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Archive for June, 2009

The Warrior Within

Yesterday we wondered whether great athletes come from the desperation of poverty or from the expensive skills camps of the suburbs. Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali offers a third possibility. He once said, “Champions aren´t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a […]

Where Do Great Athletes Come From?

Where do great athletes come from? The question comes up because of a passage in the book, “Munson — The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain” by Marty Appel. In it, former Yankee broadcaster Bill White described Thurman Munson’s birthplace and how it shaped him. “I think there is something about growing up in […]

Songs of Inspiration

Suppose you could hire an official team composer to write motivational and inspirational songs for your team. Who would it be? You certainly couldn’t go wrong with Richard Rodgers, who was born 107 years ago today. His collaborations include “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” “Climb Every Mountain” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Of course, you […]

Doing Your Homework

Someone once said, “Never give advice. A wise person doesn’t need it, and a fool won’t take it.”

Nevertheless, the current issue of Fortune offers a cover article titled “The Best Advice I Ever Got.”

Featured are Bill Gates, Colin Powell and Tiger Woods, among many others. Several of the profiles can apply to coaches and athletes, but none more than the one about Jim Rogers, an investor and commodities guru.

Freeing Your Players to Play

Today’s post comes courtesy of Scott Illiano, one of the top high school baseball coaches in New Jersey. Always passionate in pursuit of knowledge, Illiano watched the recent College World Series for clues to success. He came up with this gem about motivating players: Texas had fallen behind the University of Arizona 6-0 and was […]

Ed McMahon’s Example

Ed McMahon’s life offers a lesson for anyone who wants to play on a successful team.

McMahon, who died yesterday, earned fame and fortune by becoming the model sidekick. As a foil for Johnny Carson on the “Tonight” show for many years, he showed what can happen when you accept your role and shine in it.

When Your Game Is a Mess

Whether you’re a golfer or not, Lucas Glover’s victory in the U.S. Open has valuable lessons for you. He struggled in the first half of the final round, but hung in there. The moral is: Just because your GAME is a mess doesn’t mean that YOU have to be a mess.

What You Believe

As I write this, the final round of the U.S. Open is taking place. I hope to be writing about it later on.

In the meantime, let’s look at the idea of belief, an idea that applies no matter what the sport.

Years ago, there was a baseball player (I forget his name) who played for the Detroit Tigers. He had a deathly fear of flying. The only thing that could console him on the airplane was being able to sit within sight of teammate Al Kaline. In his mind, Kaline was too important to ever die in a plane crash, and so just sitting next to Kaline gave this player a sense of security.

Great Obstacles

“The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success comes only later.” ~ Confucius. With the U.S. Open in progress, a legendary golf quote comes to mind. Years ago, during a tournament in which the golfers were fighting a losing battle against the course, Frank Tatum, then president of the United […]

What Does Babe Ruth Mean?

The author of “Talent Is Overrated — What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else” must consider the case of Babe Ruth. Ruth was the best baseball player of his era and perhaps of all time. He was not only a peerless batter, but a record-setting pitcher. The trouble for “Talent is Overrated” author Geoff […]