Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Remember Where You Came From

Successful people are at risk of forgetting where they came from. They often lose touch with the young professional who worked 16-hour days to attain a loftier position. They sometimes forget about the child who dreamed of being in the spotlight as an entertainer or athlete. They occasionally find the responsibilities that come with fame and wealth to be more a burden than a privilege. Case in point: a routine ball signing when I was with the Celtics. When requests came in for signed basketballs for a charity or a school or an individual, the players would pass the balls around the locker room sign them, and deposit them in a bag in the center. Then I would sign them. Once, when I removed the balls from the bag, I found that only two players had legible signatures. The balls were covered with indecipherable scrawls.

I got on the guys. I said, “You work all your life to get to the point where people want your autograph, and nobody can even read you signature. Every ounce of perspiration you left on the playgrounds, every hour you put into footwork drills and conditioning and studying film – all of that was done to reach this level and play for the Boston Celtics. Don’t scribble your name and number. Be proud of your name and number that you work so hard to make valuable.

From Rebound Rules by Rick Pitino 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Importance of Listening

To be truly open to the critiques of others, you must have developed the ability to listen. Listening is learning. Hear every voice that contains value to you. Don’t interrupt them, and don’t spend your time thinking of what you’re going to say next – actually listen to the points they’re making. Soak it in. It takes practice to fully lock in on someone and what they’re saying: practice and patience. 

We have to train ourselves to make listening a singular task, not something that's done while we're busy with something else. These days, we as Americans are so busy multitasking that our listening seems to be at an all-time low. We're reading emails while talking on the phone. We're texting someone while in the company of others. Here's irony for you. Amid the avalanche of new communication methods, truly productive two-way-conversation is becoming a lost art. If you can't make the time to listen to feedback, you're not going to get better. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cross The "Blue Line"

Joe Paterno was one of college football’s most admired and successful coaches. Every football player at Penn State is familiar with the “Blue Line” that divides the campus and the school’s football complex. Papa Joe tells each student athlete that before he crosses that imaginary blue line on the way to practice or when he leaves his locker for a game, he expects him to dump all his worries and concerns. Once he steps across the line, he cannot be thinking about what grade he made on yesterday’s math test or daydreaming about tomorrow nights date. The moment he crosses the threshold, his mind she be focused on Penn State football and nothing else. If it isn’t he is shortchanging himself as an athlete. He is also hurting the team. He is not full present to win.

From Mind Gym by Gary Mack and David Casstevens

Friday, June 21, 2013

A.C.T Backward

A – Stands for accept your current state. Understand your strengths and weaknesses. 

C – Stands for create your desired state. Whats your dream? Close your eyes and see yourself exactly the way you want to look. Write down what this desired state would look like.

T – Stands for take action steps to get you there. Success is a journey of one step at a time. And the longest journey begins with the first step. 

From "Mind Gym" by Gary Mack and David Casstevens 


“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determinations, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done. Once a man has made a commitment, he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. Its something we call heart power. Once a made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success.” 

– Vince Lombardi 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Goal Setting

Dick Hannula, one of the most successful high school swimming coaches in the country said, “Motivation depends in a very large part on goal setting. The coach must have goals. The team must have goals. Each individual swimmer must have goals – real, vivid, living goals. Goals keep everyone on target. Goals must be high enough to excite you, yet no so high that you cannot vividly imagine them. Most must be attainable, but just out of reach for now.”

Goal setting is a way of bringing the future into the present so you can take action now. Goals improve performance. Goals improve the quality of practices. They clarify expectations and help increase self-confidence by seeing yourself get better. Goals also increase the motivation to achieve. 

Professional golfer Greg Norman said, “Setting goals for your game is an art. The trick is in setting them at the right level, neither to low nor too high. A good goals should be lofty enough to inspire hard work, yet realistic enough to provide solid hope of attainment.” 

An acronym for setting goals is S.M.A.R.T 
·       Specific
·       Measurable
·       Achievable
·       Realistic
·       Time-Bound

From "Mind Gym" by Gary Mack and David Casstevens