds when one of us succeeds. There should be a sense of satisfaction from watching someone else excel, knowing that we all had a hand in it. It certainly helps when the stars are humble and remember to recognize their cohorts when receiving awards or honors—but even if they don’t, the mindset should be that what’s good for one is good for all.
•How to prevent jealousy: Work hard to disburse credit equally among your constituents. You should have a well-hones sense of fairness and be sharply attuned to who isn’t feeling the appropriate amount of love. Little ego strokes can make a big difference.

It will infiltrate when the going gets tough. Cynical people believe they are not part of the problem. Cynical people question the plan and doubt the leader. That’s because cynical people don’t understand how to find the proper solutions to the problem. In their minds, the end result will not be positive, so they’re no going to fully commit to the group effort.
• How to prevent cynicism: A one-on-one meeting that confronts the cynical individual with his own behavior is a must. Most negative people don’t realize how they’re tearing apart the fiber of a team unless it’s pointed out to them. Leave no doubt that the cynical behavior must change. There will be consequences for anything that undermines team chemistry.
3. Inflated ego:
It occurs when team members believe the group cannot function or succeed without them, because they’re so far superior to their cohorts. Even the most talented individuals in any endeavor must realize that their value only matters within the framework of the group.
• How to prevent inflated ego: Make sure the egotistical team member is aware of the talents of those around him, and encourage him to recognize those while checking his own ego at the door. Point out to that person that there is room for improvement in his performance; believe it or not, they’re not perfect. Keeping them humble and working to improve every day is vital. In many recovery programs, ego is said to stand for “Edging God Out.” It might be worth reminding the egotistical that only the Almighty is immune to self-improvement.
4. Inflexible personality:
“I know I’m right. You just don’t understand. I can’t believe you don’t see it that way.” Sound familiar? You’ve probably heard some of that in your office. The inflexible personality does far more talking than listening, like one of those TV talk shows that put four pundits in boxes and have them try to outshout each other. The inflexible personality can find fault with others but rarely himself—embellishing points and stories to portray others as unreasonable. The inflexible personality will argue against every criticism of his performance, no matter how small. Unfortunately for that person, there are no guarantees that his way is the only way.
• How to prevent the inflexible personality: Use examples of how teams win with a variety of strategies; how they change and adapt to sustain success. The New England Patriots began their championship run with defense, but their undefeated regular season of 2007 was marked by record-breaking offense. The defensive leaders like Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, and Rodney Harrison were fine with that, as long as it was good for the group as a whole. Challenge people to create outside their box.

5. Discipline deficiency:
A lack of discipline leads to poor habits, and poor habits become destructive to the will of any business or team. People who are on time will notice those who are late and wonder why that behavior is tolerated. They’ll think you’re playing favorites. Or, the punctual people start running late as well, figuring there is no accountability for it. Suddenly, you’ve got a breakdown in discipline. Morale has eroded, cynicism has crept in, and everyone is looking for shortcuts when shortcuts won’t work.
• How to prevent discipline deficiency: Stay focused on what it takes to succeed, emphasizing daily habits. Only allow deviations from those habits when it cannot be helped.

6. Lack of passion:
If you cannot sense the energy and excitement from people you’re trying to recruit or hire, they might not have it. They should be passionate and driven enough to know what they want—to have goals and expectations and to articulate what they’ll do to meet them. One year I asked one of my players what he wanted to accomplish outside of basketball. This player, at the end of his junior year, responded, “I don’t know.” I dismissed him from my office and told him to come back the next day with something better. I told him I don’t deal with I-don’t-know people. At age 22, young people should have some plans and ideas, or at least be searching for help in creating them. I-don’t-know people wallow in mediocrity. People lacking passion don’t enthusiastically seize every opportunity to improve themselves. They love what success could bring them, but they don’t want to put in the hard work it takes to become successful.
• How to prevent a lack of passion: Make your own passion a beacon for others to follow and emulate. If you’re not boiling with observable enthusiasm, those around you might not, either. Try to surround yourself with high achievers. Celebrate the grind. When hard work yields results, point it out—loudly, if necessary. During the long hours, remind your people that it will pay off in the end—cheerfully, if possible.

7. Excuse making:
When someone goes wrong, it’s never their fault. They’ll point fingers in all directions except at the person in the mirror. College basketball players will blame teachers for shortcomings in the classroom, referees for bad calls, teammates for not getting them the ball. I always tell my guys that failure is OK if they own up to it and use it as fertilizer to make things better. I tell them excuses are a sign of weakness, and weakness won’t be tolerated.
• Channeling Bill Parcells once again: You are your record.

8. Front-running: The front-runners are at their best when everything is going their way. It’s easy to be upbeat and positive when you’re playing well and your team is winning—but how do you respond when times aren’t so good? Sports and business are full of people who can ride a wave of positive momentum, but aren’t so good when they have to generate momentum in the face of opposition or adversity. They tire mentally and physically and are bypassed by their competition. They become self-satisfied too easily.
• How to prevent front-running: Keep the hammer down during good times. My halftime speeches are always more volatile and demanding when we’re ahead—players will take criticism more easily in that setting, and they’ll stay on task. When we’re behind, I try to be more analytical, calm, and upbeat. When we have a double-digit lead late in games, I’ll tell my team during timeouts that the scoreboard doesn’t matter; we’re tied, and I want to win the next four minutes by the next media timeout. I create a game within a game, trying to keep the pressure on them to rely on their fundamentals and do what we’ve coached them to do. Keep your own emotions on an even keel, and maintain your discipline. If you get overly comfortable when things are going well, it’s a signal to others to let their guard down and relax.


Common sense tells us the right people have to be in the right jobs. Yet so often they aren’t. What accounts for the mismatches you see every day?

Lack of Knowledge: Leaders often rely on staff appraisals that focus on the wrong criteria. Or they’ll take a fuzzy and meaningless recommendation for someone a direct report likes.

Lack of Courage: Most people know someone in their organization who doesn’t perform well, yet manages to keep his job year after year. The usual reason, we find, is that the person’s leader doesn’t have the emotional fortitude to confront him and take decisive action. Such failures can do considerable damage to a business. If the nonperformer is high enough in the organization, he can destroy it.

The Psychological Comfort Factor: Many jobs are filled with the wrong people because the leaders who promote them are comfortable with them. It’s natural for executives to develop a sense of loyalty to those they’ve worked with over time, particularly if they’ve come to trust their judgments. But it’s a serious problem when they loyalty is based on the wrong factors.

Bottom Line: Lack of Personal Commitment: When the right people are not in the right jobs, the problem is visible and transparent. Leaders know intuitively that they have a problem and will often readily acknowledge it. But an alarming number don’t do anything to fix the problem. You can’t will this process to happen by issuing directive to find the best talent possible. As noted earlier, leaders need to commit as much as 40 percent of their time and emotional energy, in one form of another, to selecting, appraising, and developing people.

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


When we hammered home our famous mantra, “The team, the team, the team,” that didn’t leave a lot of room for interpretation. When I came up with that, I wasn’t trying to be clever. It means if you’re late for the team bus, I don’t care if you’re Jim Mandich, Anthony Carter and Desmond Howard rolled into one. That bus is leaving, it’s leaving on time—and it’s leaving without you!

Look, they know Bo is always sitting up at the front of the bus, and when pullout time comes, he just checks his watch and says, “Driver, it’s time to go.” We don’t have anyone checking who’s here and who isn’t. We don’t check! I never took roll. If you’re on the bus, you must be on time, and if you’re not on the bus, you must be late, and it’s your fault. Driver, it’s time to go!

We’ve had guys running up to the bus as we were pulling out—starters, even—and the guys on the bus always started yelling, “Coach! So-and so’s running up to the bus!” I didn’t care who it was. I guarantee you right now I never even turned around to look, because the answer was always the same: Driver, it’s time to go!

Everyone knew Bo’s not mad at you, he’s just leaving you. And I’ll tell you why: Because it’s just not fair to the other guys who took the trouble to get there on time. The bus waits for no man!

Driver, it’s time to go!

And as your big All-American grows smaller in the bus’s rearview mirror, he’ll have time to consider if you really meant what you said about the team, the team, the team. Leave a guy standing in the parking lot just once, and you better believe he’ll be a half-hour early next time. Once everyone knows I’m not holding the bus for anyone, trust me, they get there. They always do.

That bus symbolized the foundation of our values: simple, straightforward, no exceptions. You start cutting corners for this guy or that situation, and before you know it, you’re spending all your time playing judge and jury, deliberating over very little incident, when you should be leading your team. It’s painful sometimes, but you create a lot fewer headaches for everyone, including the players, when you simply stick to your guns.

From "Bo’s Lasting Lessons" by Bo Schembechler and John U. Bacon


The Most Important Measure of Success
Being respected by others is very important to each of us. A survey done by the Gallup organization found that the most prominent living Americans rated the respect of others as the most important measure of success in life. They worked very hard to earn the respect of their parents, the respect of their spouses and children, the respect of their peers and colleagues, and the respect of mankind at large.

Why You Respect Yourself
It seems that we truly respect ourselves only when we feel that we are respected by others, and we will go to great lengths to earn and keep that respect. When we feel that someone respects us for who we are and what we have accomplished, we tend to be more open to that person's influence.

Two Things You Can Do
We can do two things to put ourselves in a position to be respected by others. The first is to develop our knowledge of our field. The more people perceive you know about your subject, the more they will respect you. The highest-paid people in almost every field are those who know more than the average people. They are recognized as experts, and they develop what is called "expert power." Because of their superior knowledge, they are looked up to and listened to, and they are much more capable of influencing others to act in a particular way than they would be if their knowledge level were just average.

Develop Your Expertise
Another way to put ourselves in a position of being respected by others is to develop your expertise. Expertise is closely tied to knowledge, but it is a little different. Expertise is the ability to do, the ability to perform well in your chosen field. Men and women with expertise are those who practice over and over in whatever they do until they become known far and wide as the very best in their field.

Check out:

Friday, August 27, 2010


I really believe that your best player, and how you coach your best player, is critically important to the success of your team. Coach Don Meyer has told me more than once "when your best player is your hardest worker you've got a chance." I would also add that when you best player is your most coachable you are in business. At LSU, we've been blessed with some special players including Marie Ferdinand, Sylvia Fowles, Temeka Johnson, Allison Hightower and Seimone Augustus. They were great players but they were also our team's most dedicated players and all were extremely coachable. Among that group are five Final Fours, 3 SEC Championships -- while all are competing in the WNBA with Seimone and Sylvia owners of Olympic Gold. Those women got it -- they understand what it took to be GREAT...not good, but great.

Along those lines, here's a great post from Kevin Eastman on this subject:

Every team has a best player. Some of these “best players” understand the responsibility that goes with that and others don’t. We have found that those who do have two things in common:

..... --they have earned this designation (not just been given it)

..... --they understand it’s an everyday responsibility

Kevin Garnett made an interesting comment on the bench the other night when he was talking to a teammate about consistency. He said, “an All-Star has to be a pit bull; he has to bring it every night!”

Everyone wants to be Michael Jordan or Paul Pierce or Tim Duncan or Steve Nash, but they don’t want the responsibility that goes with it. What Kevin was saying is being the best is not a one time thing. It is an everyday commitment to excel as a player who gives maximum effort every time he hits the floor. That means every game, every half, every quarter, every minute, every second, and every possession!

And this will be the case for anyone in any field who is — or wants to become — the best. It is a personal commitment that takes incredible daily focus. I encourage you to use Kevin’s statement with the player or players on your team who may be taking this for granted. You can tell them that Kevin not only talks the talk on this but he walks the walk. He understands that being the best requires more!


Thanks to Coach Creighton Burns for the following:

The following comes from Bud Wilkinson, winner of 47 straight games & several National Championships at Oklahoma in the 1950’s).


The best coach is the one who makes the fewest mistakes; the one who does the best teaching job; the one who is the best organizer. Writing the X’s & O’s is not the most important thing. There are 22 variables in a football game. Coach must be a salesman to the extent that when his team loses, they don’t blame him or the offensive and/or defensive system, but rather


Failure to recognize the time factor available to get the job done. Planning makes for valuable use of time. Too long on any one thing produces boredom. When boredom comes in, learning goes out. Football players have a short attention span. Hold to time schedule.

Tell the boy WHY he is doing what he is trying to accomplish and he will do a better job. Explain WHY, then show HOW.

You can’t teach a boy how to block until he has learned stance. If he hasn’t learned stance, he doesn’t know how to step out of the stance into the block.

How much can boy learn from your verbal instruction with his helmet on, he’s breathing hard, he aches, he’s stunned, etc. Do WHO and WHY in chalk talk. Teach assignments before hitting the field. Correct on the field. Teach – no! (HOW is taught on the field – not WHO &WHY).

How much you know is not important. How much player knows is.

Better to have a team eager to play rather than physically tired. How long to practice is a judgment factor. Cut down as season goes along – not going to change mechanical ability late in season. Only one rule never violated at Oklahoma. If one coach on staff feels practice too long, we must cut it down. More boys play poorly because they practiced too long than boys
playing poorly because they didn’t practice long enough.

Thursday, August 26, 2010



Philosophy is to score with a quick strike mentality. Get the ball out and up the floor before the defense has an opportunity to set.

Look to attack and draw fouls.

First look is transition, then play after transition and then another play—move yourself, move the ball.

Set plays on dead balls, after time outs and late game situations

Have plays with versatility—different plays from initial set. Create different initial sets to get into the same plays—it makes for tougher scouting and promotes execution.

Five important offensive statistics: Asst – TO Ratio, FG%, 3FGA, FTA, Offensive Rebounding %.


I'm searching for ways to steal 4 points per game, score one basket every two games on each of these = 4 points a game average. This is the difference between Good to Great and Great to Champions.

• FT Situation: Makes and Misses, Set plays off misses.

• Jump Ball: Win it and score with it, changes plays throughout the season.

• UOB: Sell it where we need to score one more basket than our opponents every two games.

• SOB: Same as UOB

All these situations are during dead balls and a great way to attack the other team when they are resting.


There is not a better book or resource out there for assistant coaches on the subject of leadership than John Maxwell’s 360 Degree Leadership. The book deals with the subject of not being the leader but being a leader and how to succeed. Maxwell believes strong in the importance of “leading yourself exceptionally well” in order to best benefit your organization. Here are some of his key points in leading yourself:

1. Successful people make right decisions early and manage those decisions daily.

2. The key to leading yourself well is to learn self-management.
Nothing will make a better impression on your leader than your ability to manage yourself. If your leader must continually expend energy managing you, then you will be perceived as someone who drains time and energy. If you manage yourself well, however, your boss will see you as someone who maximizes opportunities and leverages personal strengths. That will make you someone your leader turns to when the heat is on.

3. Manage your emotions.
Good leaders know when to display emotions and when to delay them.

4. Manage your time.
Time management issues are especially tough for people in the middle. Leader at the top can delegate.

5. Manage your priorities.
You must be ruthless in your judgment of what you should not do.

6. Manage your energy.
What is the main event? The greatest enemy of good thinking is busyness. “the ABCs energy-drain”
Activity without direction
Burden without action
Conflict without resolution

7. Manage your thinking.
Poet and novelist James Joyce said, “Your mind will give back to you exactly what you put into it.” A minute of thinking is often more valuable than an hour of talk or unplanned work.

8. Manage your words.
“Show me what you can do; don’t just tell me what you can do.”

9. Manage your personal life.
If I can’t lead myself, others won’t follow me.
If I can’t lead myself, others won’t respect me.
If I can’t lead myself, others won’t partner with me.


From Kevin Eastman

1. Not Running
2. Not Posting
3. Not Getting the Ball
4. He "Thinks" He's Open


Keith Glass, NBA Agent & Author of "Taking Shots":

"I tell my players to only listen to 15% of what teams tell you. The players that make the roster off of the summer league roster are those that score and make plays. Not passing the ball and being the good guy."

Not sure which pisses me off...the fact that he tells his players this or the fact that is some respect it's true.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


One of Coach Sue Gunter's favorites quotes was, "Dream hard." She felt it was the essence of what we need to be successful. Bob Knight has often said that the greatest thing a coach can have is an imagination. It's that special vision to dream -- to see the invisible, that allows to have great accomplishments. Here are some great quotes along those lines from my most recent Achievement Newsletter:

“Never let your memories be greater than your dreams.”
—Doug Ivester

“All successful men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.”
—Brian Tracy

“All of our dreams can come true—if we have the courage to pursue them.”
—Walt Disney

“I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.”
—Dr. Jonas Salk

“To realize a dream, you must have a dream to realize.”
—Mark Victor Hansen

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”
—Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“Live out of your imagination, not your history.”
—Stephen Covey

“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”
—Muhammad Ali

“Nothing happens unless first a dream.”
—Carl Sandburg

“Successful people believe in the validity of their own dreams and goals, even if dreams are all they have to go on.”
—Denis Waitley


I think this is a really good post by Brian Tracy for coaches. We go through such a roller coaster ride that sometimes it can effect our ability to correctly think and evaluate. It's important for coaches to keep an even keel -- to "stay near the middle of the road."

The most important quality for success in entrepreneurship and in life is the quality of optimism. Optimists have an unrealistic expectation of success. As a result, they are willing to try far more things without becoming discouraged. In addition, because of their unrealistically positive attitude, they are willing to persist much longer than the average person. Optimism is a wonderful quality as long as you have it under control.

Temper Your Optimism
In order to be successful in business and in any activity where your money is involved, you must temper your optimism with negativism. You must be enthusiastic about the possible upside of the investment but you must be skeptical, critical, suspicious and demanding about all the different ways that your money can be lost.

Listen to Negative Viewpoints
Seek out and listen carefully to people who are negative toward your idea. Look for negative thinkers, because their viewpoints can be invaluable and save you a fortune in time and money. I have a friend who is a lawyer, and he recommends and gives advice to many people on investments. And what he does is this. When someone comes and they want to make an investment that he’s unsure about, he says, all right, I want you to come to my office and I want you to sit behind my desk. And then I’m going to come in and I’m going to present this investment to you and I want you to critique this investment as if you were me.
Help Others to Evaluate Honestly
And he says that when his clients begin critiquing the investments they’re thinking about going into, when they begin becoming negative thinkers about the investments, he says they are astonished at how bad the investments really are. He said he has saved his clients millions of dollars by forcing them to be negative thinkers about their own ideas, simply by switching roles and sitting in front of the desk while they sit behind the desk.

Keep Your Mind Open
But don’t be overly influenced by negative thinkers. Just take their viewpoints into consideration. There’s a famous story of Mary Hudson, who started off with 200 dollars in the middle of the Depression and leased a gas station that two men had gone broke running at two different occasions. And from that she built a company called Hudson Oil, which is now the biggest independent distributor of gas and oil in the United States. From a 200 dollar investment, even though everybody told


From Dan Green at comes a great bost about finishing strong:

You probably know by now that the New Orleans Saints used my book Finish Strong as a motivational platform for their 2009 season. But just in case let me refresh your memory....Drew Brees, the QB for the Saints, gave every member of the team a copy of the book and a black silicone Finish Strong wrist band in the spring of last year. Finish Strong became their rallying cry all the way to their Super Bowl victory. On the heels of their victory, I was invited to speak, do radio and tv interviews and even had a book signing at Borders (that was cool).

It was a busy spring for sure. One of the consistent things that folks asked me was "Dan, what does it mean to Finish Strong?" I have to admit, the first time I heard that I was a little bewildered. I mean, it means what it means right? Having lived the Finish Strong attitude for more than 15 years, I guess I took for granted what it really means. So, I began to explain the life philosophy and I would like to share it with you today.

Think of Finish Strong as a granite platform that supports your life. Then think of 4 granite pillars that hold it up...So here are the 4 pillars and the secrete to Finish Strong in your life...

1. BELIEF – You must believe that: “The Cost of Regret FAR EXCEEDS the Price of Discipline” – Peter Lowe. I love this quote because it speaks to the spirit of Finish Strong. You can never recover this moment in time…did you make the most of it? Did you invest wisely (the price of discipline) or will look back with regret in the future (the cost). Don't settle for mediocrity. Will you lie down at night with a feeling of satisfaction or regret? It’s up to you.

2. CHOICE – You must take control of your emotions and actions and choose to Finish Strong. “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you choose to respond that matters”. Recognize your “Finish Strong Moments”. The decision points in your life that challenge to you make a choice. At any given point in time you and only you have the power to choose how to respond the challenge before you. Take a breath, think about your options and then make good choices.

3. BE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOU – resolve to be your own best coach, cheerleader or fan! You and you alone are responsible for your actions. Don’t let external factors influence or distract you from your objective. This is why I wear a Finish Strong wristband. It serves as my personal reminder to hold my self accountable.

4. IMPROVE YOUR AVERAGES to FINISH STRONG! – Set realistic goals, then work towards them one step at a time. “Inch by inch life’s a cinch, yard by yard life is yard". Resolve each day to improve your averages - wake up 5 minutes earlier than the day before, make it to the gym 1 day per week. Whatever tactical elements you need to reach your goal, start off in small steps and keep improving your average success each day. But ALWAYS move forward in the direction of your goal.


Good article by Dave Ramsey on building loyalty among your team:

In EntreLeadership, my small-business training program, I explain how business leaders can build a loyal team. The main principle is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Luke 6:31)
Here are three important ways that principle plays out for a business leader:

Be consistent.
If you’ve ever had a boss who was unpredictable and explosive, you understand the value of consistency. When your team trusts you to back them up, to recognize them for a job well done, or to handle a negative situation with grace, you build a team that is confident that you value them.

Your team members are not units of production.
Business leaders are busy people, but sometimes you have to slow down and take time to look in your team members’ eyes. Sometimes, you will see pain or fear, and it is your job as a leader to find out what’s behind it. I call this “pastoring the flock.”
Treat team members with dignity.
I never want to install a time clock in my office. I never want employees who punch the clock and do just enough work to collect their checks—because there is no dignity in working like that. Treat your team members with dignity by giving them a voice and making it clear that their work matters to you and your business.
There’s no magic here, except for the magic that happens when you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Look at your business and its leadership through your team members’ eyes. How would you want to be treated?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


This is the second set of notes from Sylvia Fowles notebook while attending Don Meyer's Post Camp a few years ago:

·Know who I am and what my game is
·Teach myself
·Skill development program
·Be the best I can be
·Properly and quickly execute the fundamentals of the game
·Be a practice player first
·Go to and counter move
·I can do anything I want to do
·I can’t do everything I want to do
·Less is more

Levels of Playing:
Lowest- unconscious and incompetent
Second- conscious and incompetent (doesn’t understand)
Third- conscious and competent (know what you are doing)
Forth- unconscious and competent (know what you have to do- Michael Jordan)

1) A good player knows where he or she is on the floor.
2) A great player knows where everyone is on the floor.
3) A super player knows where everybody is and what he or she is going to do.


The following story comes from Napoleon Hill and speaks to us a variety of ways. It can be a message to an individual who is closer that he/she thinks to reaching their potential or accomplishing a worthwhile goal. To me, it reminded me of our team last year. It was a team that fell short of expectations but I'm not sure that they realized how close we were at times if we could have just stayed committed and "kept digging."

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another.

An uncle of R. U. Darby was caught by the "gold fever" in the gold-rush days, and went west to DIG AND GROW RICH. He had never heard that more gold has been mined from the brains of men than has ever been taken from the earth. He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel. The going was hard, but his lust for gold was definite. After weeks of labor, he was rewarded by the discovery of the shining ore. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home in Williamsburg, Maryland, told his relatives and a few neighbors of the "strike." They got together money for the needed machinery, had it shipped. The uncle and Darby went back to work the mine.

The first car of ore was mined, and shipped to a smelter. The returns proved they had one of the richest mines in Colorado! A few more cars of that ore would clear the debts. Then would come the big killing in profits.

Down went the drills! Up went the hopes of Darby and Uncle! Then something happened! The vein of gold ore disappeared! They had come to the end of the rainbow, and the pot of gold was no longer there! They drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again-all to no avail.

Finally, they decided to QUIT.

They sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars, and took the train back home. Some "junk" men are dumb, but not this one! He called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed, because the owners were not familiar with "fault lines." His calculations showed that the vein would be found JUST THREE FEET FROM WHERE THE DARBYS HAD STOPPED DRILLING! That is exactly where it was found!

The Junk man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine, because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up. Most of the money which went into the machinery was procured through the efforts of R. U. Darby, who was then a very young man. The money came from his relatives and neighbors, because of their faith in him. He paid back every dollar of it, although he was years in doing so. Long afterward, Mr. Darby recouped his loss many times over, when he made the discovery that DESIRE can be transmuted into gold. The discovery came after he went into the business of selling life insurance.

Remembering that he lost a huge fortune, because he STOPPED three feet from gold, Darby profited by the experience in his chosen work, by the simple method of saying to himself, "I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say 'no' when I ask them to buy insurance."

Darby is one of a small group of fewer than fifty men who sell more than a million dollars in life insurance annually. He owes his "stickability" to the lesson he learned from his "quitability" in the gold mining business.

More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known, told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.
From "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill

Sunday, August 22, 2010



The following comes from daily deveotional email from Rick Warren:

Discouragement is curable. Whenever I get discouraged, I head straight to Nehemiah. This great leader of ancient Israel understood there were four reasons for discouragement.

First, you get fatigued -- You simply get tired as the laborers did in Nehemiah 4:10. We're human beings and we wear out. You cannot burn the candle at both ends. So if you're discouraged, it may be you don't have to change anything. You just need a vacation! Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is go to bed.

Second, you get frustrated -- Nehemiah says there was rubble all around, so much that it was getting in the way of rebuilding the wall. Do you have rubble in your life? Have you noticed that anytime you start doing something new, the trash starts piling up?

If you don't clean it out periodically, it's going to stop your progress. You can't avoid it, so you need to learn to recognize it and dispose of it quickly so you don't lose focus on your original intention.

What is the rubble in your life? I think rubble is the trivial things that waste your time and energy and prevent you from accomplishing what God has called you to do.

Third, you think you've failed -- Nehemiah's people were unable to finish their task as quickly as originally planned and, as a result, their confidence collapsed. They were thinking, "We were stupid to think we could ever rebuild this wall."

But you know what I do when I don't reach a goal on time? I just set a new goal. I don't give up. Everybody fails. Everybody does foolish things. So the issue is not that you failed - it's how you respond to your failure.

Do you give in to self-pity? Do you start blaming other people? Do you start complaining that it's impossible? Or, do you refocus on God's intentions and start moving again?

Finally, when you give in to fear, you get discouraged -- Nehemiah 4 suggests the people most affected by fear are those who hang around negative people. If you're going to control the negative thoughts in your life, you've got to get away from negative people as much as you can.


"You can’t ignore such personal events when they can affect a person’s performance on the field. (I make certain to have information about players’ personal difficulties when it’s relevant to the team.) When you have players with track records of hard work, grace under pressure, and key contributions to the team, you should grant them your trust – even if they’ve shown some inconsistency."

From "Ground Rules for Winners" by Joe Torre


A LEADER destined for SUCCESS asks,
....."What can we do to improve?"

A LEADER destined for FAILURE says,
....."That's the way it's always been done here."

Which are you?

From "The Essential Wooden" by John Wooden and Steve Jamison


"Maintaining balance is the toughest thing to do. You realize that your family is the most important thing you have, but the job requires so much time. You want to do your best in both areas but find yourself spending much more time at work than at home. In the NFL, as with most jobs, you can't dictate the schedule. There were many weekends, evening, and holidays when I had to be at work. I tried to become as efficient as I could and to be a good time manager at work. I didn't want to cheat my employer or my players, but I made it a priority not to waste time. I also made the decision to forgo some things away from work that I enjoyed, such as golf, to be home more. I tried to include my family in my job as much as possibly. That wasn't too hard, because they all enjoy football. However, I really felt I had to do extra things when I was home to make my family understand that they were special, that they were a priority in my life."

From "The Mentor Leader" by Tony Dungy

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I came across this via Twitter from Chris Turner and it will make our Team Notebook. It is a passage from John Maxwell and his website:

A few years ago, I read an article about a young man who, at age 23, went to work as the senior pastor of his first church. He found the experience very intimidating because he was to be the spiritual leader of people who had children and grandchildren older than he was.

How did he handle it? By showing his people respect and asking them to treat them in kind. To make his standard clear to everyone, he shared ten rules for respect that he promised to live by, and he asked his people to do the same.

Here are his rules:

1. If you have a problem with me, come to me (privately).

2. If I have a problem with you, I’ll come to you (privately).

3. If someone has a problem with me and comes to you, send them to me. (I’ll do the same for you.)

4. If someone consistently will not come to me, say, “Let’s go see him together.” (I’ll do the same for you.)

5. Be careful how you interpret me. On matters that are unclear, do not feel pressured to interpret my feelings or thoughts. It is easy to misinterpret intentions.

6. I will be careful how I interpret you.

7. If it’s confidential, don’t tell. If anyone comes to me in confidence, I won’t tell unless

..... (a) the person is going to harm him/herself;

..... (b) the person is going to physically harm someone else;

.....(c) a child has been physically or sexually abused. I expect the same from you.

8. I do not read unsigned letters or notes.

9. I do not manipulate; I will not be manipulated. Do not let others manipulate you; do not let others try to manipulate me through you.

10. When in doubt, just say it. If I can answer without misrepresenting something or breaking a confidence, I will.

His story intrigued me because I had faced a similar situation early in my career. The young pastor’s list reflected what I’d learned in my own experience.

Most people greatly desire the respect of their leaders. And when leaders give it freely, I believe it creates a very positive relational environment. As author Alfred Glasow said, “The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude.”


I love this post by Brian Tracy, "Six Steps to Effective Delegation." Obviously it is some great advice for a head coach in working his staff. But I also saw it as a way to systematically work with your team -- especially in the off-season or for when they are working along on their game. I have added some comments in GOLD as to how I think you could adapt it:

To delegate effectively in your work with others, there are six steps that you can take. If you neglect any one of these steps, you run the risk of miscommunication, misunderstanding, demoralization, and poor performance.

Step 1: Match the Person to the Job
One of the great time wasters in the world of work is delegating the task to the wrong person. Often the task is delegated to a person who is not capable of doing it properly or getting it done on schedule. Often players don't fully understand exactly the things they need to work on to improve. What specifically can they do as a player (and improve upon as a player0 that will make your team better.

Step 2: Agree on what is to be done
Once you have selected the right person for the job, take the time to discuss the job with the person and agree upon what must be done. The more time you talk to discuss and agree upon the end result or objective-the more effort you make to achieve absolute clarity-the faster the job will be done once the person starts on it. Meet with the player and be clear on what your expectations are in terms of the area needed to work on as well as the amount of improvement needed.

Step 3: Explain how the Job Should Be Done
Explain to the person your preferred approach or method of working. Explain how you would like to see the job done, and how you or someone else has done it successfully in the past. It is important that you are detailed with a player. Don't just say "you need to work on your shooting," -- be specific. "You need to work on shooting off the ball screen. I want you to tighten up the jab step and make a lower sweep with the ball upon transfer. Look to come of the screen with a hard dribble that gets you somewhere and finish your shot with your shoulders squared." It would be a excellent to have video for the player to see her areas that she needs for improvement as well as some clips showing a player properly executing the move.

Step 4: Have Your Employee Repeat Back Instructions
Ask the person to feed your instructions back to you in her own words. Have him or her explain to you what you have just explained and agreed upon. This is the only way that you can be sure that the other person actually understands the job or assignment he or she has been delegated to accomplish. Don't just tell a player what she needs to be doing. Create a dialogue to ensure she understands what, why and how.

Step 5: Set a Deadline
Set a deadline and schedule for completion of the task. At the same time, arrange for regular reporting and periodic inspection. Invite feedback and questions if there are any delays or problems. Talk to the player about the amount of time you think will be needed to work to get the desired amount of improvement.

Step 6: Manage by Exception
Managing by exception is a powerful time management tool that you use to work more efficiently with other people. If the job is on track and on schedule, managing by exception means that the person does not have to report back to you. If you don't hear from him, you can assume that everything is going well. The individual only has to report back to you when an exception occurs and there is a problem with getting the job done on time, to the agreed upon level of quality. I would alter this a little. If a player comes back on track or ahead of schedule in terms of improvement, I'd add something to continue to raise the bar and push forward.

Action Exercise

Sit down with your staff members and explain to them exactly why they are on the payroll and what their highest value tasks are. This is very important. Don't just talk to a player about what they need to work on but explain why and the amount of value it will bring, not only to improving their game but improving their team.


"It goes back to the process. If we want to win, what are we doing to prepare to win? How are we preparing our bodies, how are we preparing our minds? How are we preparing to be a teammate and understanding what being a teammate is? If those things take place, the big things come. We have talented players. Do we have the most? I don't know that, but I don't think we have the least. I think we know we're pretty good. Getting the mind right, and getting them to understand and care for each other and take ownership of each other, that's crucial."


Read article at:

Friday, August 20, 2010


Got this from Coach Kevin Sivils' basketball newsletter. Sign up to get on the mailing lise at:

1) Shooting is not an equal opportunity skill. The best shooters get to take the bulk of the shots.

2) Every player must be able to make lay-ups and free throws or they should not be on the court.

3) Players must recognize they are open and get ready to shoot before receiving the ball.

4) Do not take a good shot and turn it into a bad one! This means don’t take a shot that is open, within shooting range and ruin it by rushing it, shooting with bad form, not being squared up or any other means by which a player can ruin a shot.

5) What defines both an open shot and a good shot is different for every player. Make sure your players individually recognize what is both a good and open shot for that individual player.

6) Players don’t get to shoot just because they want to.

7) Did I say shooting is not an equal opportunity skill?

8) Some shots that are good shots early in the game are not good shots late in the game when protecting a lead. Take the time to teach shot selection and constantly reinforce it practice. Games are a bad time to punish a player for poor shot selection, but sometimes a coach must sit a player down for just that reason. The teaching principle that applies here is that players cannot be expected to do something that has not been both taught AND emphasized in practice.


In 2008, Pat Williams, the GM of the Orlando Magic and a tremendous motivational speaker put out a book, "The Ultimate Coaches' Clinic." It is a fascinating book because of the style Pat utilized. He surveyed over 1000 coaches and administrators for insights to what is important to successfully do their job. From time to time I will share a few but it is a great book to own and I highly recommend it. Here are some thoughts from Dean Smith:

1. Building a team takes patience and planning. There are no shortcuts. Repeat drills until good habits are established.

2. Reward unselfish behavior, and profusely praise those acts you want to see repeated.

3. Play hard; play together; play smart.

4. Spell out the importance of team play. One man who fails to do his job unselfishly can undermine the efforts of the four other players on the court. Team goals supersede individual goals. Team success makes each individual stronger.


The following comes from Darren Hardy's outstanding book, "The Compound Effect."

Your habits are learned; therefore, they can be unlearned. If you want to sail your life in a new direction, you have to first pick up the anchors of bad habits that have been weighing you down. The key is to make your why-power so strong that it overwhelms your urges for instant gratification. And for that, you need a new game plan. The following are my all-time favorite game changers:

1. Identify Your Triggers
Look at your list of bad habits. For each one you’ve written down, identify what triggers it. Figure out what I call “The Big 4’s”—the “who,” the “what,” the “where,” and the “when” underlying each bad behavior.
2. Clean House
Get to scrubbin’. And I mean this literally and figuratively. If you want to stop drinking alcohol, remove every drop of it from your house (and your vacation house, if you have one). Get rid of the glasses, any fancy utensils or doo-dads you use when you drink, and those decorative olives, too.

3. Swap It
Look again at your list of bad habits. How can you alter them so that they’re not as harmful? Can you replace them with healthier habits or drop-kick them altogether? As in, for good.
4. Ease In
I live near the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I get in the water, I get my ankles acclimated first, then walk in up to my knees, then it’s my waist and chest, before taking the plunge.

5. Or Jump In
Not everyone is wired the same way. Some researchers have found that it can be paradoxically easier for people to make lifestyle changes if they change a great many bad habits at once.

This is a great book that comes with CD set:

Thursday, August 19, 2010


"With accomplishments
comes confidence
and with confidence
comes belief.
It has to be in that order."
- Mike Krzyzewski -


Speaks to how you play offensively and defensively:

"Get better shots than
your opponent and get more
of those better shots."


The following comes from Ernie Woods via Creighton Burns:

"Be sure to teach players to listen. Demand and get eye contact of all players prior to speaking. It is imperative that any time a coach talks everyone listens (including assistant coaches). Also, make sure that the entire coaching staff is well coordinated and uses the same offensive and defensive terminology. Do not over coach and keep instructions simple. Talk to players’ level. Whenever possible, use short descriptive terms. Clarify rather than confuse. Tell players what you are going to teach them, teach them, and tell them what you taught them."

I'm not sure we can emphasize this more. Sure, you want to teach players to defend, feed the post, blockout and take good shots. But ALL of this is preceded by their ability to listen. There can be no mistake that the better a player listens, the better player they will become. Some keys that we do at LSU to help in this manner include:

1. Demand eye contact
This means everyone when you the coach is speaking but it is just as important that everyone has great eye contact when a player is speaking.

2. Keep terminology simply and consistent
Don't have one coach say "box out" and the other say "blockout." Make sure your entire staff and team are on the same page. During my time with Dale Brown we always had a "basketball glossary" in our team notebooks and we are going to start that back with our Lady Tiger team this fall.

3. Test the process
Speak to the team and then stop and ask someone to repeat what they heard. Bob Knight used to have a mock timeout and then pass out index cards to his team so they can write down what they heard.

4. Never assume
Don't believe because it was said that is was heard. Skip Bertman, the utlra-successful baseball coach at LSU would always say "repetition is good." Don Meyer would talk about "check, check and re-check."


“We have an innate desire to endlessly learn, grow, and develop. We want to become more than what we already are. Once we yield to this inclination for continuous and never-ending improvement, we lead a life of endless accomplishments and satisfaction."

-Chuck Gallozzi

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The following comes from Ken Blanchard:

Teams that are stuck, and don’t know how to get unstuck, can really stalemate innovation and growth. With a bit of training and skill-building on how to form and run teams, how to collaborate with others, and how to diagnose team development, people can get a whole lot more out of their teamwork. If your teams are stuck, chances are you are missing one or more of the following key characteristics of high performing teams:

Purpose and Values—Do your teams really know what their purpose, goals, and values are?

Empowerment—Are your people encouraged to take initiative?

Relationships and Collaboration—Do your people share ideas and respect each other’s differences?

Flexibility—Are your teams open to new ways of doing things?

Optimal Productivity—Do your teams consistently produce optimal results?

Recognition and Appreciation—Do you acknowledge each other’s accomplishments?

Morale—Are team members enthusiastic about their work?

Increasing the awareness and effectiveness in all of these key areas is sure to result in teams that actively engage in more collaboration, have higher morale, and produce stellar results.


Here is a great article from Jack Canfield that will hopefully motivated you to continue to improve at your craft. Especially in coaching, as we get settled in to a set philosophy, there are still ways to grow...better ways to drills to apply...alterations in our systems for improvement. Look for constant methods of learning, staying sharp -- don't get stale and rusty.

What kind of reading material is on your coffee table? Or do you not have enough time to read with all the television that you watch? OK, so what kind of programs are you watching on television? The sad truth is that most people spend more time being mindlessly entertained than they do developing their skills and learning their craft.

So what are you doing right now to further your education in what you’re passionate about? Are you waiting for the right opportunity to come knocking before you will develop the skills you will need for it? Get ready now! The more information you have, the more advantage you have over the people who don’t. Reading for just one hour a day will greatly increase your level of success! There are so many things to read to develop your mind, from finance to psychology, from economics to business writing, from health to computers. For one hour a day you could be studying the wide array of subjects that can help you live successfully.

Successful people did not wait for someone to call on them to be an expert before they gathered all the knowledge they could about their specialty. They were ready when the opportunities presented themselves. Spend your time reading and learning, too. Read biographies and autobiographies to study the ways of other successful people. Read often, review what you’ve read, and apply at least one thing from what you’ve learned.
Attend conferences, trade shows, training seminars and success rallies. Remember to be teachable! You can’t learn a thing if you think you already know it all. Just allow yourself to let go of needing to be right and looking smart. Listen to those who have achieved success. Open yourself up to letting others help you create new ways of thinking. After all, you can try something out and if it doesn’t work for you, you can discard it.

Find out what you need to know and learn in order to be ready for your opportunity. Start now! Make a list of things you could be doing to prepare yourself. Do you need to take a class in your spare time? Do you need to ask your boss what it will take to get to the next level? Do you need to research the market to find out how to break into it? Will you need to gather a library of good reference materials? Tackle your list!

And when you are successful, don’t stop your learning habits. Keep up with your industry. Keep making improvements. Keep studying the masters. Be powerful by being as knowledgeable as you can be, by learning news ways to do things, and by being more effective and efficient in your life.

The more you know about your passion, the more money you will make doing it. The more you learn in advance, the better your chances of landing the opportunity when it comes to you, and the better your chances of creating the opportunity for yourself!


1. Be ready on the catch.

2. Ten toes to the rim.

3. Only change his form if the shot doesn’t go in. Make him the best worst form shooter.

4. Two second rule: As soon as it’s 1 cm into our players fingers I’m counting one two. Players don’t have a great understanding of game speed when working out.

5. The better the shooter you are, the better your shot fake needs to be. Definition of a shot fake is a real shot that you don’t shoot.

6. When you chart your players’ shots give them percentages for free-throws, lay-ups, jump shots and three-point shots.

7. Break it down so they know what to work on.

8. Players can be receptive to stats.