Herm Edwards – “The leader has to be the calmest guy on the ship.”

Tom Coughlin – “Coaching is making players do what they don’t want to do so that they can become what they want to become.”

Jim Valvano“To me, there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is to laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is to think-spend some time in thought. Number 3, let your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think and cry, that’s one heck of a day.”

Be a Successful Failure The successful entrepreneur has averaged 4 business failures in his lifetime. According to leadership expert John Maxwell, "Failure is the price you pay for success." The key is to fail well...meaning you learn from your mistakes. It’s no different when our team loses a game. Are you a successful failure? Or does your pride in not admitting your shortcomings build a wall between our team? The best thing we can do for our team is to get ready for the next game. The idea is not to have a perfect team but a learning team. And that can only start by admitting mistakes.

random notes

“Every game before the game, I make 10 threes from 10 spots on the court. That’s 100 threes.” –Washington Post [Gilbert Arenas pre-game work] Pro Sports Front Office- 20/20

Vision Known as the Wizard of Oz during his Hall of Fame career as a Browns tight end, Ozzie Newsome has been every bit as innovative running the Ravens’ Front Office. Most of Newsome’s talent evaluators start out in what’s known as the 20/20 Club: twenty-somethings, generally recent college grads or summer interns, who work for $20, 000/year. They copy playbooks, make coffee, edit film and drive people to the airport. (The Ravens give draft prospects “Van Grades” for how they act on the way to and from the airport-when they think no one is paying attention.) By the time a young scout is ready for his own territory, according to Ravens pro-personnel chief George Kokinis, his immersion in the team’s inner workings has taught him exactly how to identify the DNA of a potential Raven. Just to be sure, though, Newsome holds a scout school at training camp, where the coaches speak to the scouts for half an hour about the exact kind of player they’re looking for at each position. When the Ravens decide to change from, say lanky wide receivers to smaller, more explosive pass-catchers, their scouts are on the road the next day with the ideal prototype in mind.

Bob Knight article excepts

"The way those kids learned to compete in basketball, what better training was there for an officer who had to go into combat and had the lives of other people at stake?" says Knight, who stayed six years as head coach and a total of eight seasons at Army. "I thought it was really important there. And when I went on, that stuck with me. I want a kid to think back that the best class he had in college was playing basketball. I don't worry about how I accomplish it."
People think he's overly tough? Imperious? A bully? They grumble that he crossed the line of proper behavior yet again when he gave Texas Tech sophomore Michael Prince a bop to the chin during a timeout two weeks ago? Knight cares little.

Not a star player

Knight wasn't a great player himself but was good enough to make an Ohio State team that reached three NCAA title games and won one. He has absorbed a lifetime of coaching lessons from fellow Hall of Famers Joe Lapchick, Clair Bee, Fred Taylor and Pete Newell, among others. And he is supreme in his self-belief.

A voracious reader, Knight's attention to one detail of David Halberstam's best-selling account of the country's descent into the Vietnam quagmire, The Best and the Brightest, is telling.
"That was a frightening thing for me to read," he says, "because the Kennedys, every decision they made, was based on polls and how they thought it would affect the next election.

"Do what's right and do what you think you have to do and don't worry about what somebody says. That would be about as simply put as my philosophy could be. If I've felt I needed to get on some kid's ass during a game rather than after the game ... I think I've kind of exposed myself (to critics). But it's never bothered me, because I've thought that's the thing I had to do."

Texas Tech athletics director Gerald Myers, the Red Raiders' former coach, paints his old friend as misunderstood: "I think a lot of people who don't know him make judgments about him (based) on what they've heard or what they've read or what they've seen. You know, none of us are perfect. His good qualities far outweigh his bad."

It is the credo of Knight's allies.

He clashed with Tech's chancellor during a happenstance meeting at a lunchtime salad bar early in 2004, drawing a reprimand from the school. Since then, his famous temper has been in abeyance. (Knight ascribed his exchange with Prince during the Nov. 13 win vs. Gardner-Webb to motivational technique, not anger, and Meyers and the player backed him up.)

Knight nonetheless waves off any suggestion that, at age 66, he has mellowed. Yes, things have been a little quieter here in West Texas but, "I don't think I do things any differently," he says. "I think what happens here is you're a little more removed from things. People don't come out here as much."

Approaching a record

The game, he says, is much the same as it was when he broke in. You prepare kids; you try to get them to compete. What was it the Army used to preach? Be all you can be. Basketball is about that, too.

And Knight is as obsessively about that as any individual the sport has seen.

It may be interesting to gauge the reaction outside of Lubbock to his impending record-setting 880th win. Knight always has had a prickly relationship with the media, and he hardly gets — and refuses to court — the unconditional love accorded a Wooden and a Smith.

Pat Knight, who played for his father at Indiana and, like his dad, is starting his sixth season at Texas Tech, sees the mark as "redemption in a way from all the negative publicity he's gotten over the years. ...

"It's not warm and fuzzy love (that matters). I think it's respect. Even the guys who don't like him, they're going to have to respect him for what he's done."

His dad will take that. Knight's well-known idol was baseball great Ted Williams, who aspired, he told a friend, "that when I walk down the street, folks will say, 'There goes the greatest hitter that ever lived.' "

Knight has his own version of that wish. Twenty-some years ago, he says, he was being courted to coach the NBA's Phoenix Suns and called Newell, his friend and mentor and, at 91, still an esteemed basketball consultant. "He asked me, 'What do you want to get out of coaching?' "
Knight recalls. "And I told him, 'I want to be thought of by (other) coaches in the same vein that you're thought of by coaches.'

"That," he says, "is the most important thing I could ask for in terms of a legacy in basketball."

For everybody else — the writers who wonder if the end justifies Knight's means, the dads who debate whether they'd put their kids in his coaching care — there is indifference.

"You're sitting there ... and you say, 'Boy, I wouldn't want my son to play for him,' " Knight says. "Well, if you want your kid to be a goddamn success, you probably ought to want him to play for me."

Boeing CEO: "Help others get better"

Excerpt from How one CEO learned to fly. Boeing chief James McNerney has now made his mark at three major companies. How? "Help others get better," he says.


That's a lot to focus on for the benefits of deliberate practice - and worthless without one more requirement: Do it regularly, not sporadically.


For most people, work is hard enough without pushing even harder. Those extra steps are so difficult and painful they almost never get done. That's the way it must be. If great performance were easy, it wouldn't be rare. Which leads to possibly the deepest question about greatness. While experts understand an enormous amount about the behavior that produces great performance, they understand very little about where that behavior comes from.

The authors of one study conclude, "We still do not know which factors encourage individuals to engage in deliberate practice." Or as University of Michigan business school professor Noel Tichy puts it after 30 years of working with managers, "Some people are much more motivated than others, and that's the existential question I cannot answer - why."

The critical reality is that we are not hostage to some naturally granted level of talent. We can make ourselves what we will. Strangely, that idea is not popular. People hate abandoning the notion that they would coast to fame and riches if they found their talent. But that view is tragically constraining, because when they hit life's inevitable bumps in the road, they conclude that they just aren't gifted and give up.

Maybe we can't expect most people to achieve greatness. It's just too demanding. But the striking, liberating news is that greatness isn't reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you and to everyone.

The poisonous fruit: The unwilling and able athlete


Willing and Able
Willing and unable
Unwilling and able
Unwilling and unable

WHICH TYPE GETS YOU FIRED? the answer is the one that is the poisonous fruit. The unwilling and unable is easy to spot, some of the willing but unable are warriors that are simply not good enough, those that able but unwilling will get you fired because they look good in a jersey but are unreliable. Playing hard is a talent! If you have to motivate a kid everyday then you are not teaching him. You can only teach or motivate at any given moment and you cannot teach an unmotivated kid. Which makes you better prepared for game day?


Rebounding & Defense = Winning

“Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it”

FROM '04-'05 study:

The Top 10 rebounding teams outrebounded opponents by 8 boards on average
Winning percentage of 77% with an average record of 25-7

The Top 25 rebounding teams outebounded opponents by 7 boards on average
Winning percentage of 72% with an average record of 23-9

Teams ranked 25th to 50th in the nation outrebounded opponents by 5 boards a game Winning percentage of 62.5% with an average record of 19-11

The Top 10 Defensive Teams allowed opponents to shoot 38.3%
Winning percentage of 74% with an average record of 24-9

The Top 50 Defensive Team allowed opponents to shoot 39.8%
Winning percentage of 65% with an average of record of 20-10

The Top 25 Teams in avoiding defensive fouls averaged 15.4 fouls per game
Winning percentage of 71.3% with an average record of 23-9

Combined record for the top 20 teams in offensive rebounding: 464-164 (average of 24-8)


Guard play is critical to the success of any team. They control the ball and the tempo of a game. It is important for guards to be fundamentally sound. There are 3 phases of a guard’s offensive game:

1. Long range game = the ability to make 3's
2. Mid-range game = the ability to shoot the pull-up
3. Short range game = the ability to finish plays at the rim

Of the 3, perhaps the most difficult to defend is a guard’s short range game. A guard that possesses the ability to consistently penetrate and get into the lane puts a tremendous amount of pressure and stress on the defense. Many coaches have said that the most difficult thing in basketball to guard is “dribble penetration.” It forces defenses to have to help and whenever the defense has to help, they are going to have to recover. Like former World Champion coach Chuck Daly (Detroit Pistons) said, “defenses don’t get beat on help, they get beat on recovery.”



"To be successful, you don't have to do extraordinary things. Just do ordinary things extraordinarily well."

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit"
- Aristotle

"You live up - or down - to your expectations."
-- Lou Holtz

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. -Michelangelo

"There are two pains in life, the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret. Take your choice"

You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.”
- Jerry West

"Some people live on what they know; Some people live for what they don't." -Sheik Abu Hanif


**This is a sample analysis of team efficiency using Dean Smith's methods from UNC**

Pepperdine Team and Individual Statistical Defensive Analysis
2003/2004 Season


The Pepperdine basketball team finished 15-16 for the 2003-2004 season. Pepperdine ranked 16th in the nation in scoring offense at 78.9 points per game and were 1 of 4 teams in the top 30 in scoring offense to have a sub .500 record. The team also ranked 25th in the nation in least amount of turnovers per game at 12.5. Pepperdine was 1 of 5 teams in the top 30 in the category to have a losing record.

Conversely, the team ranked 320th out of 326 teams in team defense and more importantly, ranked in 317th in field goal percentage defense. Opponents shot 47.8 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from the 3 point line. Rebounding was another concern as the team finished 220th in rebounding at 34.2 per game, 1.6 per game less than the opponent which ranked 227th. In blocked shots the team ranked 239 with 2.5 per game.

The style of play is a major factor in evaluating defensive performance. An up tempo team such as Pepperdine may give up more points than the national average because there are more possessions per game. With this tempo and increased possessions, there is an expected increase in other “counting” statistics such as turnovers, rebounding, blocked shots, steals, and assists.

The statistics told two distinct stories for the Pepperdine 2002-2004 season. The offense did a tremendous job limiting turnovers especially with consideration to the increased possessions and shot a sound 45.6% from the field. Defensively, blocked shots and rebounding, were lower than expected with the increased possessions. Although, the low rebounding numbers can be attributed to the high field goal percentage offensively and high field goal percentage allowed.

From the season stats, the need for improvement rests with the defense. This study was done to help determine where the breakdowns actually occurred considering Pepperdines up tempo attack. The focus is on defensive efficiency, which relies on a per possession basis for evaluation.


Former North Carolina Coach Dean Smith calculated total possessions by adding all the stats that end a possession: field goals attempted, turnovers, and divided trips to the free throw line by two. When you divide a team’s number of points by their number of possessions, you get the points per possession, or offensive efficiency, rating. Likewise, the defensive efficiency rating is computed by dividing the opponent's points by their number of possessions. With the three-point shot, an offensive efficiency rating of around 0.95 is considered good, and a defensive efficiency rating of below 0.85 is considered good. For the analysis I used Dean Smith’s method of measuring efficiency:

Offensive Efficiency = points scored / all stats that end a possession
Defensive Efficiency = points scored / all stats that end a possession


This is used for team offensive efficiency. They made this formulate by accepting a perfect game from an offensive viewpoint would be an average of 2.0 points for each possession, and goal is to exceed 0.95 points per possessions.

For the season, the Waves offensive efficiency rating is .931, while their defensive efficiency rating is .935 which lends credence to the theory that this team still has room to improve defensively.

Another important stat to valueing each possession is turnovers. By looking at turnover efficiency the true loss and gain per possession can be found.

Percent loss of ball, which is computed by dividing turnovers by total possessions is gauged by the following: .13 or below is terrific, and anything up to .18 is considered good. Pepperdine was a solid .148.

Defensively, opponents should be at .22 or higher. For the season, Wave opponents have a .187 figure.


With the addition of the 3 point shot to the game of basketball there is cause to reassess the formula. If in fact a team has the opportunity to score at least 3 points on every possession, instead of two than we have added an additional variable into the equation. Another problem is that by using FGA as a loss of possession a possession is lost every time a ball is shot. As a result a new possession starts with an offensive rebound. This works against a good offensive rebounding team because it penalizes their Pts/Possession figure. Finally, there is variance between the number of free throws attempted per game so that the FTA/2 is not always a fair evaluation, since on any given night the number of 1, 2, or 3 free throw attempts for each fouled possession will vary. A better measure is simply the total number of possessions gone to the free throw line regardless of attempts.

As a result many coaches are now using what you call Points/Possession, or Turnovers/Possession. The Pts/Poss. is a fairly reliable stat when all things are considered. However it doesn't take into account the optimal tempo as which a team plays. For example, TEAM A allows 100 points may actually produce a better defensive efficiency than TEAM B that gives up 80 points. In a fast paced game, TEAM A allowed 100 points but in 100 possessions. This means their defensive efficiency was 1.0. TEAM B on the other hand allowed only 80 points but in a much slower paced game in 60 total possessions. That is a defensive efficiency of 1.3 actually worse than TEAM A who gave up a hundred points.

1. NCAA website:
2. Hoopsworld.com

Todd Simon

IZZO, SUTTON, & more


"Players today want to spend all their free time shooting," Izzo said. "Far too much time is spent working on scoring and not enough on dribbling, passing, rebounding and thinking basketball. That's what we have to do on a regular basis."

Rebounding has become a fixture in our program," Izzo said. "It's become a rite of passage with the players

Remarkably, MSU beat Arkansas that night in November 1995, collecting 25 offensive rebounds in the process. A light bulb went off above Izzo's head. "That's when we decided we were going to emphasize defense, running and rebounding," Izzo said


The edge McFarlin enjoyed inside cannot be counted on in future games, making it all the more important for Graham to provide a lift. Graham encountered foul trouble in each of Oklahoma State's sub-regional games and averaged 7.5 points and 2.5 rebounds. His 15 points in the tournament is one less than guard JamesOn Curry scored in the second half against Southern Illinois.

"I hope we can get in his head," OSU coach Eddie Sutton said.

"We've been doing a lot of counseling with him. Maybe we're talking too much to him. If I ever coached again as a young coach, instead of having that extra assistant I think I'd get me a psychologist."


"There is only a half step difference between the champions and those who finish on the bottom. And much of that half step is mental." — Tom Landry, Hall of Fame football coach

"A life is not important, but for the impact it has on others' lives." — Jackie Robinson, Hall of Fame baseball player

"Could I be a coach and lose? To me, that's like asking if a guy can be a good doctor even though his patients keep dying." — Red Auerbach, Hall of Fame basketball coach and executive

More Quotes

“Ask not what your teammates can do for you but, what can you do for your teammates”
-Earvin “Magic” Johnson

”A house divided against itself cannot stand” – Abraham Lincoln

When I coached Portland and started to pursue an official over what I considered a bad call, Bill Walton intercepted me and said, “Coach don’t you know that we don’t play well when you do that”. I suddenly realized that my most important job was to coach my team. –Jack Ramsey


Doing what needs to be done. The way it needs to be done. When it should be done. Every time.

Short cuts don’t work. Neither do the people who try to use them.


The Paradoxical Commandments

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Thing big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

Beilein: Worth the Wait

John Beilein spent years in the basketball boonies but came up with a crafty offense that has West Virginia off to a blazing start Posted: Tuesday January 9, 2007 9:03AM;
Updated: Tuesday January 9, 2007 9:03AM
By Grant Wahl

Now that West Virginia's John Beilein is recognized as one of college basketball's most respected innovators and is the early favorite for national coach of the year honors, it's hard to believe that he once thought he'd never get to be a Division I coach. He had spent 14 seasons grinding away at high school, juco, NAIA and Division II programs before he got his first interview for a D-I position, at Colgate in 1989. "I didn't get the job, and I thought it was basically over," says Beilein, who returned, crestfallen, to LeMoyne College, a Division II school in Syracuse, N.Y. In those days, he says, "losses would just eat me up because I was trying so hard to get to this level."

Yet the same thing that hindered his ability to land a top-level job -- he lacked connections because he has never served as an assistant at any level -- also explains his success in developing a unique offense that's now the envy of coaches nationwide. "If you're at Erie Community College, you don't really have the great coaches in your ear telling you things, so you have to go by trial and error," says Beilein, 53, who finally got his Division I shot in 1992 at Canisius. "There's no genius to this. When you've been coaching for 800-some games, you make a lot of mistakes, and hopefully you learn from them."

Beilein led Canisius and then Richmond to the NCAA tournament in the 1990s before taking over as West Virginia's coach in 2002. He took the Mountaineers to within a game of the Final Four in '05, but he may have saved his most remarkable feat for this season. Despite losing five seniors (including stars Kevin Pittsnogle and Mike Gansey) from last year's Sweet 16 team and having no elite recruits to replace them, West Virginia was 13-1 at week's end, the school's best start in 25 years. After being picked to finish as low as 16th in the Big East, the Mountaineers had beaten UConn, Villanova and St. John's and led the conference with a 3-0 record.

West Virginia's surprising start has only added to Beilein's legion of admirers in the coaching profession. Before the season SI asked two dozen coaches to name the top innovator in the game today, and the most popular choice was Beilein. As Wichita State's Mark Turgeon said, "He's put his own spin on the Princeton offense, and his 1-3-1 zone is creative and tough to get used to. I study his films and try to learn from him."

Beilein calls his scheme the "two- guard" offense because it features a dual point guard alignment. The goal is to spread the floor and have five dangerous shooters on the court at once, the better to open up lanes for drives, backdoor cuts and other forms of signature trickery. Beilein has a top-secret collection of more than 100 plays that he has developed over the years with such unusual names as Dirty Harry, Best Play Ever and Double Quickie Potato. (The terms make them easier for players to remember, Beilein says. Double Quickie Potato, for instance, features a series of curls, and Beilein made the leap to curly fries and then potato.)

Opposing players may laugh when the Mountaineers call their sets but not when the plays lead to basket after basket. "Coach is like a mastermind," says senior forward Frank Young, who was West Virginia's lone returning starter and is the team's top scorer, averaging 14.6 points a game through Sunday. "The way he communicates and gets the best out of us is amazing. The main thing that makes him such a good coach is his ability to adjust."

These days the coach who feared he'd never get a Division I opportunity is a hot commodity. (Beilein nearly took the N.C. State job last summer.) Yet he also cautions against jumping to conclusions about his young team. "Ask me in February," he said last week before embarking on a stretch in which the Mountaineers will play four of five games on the road. "We have a chance of being good, but the learning curve has to continue to develop."

212 degrees

Ask David HaughThe Tribune's Bears writer answers reader questions every week during the season
October 12, 2006, 7:28 PM CDT

Nowhere in the 96 pages of the S.L. Parker book, can be found instructions on how to play cornerback in the NFL. Charles Tillman feels much more equipped to do his job after reading\nParker's self-help book in the off-season at the suggestion of a friend.

Tillman was open to any and all suggestions after his tangled feet became\nthe symbol of the Bears' playoff collapse against Carolina, especially\nadvice on the effects of pressure on performance.

"At 211 degrees, the water's hot and at 212, water boils and you get\nsteam and with that steam you can power a locomotive -– meaning that extra\ndegree is so huge,'' Tillman said in front of his locker as if he were\nreading the book jacket in a place with dim lighting that served café lattes.

"If you apply that your job as a reporter, photographer, Christian,\npastor, parent (or cornerback),'' Tillman said. "That one extra degree\ncan make you much more successful.''

It's a big week for Bears cornerbacks Tillman and Nathan Vasher. If Arizona\nhopes to keep Monday night's game close, the Cardinals will need monster\ngames from receivers Anquan Boldin, the NFL's seventh-ranked receiver,\nand Bryant Johnson, an underrated No. 2 option.

The trap comes in thinking the loss of Larry Fitzgerald will render Arizona's\npassing game useless. It doesn't.

Tillman gets that. There have been isolated plays this season where Tillman\nhas not played the ball well or when he has lost a step in coverage. But\noverall the fourth-year player facing a season pivotal to his Bears future\nhas played better than his critics would suggest and maintained the confidence\nevery cornerback needs.

He has learned a lot since Steve Smith twisted him around like a pretzel\nlast January, and some of the most important lessons came from pages that were not in the Bears playbook

"212: The Extra Degree,'' can be found instructions on how to play cornerback in the NFL.But Charles Tillman feels much more equipped to do his job after reading Parker's self-help book in the off-season at the suggestion of a friend. Tillman was open to any and all suggestions after his tangled feet became the symbol of the Bears' playoff collapse against Carolina, especially advice on the effects of pressure on performance.

"At 211 degrees, the water's hot and at 212, water boils and you get steam and with that steam you can power a locomotive -– meaning that extra degree is so huge,'' Tillman said in front of his locker as if he were reading the book jacket in a place with dim lighting that served café lattes."

If you apply that your job as a reporter, photographer, Christian, pastor, parent (or cornerback),'' Tillman said. "That one extra degree can make you much more successful.''It's a big week for Bears cornerbacks Tillman and Nathan Vasher.

If Arizona hopes to keep Monday night's game close, the Cardinals will need monster games from receivers Anquan Boldin, the NFL's seventh-ranked receiver, and Bryant Johnson, an underrated No. 2 option.The trap comes in thinking the loss of Larry Fitzgerald will render Arizona's passing game useless. It doesn't.Tillman gets that.

There have been isolated plays this season where Tillman has not played the ball well or when he has lost a step in coverage. But overall the fourth-year player facing a season pivotal to his Bears future has played better than his critics would suggest and maintained the confidence every cornerback needs.He has learned a lot since Steve Smith twisted him around like a pretzel last January, and some of the most important lessons came from pages that were not in the Bears playbook.

"I'm more patient about things, I see the big picture, and I think\nI've matured a little bit more,'' Tillman said.

That seemed obvious as Tillman moved on to recommend a book on parenting. Yet when Bears fans ask about the defense, his name is consistently among\nthe first mentioned.

It may take an entire season for Tillman to answer those questions. It\nwill take much less time to answer yours.

"I'm more patient about things, I see the big picture, and I think I've matured a little bit more,'' Tillman said.That seemed obvious as Tillman moved on to recommend a book on parenting. Yet when Bears fans ask about the defense, his name is consistently among the first mentioned.It may take an entire season for Tillman to answer those questions. It will take much less time to answer yours.

Bo Ryan

This Bo Knows Basketball
Posted: Monday January 29, 2007 10:28AM; Updated: Monday January 29, 2007 10:28AM
In the next 800 words, you're going to meet my new favorite coach. But first you have to guess who he is.

Hint No. 1: Nobody in any division of college basketball won a higher percentage of his games (.908) in the '90s than he did.

Hint No. 2: Now he's got the highest winning percentage (.706) in Big Ten games of any coach in league history -- minimum five years -- and, yep, that includes Bobby Freakin' Knight.

Hint No. 3: If you stood him next to North Carolina's Roy Williams, you'd be looking at the two guys who have the highest winning percentages among coaches with more than 500 wins. Yet people would mob Williams for his autograph -- and ask to borrow this guy's Sharpie.

Who is he? Wisconsin's Bo Ryan.

I swear, you've never met anybody like him. He could talk the freckles off Opie. He once persuaded an engaged woman into calling off her wedding and marrying him instead. Thirty-two years later she's still convinced. And he can flat coach. With his patented Swing offense and his obsession with detail, he could win 20 games a year with five large parking meters. He's the most unheralded winning machine in the country and headmaster of the No. 2-ranked Badgers.
But that's not why he's my new favorite.

He's not a walking haircut, with every word he utters scripted by some VP of Athletic Communications. And he's not some wonder kid groomed under Legend A to replace Legend B and become Legend C. Ryan has socks older than Billy Donovan.

This is a guy who was a stateside Army MP during the Vietnam War, breaking up fights in Augusta, Ga., bars. "It was always the same," says Ryan, 59. "One group was saying 'great taste' and the other 'less filling.'" He also escorted convicted felons to Leavenworth. Before every trip, he'd slap a set of handcuffs on his own wrist and on the inmate's, wrinkle up his face like Christopher Walken and go, "There's a reason they picked me, y'know. I won the platoon pistol-shooting championship." That was true. What he didn't mention was that the .45 in his holster was empty.

Growing up in Chester, Pa., Ryan was so hyper that his mom put him in first grade a year early because he was driving her nuts. At Chester High, he was the only white guy on the basketball team his senior year. He still has the scar Reggie Jackson's football cleats left on him in a game against Cheltenham High. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of '60s and '70s R&B. Can name you the song, artist and flip side of any Motown record, usually in five notes or less. You think recruits' moms don't like him?

But that's not why he's my new favorite.

This is a guy who hasn't just paid his dues, he's paid the whole neighborhood's. He didn't get his chance in the big time until he was 53, gold-watch time for a lot of guys. Before Wisconsin hired him in 2001, Ryan spent a year as an assistant at College of Racine (Wis.), eight years as a Badgers assistant, 15 at Division III Wisconsin-Platteville -- where he won four national championships -- and two at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. If there were a Wisconsin-Curdville, he'd have coached there.

The man's been passed by more often than an I-80 rest stop. Wisconsin passed over him for guys like Stu Jackson and Stan Van Gundy -- who went on to win a combined 41% of their Big Ten games. All Ryan has done is win 71%. In the 63 years BB (Before Bo), Wisconsin went to the NCAAs seven times. AB? Five, with number six coming up.

This guy is loyal. In 1974 he coached the baseball team at bankrupt Racine for free because he didn't want to bail on his players. And it wasn't like he could afford it. At Platteville he was once so poor, he just missed qualifying for a free-lunch program for his five kids.

He's honest, too -- never been rung up by the NCAA. He's a guy who can work a hall full of boosters like a Roomba. And twice as cleanly.

But that's not why Bo Ryan is my new favorite.

He's my new favorite because he has hammered out the sweetest setup in husband history. His wife of 32 years, Kelly (the one he talked out of marrying someone else), has agreed to a deal. Bo has to do no dishes, no cooking, no mowing, no cleaning, no vacuuming, no lightbulb-changing, no spider killing -- nothing, "except win basketball games," she says. "As long as he keeps winning basketball games, he doesn't have to do anything around the house."

O.K., pushing around prisoners is one thing, but wives? Now that's impressive.


The point man

Walberg has some loyal practitioners of his high-pressure offensive, defensive attack and is considered by many to be the latest up-and-coming coach to guide Pepperdine
By Peter Yoon
Times Staff Writer
January 30, 2007

Denver Nuggets Coach George Karl and Memphis Coach John Calipari believe in Vance Walberg and are running up big scores and winning plenty of basketball games using his system.
Using guidance from Walberg and tips from watching his practices, Karl's team is 22-20 and in playoff contention. And Calipari's Conference USA leader is 17-3 and ranked No. 11 in the nation.
Locally, the Walberg influence has been felt at Cal State Fullerton, which is fourth in the nation in scoring, and at Long Beach State, which last season led the nation in scoring and currently is one game back of first-place Fullerton in the Big West Conference standings.
The tenacious defense and innovative, up-tempo offense Walberg teaches has attracted dozens of copycats to his practices, and he has been flown in on occasion to work with the Nuggets. But pardon the first-year Pepperdine coach if he's not feeling much like a guru these days.
His own team is 6-17 and only one game out of the West Coast Conference cellar.
"I'd trade all those accolades for a couple of wins, I'll tell you that," Walberg said. "I'm just glad someone else is having success with it."
Applying pressure is a key element in Walberg's system — one that has been compared to Nolan Richardson's "40 Minutes of Hell" Arkansas teams — so it's ironic that he's now feeling some.
His hiring by Pepperdine was greeted by a collective "Who's he?" from casual fans, but with an approving nod by those in the close-knit basketball coaching community who believe it's only a matter of time before Walberg turns things around in Malibu.
On smaller stages, he has had plenty of success.
Walberg was 133-11 with a state title in four seasons at Fresno City College and 343-68 with three state championship game appearances in 13 seasons at Clovis West High.
That success drew the attention of Pepperdine administrators looking to replace Paul Westphal, who was fired after the Waves went 7-20 last season.
The hire was a risky one. Walberg had no experience at the Division I level. Before Clovis West, he coached at two other high schools but was never so much as an assistant at any college level.
Yet here he was being asked to make a rare leap from junior college to Division I — and replacing a coach who once led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals.
"Yeah, I'm feeling that a little bit," said Walberg, whose team had won consecutive games for the first time this season before losing to Santa Clara on Monday. "There aren't too many guys like me who get opportunities like this and I'm sure there are a lot of people who are going to be watching to see if it works."
Pepperdine has a track record of such hires, giving Jim Harrick and Lorenzo Romar their first head coaching jobs.
The 2001 hiring of Westphal, a big-name coach with a proven high-level track record, was the exception in Pepperdine's usual hiring philosophy.
"We have a history of hiring up-and-coming guys before anyone knows who they are," said Sam Lagana, assistant vice chancellor for athletics at Pepperdine.
Walberg calls his team's style "semi-controlled chaos," but the premise is straightforward: On offense, players strategically space themselves on the floor so that the ballhandler has room to operate. That player then attacks the basket.
If the attacker beats his man, it's a layup. If the attacker draws a double team, he kicks the ball to the open man. If that player has an open three-point shot, he takes it. If not, he becomes the attacker and the process starts over again.
Seeing a screen set or a mid-range jumper taken is rare in the system, which relies more on speedy guards and slashing forwards than 7-foot post players.
"The more I looked into it, the more I thought it would make us better," Memphis' Calipari said. "Really, how many blue-chip post players are there out there anyway? More and more kids are wanting to play here because of this style. Everyone gets to go one-on-one."
On defense, the philosophy is to press at all times.
"It makes playing a lot of fun," said Marvin Lea, Pepperdine's leading scorer. "If we were winning then it would be incredible, but even so it's kind of like a street-ball game sometimes."
Walberg developed the style after years of consulting with a who's-who among college coaches, gathering bits and pieces of information from the likes of Dean Smith, Bob Knight, Lute Olson, Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Jim Calhoun, Rick Pitino and others.
It's not an entirely run-and-gun system such as what Paul Westhead used at Loyola Marymount in the late 1980s or what Gary Smith teaches at Redlands. Richardson's Arkansas teams used a similar defense, but the offense, if it couldn't score off turnovers, was more structured.
Walberg wants players spaced out, not close enough to set screens.
"What we do is a little different but it's based on sound, fundamental principles," Walberg said. "That's why it works at different levels. It's basic principles, we just kind of extend them to the max. I don't think there's anything fancy there."
At Pepperdine, Walberg has been handicapped by the loss of several top players. Three, including two starters, transferred during the summer. Two more, including guard Mike Gerrity, the Waves' best player, left just after the start of the season.
Even so, team members say there are several reasons to be optimistic about the future.
"We're playing with walk-ons and transfers against ranked teams with All-Americans," said guard Kingsley Costain. "But the fact that we're in games shows that what coach is telling us is working. He's bringing out the best in us and every game we feel like we're going to be right there at the end with a chance to win."
Also, there is evidence of improvement in some numbers:
• Hamstrung by a lack of depth, Pepperdine can't fully capitalize on its high-pressure style because it requires an aggressive substitution pattern. Yet the Waves have lost nine games by five points or fewer, a 10th by six points and an 11th by nine in double overtime.
• The team has only three players taller than 6 feet 6, a situation Walberg is confident will be resolved by recruiting.
• The Waves are averaging 76.6 points a game, which is 48th in the nation.
There's also this: Pepperdine has a solid recruiting class coming in, headlined by highly-touted swingman Tyrone Shelley from San Diego and Stoneridge Prep forward Mychael Thompson, son of the former Lakers forward.
However, Walberg isn't looking too far ahead. "I still think we can turn things around and we can do it this year," he said. "It's not going to be easy when you're starting 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 and 6-7. It's pretty darn tough at Division I. But to see this team — basically last year's reserves off a 7-20 team — stay in games, it's unbelievable."
Calipari predicted Walberg will turn things around — maybe not this year, but soon.
"He took over a program that was in bad, bad shape," Calipari said. "Then with injuries and guys quitting and all of a sudden he's down to seven guys. When he gets his first recruited class in there, in his third and fourth year, you're going to start seeing a big difference."
Right now, that day seems a long way off but that doesn't mean Walberg has lost faith in what he believes.
"I think if you don't dream and you don't believe, you're never going to give yourself or the players a chance," Walberg said.
"I know this can work."


The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past than education,than money, than circumstance,than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company....a church......a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...We cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way . We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude..........I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you .......we are in charge of our attitudes.

Sacrifice: Taking A Charge

Taking a charge isn't free of chargePlayers have been more willing in the past decade to pay the price and take a charge in an effort to dissuade opposing players from attacking the basket.

BY ISRAEL GUTIERREZigutierrez@MiamiHerald.com

It takes vision, courage and a pinch of foolishness.
It requires good basketball instincts, but a complete disregard for all human instincts.
It is arguably the most unnatural act in sports.
And, really, all it entails is standing absolutely still -- and bracing for a painful collision.
Taking a charge in the NBA is the sports equivalent of jumping in front of a moving vehicle and simply waiting to absorb the impact. It's literally taking one for the team.
It is a fundamental defensive play that has become about as common in basketball's trenches as blocking a shot. Although the NBA does not keep charges taken as an official statistic, it appears to have become a more common practice in the past decade or so, with more players realizing the benefit of taking the hit to keep points off the board.
''It's a way you can play effective interior defense without being a shot blocker,'' Heat center Michael Doleac said. ``Being a shot blocker is a hard thing to do.''
Taking a charge is no cakewalk, either. But as scorers continue to find ways to avoid getting their shots blocked, taking a charge has become a more effective way of defending against a driving guard, a big man with a head of steam or even an oncoming fast break.
''[The charge] has become more prominent now,'' Knicks forward David Lee said. ``I think it's just because guys have gotten crafty on offense with their shots and avoiding the block. You've got to find a way to play defense on that.''
It might seem like an easy concept, standing in front of another player and drawing an offensive foul. But there are several elements that make it fairly complicated.
In most cases, taking a charge involves a help defender anticipating an offensive player's movement, beating him to that spot and establishing a legal defensive position with his feet set before contact is made.
''Being able to take a charge, it's like you see the play a couple of steps or a couple of frames before it actually develops,'' Jazz guard Derek Fisher said. ``Especially now with the athletes we have in the league, if you're a half second late in getting there, you're either going to get dunked on or they're going to call a blocking foul.''
In most cases, those collisions are coming in the paint. So that semicircle right in front of the basket adds another component. Inside of the semicircle is called the restricted area, meaning a player attempting to take a charge cannot be standing within, on or straddling over that boundary.
''That's the biggest thing I fight with taking charges is getting out of [the restricted area] early enough,'' Doleac said. ``I'm not the quickest guy in the world, so when plays happen I've got to be right on top of it and come quick just to get out of there in time.''
Then there's one final element that always completes the charge process: falling backward.
''If you don't go down, you're not going to get the call -- which doesn't make any sense,'' Doleac said. ``You have to go down and go down hard like you got hit by a truck.''
The combination of taking a hit up front and falling on your behind can make for some painful, often memorable collisions.
''In practice in L.A., I took a charge on [Shaquille O'Neal] one time, and that was the last time I ever tried to do that,'' said Fisher, a former teammate of O'Neal's with the Lakers. ``It probably took me two to three days to feel normal again, or to feel comfortable standing in front of a big guy coming through the lane. He was coming with a lot of speed that day.''
Some players have become particularly skilled at drawing charges. Houston's Shane Battier has built a reputation as a strong defender in large part because of his penchant for drawing the offensive foul. James Posey and Udonis Haslem are probably the best at it among Heat players.
''If somebody knows I'm going to be there to take a charge, I'm pretty sure they're going to think before they go to the basket,'' Posey said. ``Therefore, they're shooting jump shots. If that's the case, they'll have to shoot a high percentage on their jump shots. That's part of the game, that's how I play.''
For others such as Antoine Walker, it's an act forced upon them. In his previous 10 seasons in the league, Walker has never been a take-charge guy. Last season, his first with the Heat, he estimates that he took one the entire season. So after a few strong words from Heat coach Pat Riley this season, Walker is near 20 for the season, according to stats the team keeps, and among the team leaders.
''I just never really had to do it in my career,'' Walker said. ``When I watched film, there were so many opportunities for me to take charges. [Riley] told me I should start taking hits. He felt like I was cheating the team by not taking hits because everybody else was willing to do it.
``It's painful. Sometimes you get hit in the wrong areas. But it's not as bad as I thought it would be.''
For offensive players driving the lane, avoiding the charge has become its own skill. It takes creative footwork, adjusted flight patterns and sometimes body contortion.
But the biggest adjustment is simply getting used to the whole concept. In pick-up games, there's no such thing as a charge. So some players still consider it a cheap way of playing defense.
''I used to [think that way],'' Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. ``But now I understand because I'm on a team with guys that take a lot of charges and we did it at Marquette. I understand it's part of the game. It's a smart part of the game. But as an offensive player, you hate it.''
O'Neal believes there is honor in going for a blocked shot rather than taking a charge -- particularly for the big men.
''A lot of big guys take charges because they know the referee knows they're inferior to the guy that they're guarding, so they're going to flop and they're going to get the call,'' O'Neal said. ``A lot of these charges shouldn't be charges.''
Much to O'Neal's chagrin, however, the unathletic act of standing still and taking a beating has become an increasingly common practice.
And to the ones withstanding the pain, it hurts so good.
''I think on this level and in college, it's got to be a part of the game,'' Lee said. ``I don't think there's anything cheap about it. Not everybody's athletic enough to block shots, and there has got to be a way, when a guy takes off, to get the defense to stop him. It's a good play.
``There's got to be a sacrifice.''

Make The Best of Everything!

This is a concept we should all remember!

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And, then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee(TEA); your jobs, money, houses, cars and your position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee provided us." We brew the coffee(tea), not the cups .......... Enjoy your coffee(tea)!

The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything."

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Be Nice!

"Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant - Be Nice to People"

At a TD Club meeting many years before his death, Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant told the following story, which was typical of the way he operated.

I had just been named the new head coach at Alabama and was off in my old car down in South Alabama recruiting a prospect who was supposed to have been a pretty good player and I was 'havin' trouble finding the place. Getting hungry I spied an old cinder block building with a small sign out front that simply said "Restaurant." I pull up, go in and every head in the place turns to stare at me.

Seems I'm the only white 'fella' in the place. But the food smelled good so I skip a table and go up to a cement bar and sit. A big ole man in a tee shirt and cap comes over and says, "What do you need?"

I told him I needed lunch and what did they have today?

He says, "You probably won't like it here, today we're having chitlins, collared greens and black eyed peas with cornbread. I'll bet you don't even know what chitlins are, do you?" I looked him square in the eye and said, "I'm from Arkansas , I've probably eaten a mile of them. Sounds like I'm in the right place." They all smiled as he left to serve me up a big plate.

When he comes back he says, "You ain't from around here then?" And I explain I'm the new football coach up in Tuscaloosa at the University and I'm here to find whatever that boy's name was and he says, yeah I've heard of him, he's supposed to be pretty good. And he gives me directions to the school so I can meet him and his coach. As I'm paying up to leave, I remember my manners and leave a tip, not too big to be flashy, but a good one and he told me lunch was on him, but I told him for a lunch that good, I felt I should pay.

The big man asked me if I had a photograph or something he could hang up to show I'd been there. I was so new that I didn't have any yet. It really wasn't that big a thing back then to be asked for, but I took a napkin and wrote his name and address on it and told him I'd get him one.

I met the kid I was 'lookin' for later that afternoon and I don't remember his name, but do remember I didn't think much of him when I met him. I had wasted a day, or so I thought.

When I got back to Tuscaloosa late that night, I took that napkin from my shirt pocket and put it under my keys so I wouldn't forget it. Heck, back then I was excited that anybody would want a picture of me. And the next day we found a picture and I wrote on it, Thanks for the best lunch I've ever had, Paul Bear Bryant.

Now let's go a whole 'buncha' years down the road. Now we have black players at Alabama and I'm back down in that part of the country scouting an offensive lineman we sure needed. Y'all remember, (and I forget the name, but it's not important to the story), well anyway, he's got two friends going to Auburn and he tells me he's got his heart set on Auburn too, so I leave empty handed and go on see some others while I'm down there. Two days later, I'm in my office in Tuscaloosa and the phone rings and it's this kid who just turned me down, and he says, "Coach, do you still want me at Alabama ?" And I said, "Yes I sure do." And he says, o.k. he'll come. And I say, "Well son, what changed your mind?" And he said, "When my grandpa found out that I had a chance to play for you and said no, he pitched a fit and told me I wasn't going nowhere but Alabama , and wasn't playing for nobody but you. He thinks a lot of you and has ever since y'all met."

Well, I didn't know his granddad from Adam's housecat so I asked him who his granddaddy was and he said, "You probly don't remember him, but you ate in his restaurant your first year at Alabama and you sent him a picture that he's had hung in that place ever since. That picture's his pride and joy and he still tells everybody about the day that Bear Bryant came in and had chitlins with him. My grandpa said that when you left there, he never expected you to remember him or to send him that picture, but you kept your word to him and to Grandpa, that's everything. He said you could teach me more than football and I had to play for a man like you, so I guess I'm going to."

I was floored. But I learned that the lessons my mama taught me were always right. It don't cost nuthin' to be nice. It don't cost 'nuthin' to do the right thing most of the time, and it costs a lot to lose your good name by breakin' your word to someone. When I went back to sign that boy, I looked up his Grandpa and he's still running that place, but it looks a lot better now; and he didn't have chitlins that day, but he had some ribs that 'woulda' made Dreamland proud and I made sure I posed for a lot of pictures; and don't think I didn't leave some new ones for him, too, along with a signed football. I made it clear to all my assistants to keep this story and these lessons in mind when they're out on the road. And if you remember anything else from me, remember this - It really doesn't cost anything to be nice, and the rewards can be unimaginable.

Coach Bryant was in the presence of these few gentlemen for only minutes, and he defined himself for life, to these gentlemen, as a nice man.

Regardless of our profession, we do define ourselves by how we treat others, and how we behave in the presence of others, and most of the time, we have only minutes or seconds to leave a lasting impression - we can be rude, crude, arrogant, cantankerous, or we can be nice. Nice is always a better choice.

I like what Stephen Grellet, French/American religious leader (1773-1855) said, "I expect to pass through the world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it, for I shall not pass this way again."


Pat Riley, Miami Heat Head Coach “Giving yourself permission to lose guarantees a loss.” Hunger is never present when a team is self-satisfied or proud.

Coach Belichick awards a prime parking spot to the player who is the most dedicated to the team’s off-season conditioning.

Pete Carrol’s (USC football coach) most important lesson- … “if you understand that every game is a championship game and you’re going ot give everything you possibly can in the preparation and participation of that game… that’s why we practice so fast and so hard every single day, every day of the year for six years.”

(Use after a loss) There is only one courage and that is the courage to go on dying from the past game lost, not to collect it, not to accumulate it, not to cling to it. We all cling to the past, and because we cling to the past we become unavailable to the present. Win the next one!

Greg Marshall, Winthrop Coach: After each game, Marshall awards an action figure of the late pro wrestler called Junkyard Dog to the player who played with the most grit. A friend of Marshall’s bought it on EBay, still in its box, and it sits above the locker of the winning player until the next game.

By EVAN GRANT / The Dallas Morning News egrant@dallasnews.com SURPRISE, Ariz. – Michael Young arrived at Rangers training camp Wednesday, put down his bags and stalked directly into manager Ron Washington's office, whereupon he bellowed the words, "Pickin' Ma-chine!" When Washington was Oakland's infield instructor, "Pickin' Ma-chine!" often rang out from the dugout whenever an A's player made a strong defensive play. It is Washington's trademark phrase, and it elicited a tongue-hanging-out laugh and what Young described as a 10-minute hug. When Mark Teixeira came to camp earlier in the week, he went through a normal workout. When he decided after the rest of the team was done that he wanted to take a little more work, he found Washington available and willing to hit him grounders for 30 minutes. Both instances help illustrate the story of the first week at Camp Wash. It is breezy and light, yet there is no mistaking that there is work to be done, and Washington is willing to do it. "I just love his enthusiasm and the effort he puts in on the field," Teixeira said. "When the manager is willing to work as hard as he is, it makes you feel good about working hard. From the time you get here in the morning until the time you leave, you feel better about yourself and your team." From the top on down, that feeling has been repeated across Surprise over the last week. It's a different camp than the Rangers have seen in at least a decade. Johnny Oates, who directed the team for seven springs, and Jerry Narron, who ran camp in 2002, were quiet on-field presences. Buck Showalter, who ran the last four camps, was taken with details but rarely interacted with players on the field. Under Showalter, the camp was efficient, if officious, for everyone. Fans stood behind a chain-link fence and had to try and peer through shrubs to watch the pitchers throw. Coaches had nameplates in front of their seats in the staff meeting room and were asked to wear red caps for workouts while the players wore blue. Complex employees were asked to hoist flags atop three poles – one of which flew the University of Texas flag when Roger Clemens visited camp – at the team's stretching field in addition to the ones that flew over the stadium. While the Rangers and Kansas City were handed identical training complexes in 2003, only the Rangers' side has the additional flag poles. Hard work with a smile is Ron Washington's style. Showalter zipped from field to field in a golf cart, never staying long in one place. His pre-camp meetings involved a tour of Luke Air Force Base one year and a stand-up comedian another. This year, the shrubs are gone, and fans have been invited some 30 feet closer to the pitchers. The assigned seating is gone. The flag poles are bare. Washington walks everywhere. And the pre-camp meeting lasted all of 20 minutes. "The message he gave was short and sweet," Young said. "It was, 'I'm here for you guys, and we're all here for each other.' It was basically, 'Let's make sure we have each other's back.' It's a great feeling knowing the manager has your back." Said reliever C.J. Wilson: "His talk was so personal. When he speaks, it's all completely original and from the heart. He put the responsibility in the middle of the [clubhouse], and now it's our responsibility to take him up on that." Though Washington's speech lacked theatrics, its message was remarkably similar to the one Bob Brenly delivered the Arizona Diamondbacks as Showalter's replacement in 2001. Brenly dropped a large player development manual written by Showalter on the ground and pulled out a cocktail napkin to show the team. The team went on to win the World Series. "I pulled it out and I said: 'These were the rules last year. These are the rules this year: Be on time and get the job done,' " Brenly told the New York Times after the World Series. "I just felt in my first meeting as manager in front of the team, you wanted them to understand we were going to be loose and we were going to have fun, and I expected them to conduct themselves like professionals." It seems as if everybody who has happened through Rangers camp this spring has gotten the same message. "The players are just more relaxed," owner Tom Hicks said Saturday at the end of his two-day visit to camp. "I've had numerous players come up to me and say they feel they've been given the responsibility to take, and they feel it's up to them to get it done." Said Young: "The last few years we've been a third-place team, and we have to take responsibility for that. At the same time, we hope to move. We don't have 1,000 things going here. It's simple, basic and fundamental. It's all about working, having fun and winning." For a week, the Rangers have done nothing but the first two. They await the chance to accomplish the third.

Not So Bad

Dunleavy Offers New Motivation

LA Clippers Head Coach Dunleavy tried a new approach this week by bringing in three Marines from Camp Pendleton to offer the players a dose of perspective and motivation. “All three of the Marines we had served overseas,” coach Mike Dunleavy said. “We thought this might be a good perspective for guys who at times think that we have it bad, that your situation isn’t something that can’t be bettered by you as opposed to other people

more quotes

George Karl, coaching in the NBA “No one is going to feel sorry for you. If you want to feel sorry for yourself in this league, you’re by yourself. People want to kick you they want to step on you, they want to laugh at you.”

Pat Summitt, on competitiveness “It’s not the most sociable quality you can possess. People won’t always like you for it; it won’t win you a lot of friends and dates. If being well liked is your army, I can’t help you. But competitiveness is what separates achievers from the average.”

Tom Landry, football coach Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.”

Ari Fleischer, former press secretary “It’s the foolish politician who looks backwards and wallows in his difficulties. A good politician looks forward. It’s the difference between a pessimist and an optimist, between a loser and a winner.”

Flip Saunders, Pistons Coach “Everyone on the team, whether he’s a starter, sixth man, seventh man, twelfth man, everyone has a role. The sign of a championship team is that every player has to accept whatever role is asked by them, embrace that role and play that role to the best of your ability.”

Barry Hinson, basketball coach “Your best player has to be the hardest worker. If he’s not, make him. If he won’t, let him go.”

Steve Jamison, actor “A leader with a double vision has a microscope in one eye, a telescope in the other. Out on the distant horizon where he focuses his telescope, he sees perfection in performance and execution. Up close, under the microscope, he sees the prerequisite details for achieving the personal perfection.”

Michael Ferguson, Le Roy, IL “There are only two types of stories in human existence, examples and warnings. We each have some of both types in our lives.”

Dale Murphy, on Braves Manager, Bobby Cox “To him, the worst player on the team is just as important as the superstar.”

The philosophy of Charles Schultz

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners
3.Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name t he last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and>actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. Theseare no>second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But theapplause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.>>>>>>>Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated andspecial.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with

Easier?>>The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not theones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's alreadytomorrow in Australia."(Charles Schultz)

Two Wolves

One evening a Coach told his Team about a battle that goes on inside Teams . He said, " Every Team has the battle between two 'wolves' inside of them.

One is Bad Team Chemistry. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is Good Team chemistry. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

One Team Member thought about it for a minute and then asked his Coach "Which wolf wins?" The old Coach simply replied, "The one you feed."

Two Super Bowl Coaches Offer Lessons for Screaming Managers

By Carol Hymowitz The Wall Street Journal Online

The Super Bowl should be required viewing for managers who think screaming at employees is the best way to motivate them -- or simply their prerogative as bosses.

They won't see that kind of behavior Sunday, as the Indianapolis Colts play the Chicago Bears for football's highest trophy. The Colts' head coach, Tony Dungy, and the Bears' Lovie Smith don't curse or sarcastically chew out players, which makes them stand out in the National Football League's scream-and-holler culture.

The two men -- the first African-Americans to lead Super Bowl teams -- became close friends when Mr. Dungy, formerly head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hired Mr. Smith as an assistant. Both believe they can get their teams to compete more fiercely and score more touchdowns by giving directives calmly and treating players with respect. This doesn't mean they aren't demanding or don't push hard. Mr. Dungy has a grading system that counts players' "loafs." If someone isn't running at full speed, or eases up or fails to hit an opponent when he could have, those are loafs, and it's hard to get through a game without getting at least one.

When Mr. Smith, who uses the same system, became the Bears' head coach three years ago, he told players to lift more weights and eat better because he wanted a slimmer, faster team. When he gets mad, he stares straight ahead in silence. His players call it "the Lovie Look" and say it's more frightening -- and more of a warning to play better -- than a torrent of angry words. CEO screaming is certainly less in vogue than it was a decade ago, judging from the leadership changes at some of the nation's largest companies. Home Depot's new CEO, Frank Blake, is far milder-mannered than former CEO Bob Nardelli, who was ousted earlier this month. Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger is contained and evenhanded, unlike his predecessor, the mercurial and explosive Michael Eisner. But there are still numerous business executives who ridicule and scream at employees. As a result, they undermine productivity, discourage innovation and may cause a talent drain at their companies, says James Clifton, CEO of the Gallup Organization.

"There's a big difference between saying 'you made a stupid mistake' and screaming 'you're really stupid,' " agrees Gary Hayes, a psychologist and co-founder of New York consultant Hayes Brunswick. He worked with a New York law firm where a senior partner flung heavy law books across the room at an associate. "The associate told me it was all right since the partner intentionally threw to miss -- not hit him," says Mr. Hayes. "But the associate soon moved to another firm." The vice president of marketing at a Silicon Valley company attributes rapid turnover at many West Coast technology companies to what he calls "screaming-bully bosses."

One such boss, a body builder who liked to show off his strength to managers by doing 25 pushups at the start of meetings, called him at all hours to scream about things that had gone wrong. A second bully boss, the CEO of a semiconductor-network start-up, ridiculed him and his colleagues publicly. "He'd pick up something I'd written and say, 'Who wrote this? A second grader? It's the stupidest thing I've ever read,' " the marketing vice president says. On a trip to Japan, the CEO exploded after the marketing vice president spent two hours on a Sunday looking for a gift for his wife. Back at headquarters, he was told he'd report to a lower-level executive. "It was my boss's way of punishing me," says the marketing vice president, who quit. Also quitting, in quick succession, were the vice president of engineering and the vice president of human resources, who were also tired of their boss's harangues.

Margie Lubet, a Pittsburgh communications and marketing manager, distinguishes between "bosses with a passionate point of view and belittlers who often want an audience when screaming at you." Belittlers cause emotional distress because they undermine your confidence, she says. One of her first bosses was like this. She says she learned to let him vent while asking herself, "What's really bothering him?" For some managers and athletic coaches, screaming is a way to show they are in charge -- and behavior that may be expected by their bosses.

The Colts' Mr. Dungy says he didn't get some jobs earlier in his career because he was considered too laid-back and polite and didn't believe being a great coach required him to sacrifice his family or faith. On one interview, when an owner asked if he would make the team the most important thing in his life, he said no.

"I figured I probably wouldn't get that job, and I didn't," he said at a press conference last week. "I think your faith is more important than your job, family is more important than your job. We all know that's the way it should be, but we're kind of afraid to say that sometimes." Lovie Smith and he "aren't afraid to say it," and both run their teams in the same way, Mr. Dungy said. The Colts and Bears play "tough, disciplined football even though there's not a lot of profanity from the coaches, there's none of the win-at-all-costs atmosphere. I think for two guys to show you can win that way is important for the country to see."


Eddie Robinson

An all-around winner Robinson defined himself more by lives changed than by games won
By Roscoe Nance

Eddie Robinson taught his players to believe in the American dream. He lived it. "America is the greatest country in the world," he often said. "We try to get our guys to understand the system. You've got to understand the system. "I tell them, 'You're not living in Germany. You're not in Spain. You're living in America. If you dream these dreams and work at them hard enough, they can come true. But you've got to work at it.' " Robinson, who died Tuesday at 88, lived by that advice. He worked exceedingly hard for 57 years as football coach at Grambling State in Louisiana, where he won 408 games, most in history at the time he retired in 1997. "I'm rather embarrassed when people talk about 'the winningest coach,' " he said. That sort of humility made Robinson well-respected among his peers. "He was like Mount Fuji in Japan. He was always there, and he was always majestic," said Marino H. Casem, former football coach and athletics director at Southern and Alcorn State universities. Robinson said one of the high points of his career came following the 1992 season when he became the first black coach and first from Division I-AA to win the Bobby Dodd Award as coach of the year. In accepting it, he said: "Martin Luther King Jr. said he had been to the top of the mountain. Well, I've been to the top of the mountain in my profession." He didn't win coach of the year from the Football Writers Association of America. But its Eddie Robinson Award is named for him. Robinson always said he wanted to be remembered as a coach who cared about his players and tried to mold them into citizens. His credo: "You have to coach 'em as though he were the boy who was going to marry your daughter." He added a corollary: "You can't coach 'em if you don't love 'em." Robinson was a father figure to many of his players and remained close to many long after they left Grambling. "The greatest man I've ever met," said James Hunter, Grambling grad and former Detroit Lions cornerback. "I've been in the corporate world for a few years now, and I haven't met anyone there who could move me the way Coach Rob did." Knowing he had that impact on his players meant more to Robinson than wins. "When you take a long hard look at the guys that you coached: What kind of men are they? This is the thing," he would say. "I can't go to a football meeting and talk all X's and O's. We're talking about drugs. We're talking about going to class. We're talking about studying. "It's hard to tell what (some) coaches … are in the business for. Are you for the glamour? Are you for the wins? Or are you trying to make the people with whom you're working better people for having participated in the game?" That approach endeared him to players. "He wasn't just about football," said Tampa Bay Buccaneers executive Doug Williams, an All-America quarterback at Grambling and MVP of Super Bowl XXII. "He was about human beings." Robinson was involved in almost every aspect of his team. He'd go through the dorm at 6 a.m., ringing a bell to wake his players for breakfast. At practice he'd demonstrate proper drops for quarterbacks and correct patterns for receivers. "When you love a profession, when you're doing something that you love every day, it differs from when you're just doing something," he said. He enjoyed winning, too. After Grambling went 5-6 in 1987, Robinson hinted he might retire. The Tigers rebounded with an 8-3 record in '88 and followed that with a 9-3 mark, a SWAC title and a I-AA playoff appearance in '89. Robinson and Grambling fell on hard times at the end of his career. The Tigers had losing records in each of his last three seasons, and he retired under pressure. Robinson made Grambling a household name in college football circles. He produced more than 200 professional players. In 1971, 43 Grambling players were in training camps, a pro football record that still stands. "Eddie opened a lot of doors for black college athletics," said Walter Reed, ex-athletics director at Jackson State and Florida A&M. Robinson's teams were an attraction wherever they played, and they played just about everywhere. Grambling beat Morgan State 42-16 in Tokyo in 1976, the first U.S. college football game outside the country. Robinson adopted the motto "the stadiums of the world are our home."
Huggins said to really take a look at what you do....he talked about how the game has changed.....his main points were to cut the floor in half and defend the box, and never allow direct passes....I really liked the way he questioned some things that a lot of people do.

Imagine Yourself at Your Own Funeral
This strategy is a little scary for some people but universally effective at reminding us of what’s most important in our lives.
When we look back on our lives, how many of us are going to be pleased at how uptight we were? Almost universally, when people look back on their lives while on their deathbed, they wish that their priorities had been quite different. With few exceptions, people wish they hadn’t “sweated the small stuff”so much. Instead, they wish they had spent more time with the people and activities they truly loved and less time worrying about aspects of life that, upon deep examination, really don’t matter all that much. Imagining yourself at your own funeral allows you to look back at your life while you still have the chance to make some important changes.
While it can be a little scary or painful, it’s a good idea to consider your own death and, in the process, your life. Doing so will remind you of the kind of person you want to be and the priorities that are most important to you. If you’re at all like me, you’ll probably get a wake up call that be an excellent source of change.
-“A Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Treasury” Richard Carlson, PH.D

The greatest blunder in coaching is indecisiveness , slowness and hesitation .

Optimism is a very potent medicine and that like any powerful drug , it could become dangerous , ….never banish hope but always manage it

Coaching – As much as we preach simplicity , I sometime feel it is the one thing most frequently violated in the coaching profession

We Like to tell our Team ‘ Check your Ego at the door . You can reclaim it later “

Any expression of defeatism or any failure not to play with confidence You shouldn’t be on the court

Most important element in coaching is your staff I would Rather have no coach than an unloyal assistant coach - Eric Musselman

Todd Lickliter
Work hard/work smart…..not like the bus driver – “making good time, but we’re lost”

“Pass your player into a great position”
“Swish Passes” – pass with the same precision as we shoot

-Defense doesn’t break down on help, it breaks down on rotation

Great shooting teams are great passing teams

Recruiting Terms

Rivals.com Recruiting Glossary
Clearinghouse: The NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse is an organization that works with the NCAA to determine students' eligibility for athletics participation in their first year of college enrollment. Students who want to participate in college sports during their first year of enrollment in college must register with the Clearinghouse. Located in Iowa City, Iowa, the Clearinghouse staff follows NCAA bylaws and regulations in analyzing and processing a student's high school academic records, ACT or SAT scores, and key information about amateurism participation. It is up to the Clearinghouse to determine the student's initial eligibility.

Commitment: Also known as an oral commitment or verbal commitment. A recruit's pledge to the coaching staff that he intends to accept their scholarship offer and attend a specific institution. The pledge is non-binding until a National Letter-of-Intent is signed. If a prospect breaks off a commitment with one school to commit to another, it is called a de-commitment.•

Silent commitment: A commitment made to the coaching staff of a specific school but not made public.•

Soft commitment: A commitment in which the recruit will continue to take official visits to other schools.

Eligibility: Student-athletes receiving an athletic scholarship must graduate from high school, complete 14 core courses (ex. English, math, science), earn a minimum required grade-point average in core courses, and earn a combined SAT or ACT sum score that matches his core-course grade-point average and test score sliding scale (for example, a 2.4 core-course grade-point average needs a 860 SAT); click here for more on the sliding scale. •

Qualifier: A student-athlete who meets the academic requirements listed above. A qualifier can practice or compete for a college or university during his first year of college, can receive an athletics scholarship during his first year of college, and can play four seasons in his sport if he maintains eligibility from year to year.•

Non-qualifier: Non-qualifiers do not meet the academic requirements listed above. Non-qualifiers cannot practice or compete for their college or university during their first year of college. They cannot receive an athletics scholarship during their first year of college, but they may receive need-based financial aid. They can play only three seasons in their sport if they maintain eligibility from year to year (to earn a fourth season they must complete at least 80 percent of their degree before beginning their fifth year of college).

Grayshirt: A term used in the recruiting process to describe situations in which a student-athlete delays initial enrollment in a collegiate institution. Students who grayshirt often use the fall to take classes part time or choose not to enroll in college at all.

National Signing Day: The first day prospective student-athletes can sign a national letter of intent (see below). For high school football athletes, Signing Day falls on the first Wednesday of February. There is a separate signing day for midseason transfers (junior college transfers) in December.

National Letter of Intent: (Sometimes abbreviated as NLI or LOI) A binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an institution in which the institution agrees to provide a prospective student-athlete who is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules athletics aid for one academic year in exchange for the prospect's agreement to attend the institution for one academic year. All colleges and universities that participate in the NLI program agree not to recruit a prospective student-athlete once he/she signs an NLI with another college or university. Therefore, a prospective student-athlete who signs an NLI should no longer receive recruiting contacts and calls and is ensured an athletic scholarship for one academic year. The NLI must be accompanied by an institutional financial aid agreement. College coaches are not permitted to comment publicly about prospects until they sign a letter of intent.• Click here for more on the Letter of Intent.

Prep school/Military academy: If a prospect does not graduate from high school in four years he can enroll in a fifth year of high school at a preparatory school or military academy. The prospect's high school GPA is locked and can only be improved by retaking courses. A prospect does not lose college eligibility while competing for a prep school or military academy but will be considered a non- or partial-qualifier when enrolling at an NCAA institution.

Prospective student-athlete: A student-athlete becomes a prospective student-athlete when he starts ninth-grade classes; or if before the student-athlete's ninth-grade year, a college gives the athlete, his relatives or his friends any financial aid or other benefits that the college does not provide to students generally.

Recruit: A prospective student-athlete is considered a recruit when he is provided with an official visit, having arranged, in-person, off-campus contact with a coach, receiving telephone contact from a coach more than once, or is issued a National Letter of Intent from the institution.

Recruiting calendar: College coaches are limited at times during the year in how often and in what way they may contact or evaluate prospects.•

Contact period: During this time, a college coach may have in-person contact with prospects and/or their parents on or off the college's campus. The coach may also visit the prospect's high school or watch the prospect compete. Prospects and their parents may visit a college campus, and the coach may write and telephone the prospect during this period.•

Dead period: The college coach may not have any in-person contact with the prospects or his parents at any time in the dead period.•

Evaluation period: The college coach may watch the prospect play or visit his high school, but cannot have any in-person conversations with the prospect or his parents off the college's campus. Prospects can visit a college campus during this period. Coaches are limited to three evaluations per prospect during the academic year. Evaluations include games and practices.•

Quiet period: The college coach may not have any in-person contact with the prospect or his parents off the college's campus. The coach may not watch him play or visit his high school during this period.

Visits: Prospects' visits to a college campus are divided into official and unofficial visits.•

Official visit: Any visit to a college campus by a prospect and his parents paid for by the college. The college may pay for transportation to the campus, a room and three meals per day, "reasonable" entertainment expenses. Prospects can make up to five official visits to different campuses.•

Unofficial visit: Any visit by a prospect and his parents to a college campus paid for by the prospect or his family. The only expense a prospect may receive from the college is three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. Prospects can take an unlimited amount of unofficial visits at any time. The only time prospects cannot talk with a coach during an unofficial visit is during a dead period.

Scholarship offer: A four-year institution can offer financial aid to a prospective student-athlete. These offers can be either verbal or written, however, only prospects receiving written offers can sign a National Letter of Intent or commit to an institution. An institution can offer an unlimited amount of scholarships but can provide only 13 full scholarships during a given academic year.

Walk-on: Any athlete who participates on an athletic team without an athletic scholarship is considered a walk-on. Walk-ons are not permitted to sign a National Letter of Intent. A "preferred walk-on" is assured a spot on the team, but the athlete is not offered a scholarship.


"The day I stopped worrying about my stats is the day I started winning"
-Shaquille O'Neal

Team Chemistry More than an attitude
"But chemistry is not just attitude. It likely begins there. And can end there."
"He talks about it all the time," guard Rafer Alston said. "Chemistry to him is not just guys getting along in the locker room and on and off the court. Chemistry is guys sacrificing their games for each other, doing all the things for the good of the team. We have a lot of guys that come over here averaging 16, 17 points and will end up averaging seven or eight points. Are they willing to do all the little things to help the team win?"

Still, Artest said he's disappointed that more of his league peers don't have his work ethic.
"It definitely does insult me that some guys don't work harder on their game," he said. "Some guys just don't work. So I look for guys to push me, with what they do, how good they are. Kobe pushes me. LeBron pushes me. But most of the veteran guys out there don't push me. You're always looking for that something to push you." He pushes himself the most.

"Red's greatest asset was that he got his teams ready to play," Russell says. "And you can't treat everybody the same. ... There's no such thing as one size fits all."

"He was certainly one of the most outstanding coaches, general managers and, for that matter, characters that came the NBA's way," said Tom "Satch" Sanders, who played on eight championship teams with the Celtics and later coached them. "It was his ability to be so far ahead of the game that set him apart. He went after players who could play other parts of the game, rebound, defend. That put him years ahead of everybody else."

Bill Russell says. "For example, Red always consulted with us. He never gave us orders. He negotiated everything."
"When I first got there, at the start of the games, he'd talk to the captains and say, ' What do you think?' And he'd ask all the players, especially the starters, what they thought. Then he'd make coaching decisions based on that information. ... That's why it worked so well. Red just wanted to create an atmosphere where every guy could do his best."

George Mason and the run to the final four has turned into a financial boon for the school.
Admission applications to GMU were up 400% over the previous year.
Gifts and financial pledges were up 25%.
The school sold $625,000 in merchandise during the entire 2004/05 season.......but sold $876,000 of merchandise in MARCH 2006 alone.
$50,000,000 - Estimated cost an advertising/PR campaign would have run to produce as many media mentions as the school received during the NCAA tournament.
2 new major sponsors in Chevrolet & Remax.
Hear it, See it, Do it

Action: "Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed...every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle...when the sun comes up, you'd better be running." --Anonymous

Challenges: "Kites rise highest against the wind...not with it." --Winston Churchill

Commitment: "The man on top of the mountain didn't fall there." --Anonymous

Courage: "Courage is the door that can only be opened from the inside." --Terry Neil

Excellence: "It is a funny thing about life: if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." --Somerset Maugham

Failure: "Failures are divided into two classes-those who thought and never did and those who did and never thought." --John Charles Sak

Habits: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit." --Aristotle

Integrity: "Wisdom is knowing the right path to take...integrity is taking it." --M.H. McKee

Passion: "Many things will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart... PURSUE THOSE." --Anonymous

Responsibility: "EXCUSES are the nails used to build a house of failure." --Don Wilder

Risk: "You will always miss 100% of the shots you don't take." --Wayne Gretzky

Service: "It is one of the greatest compensations in life that no one can help another without helping themselves." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
Word Pictures! It´s not what you teach, it´s what you emphasize. Learn how to say things. e.g., Wide enough for balance but not so wide you don´t have balance.

"Discipline is not what you do to someone; it is what you do for someone." -Lou Holtz

"Plays don´t win championships, players do" - Pete Newell and Bob Knight.

"Do you want two new plays in March or two better players?" - Pete Gaudett.

If you never stick your neck out, you'll never get your head above the crowd.
Dumb up as a coach - Dick Bennett. Often coaches with 30 years of experience will say and do things that are easily understood to those with 30 years of experience but goes over the head of the athletes who are trying to learn the game. Teach at the pace you want your team to play. If you teach in hurried fashion, your team will play hurried. If your teachings are hurried and not explicit, the team will reflect the same pace and sloppiness. Players do not know the vocabulary. Even coaches that are developed in our other systems may not grasp what is trying to be communicated. What is a rip through to one coach is a “wipe” to another. Players inherently are very prideful which often leads to reluctance to ask questions. You cannot assume the athletes are rooted in a solid foundational knowledge of the basics of the game. A surefire way to ensure quality in player’s base knowledge is to ask them! Coach Gregg Popovich asks his players questions regularly regarding opponent scouting reports. Keep the players on their toes with a ton of questions.
"A life is not important, but for the impact it has on others' lives." — Jackie Robinson, Hall of Fame baseball player

"Could I be a coach and lose? To me, that's like asking if a guy can be a good doctor even though his patients keep dying." — Red Auerbach, Hall of Fame basketball coach and executive

"If you think small things don't matter, think of the last game you lost by one point."

"Nothing will work unless you do"
-John Wooden

"Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."
-- Vince Lombardi

"If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you. You haven't done much today."

"Most battles are won before they are fought"
-- Sun Tzu

"The only statistics worth keeping can't be measured" - Heart, Intensity, Teamwork

Now this is the law of the jungle-
As old and as true as the sky;
And the wolf that keep it may prosper
But the wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk,
The law runneth forward and back-
And the strength of the pack is the wolf
And the strength of the wolf is the pack.

English Poet/Novelist

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."
-- Albert Einstein

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit"
-- Aristotle

"To be successful, you don't have to do extraordinary things. Just do ordinary things extraordinarily well."

"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."
-- Muhammad Ali

"You live up - or down - to your expectations."
-- Lou Holtz

"There are two pains in life, the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret. Take your choice"

Attitudes are contagious...Is yours worth catching?

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.

A Pebble
by : James W. Foley

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone; But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on, Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea. And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.
Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget, But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet, And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown; You've disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.
Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone; But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on. They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go, And there is no way to stop them, once you've started them to flow.
Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget; But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet, And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you've stirred, And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.
Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone; But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on, Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave Till you wouldn't believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.
Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget; But there's gladness still a-swelling, and there's joy circling yet, And you've rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.