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Beating the Odds

Living Every Moment

If you’ve never heard of Randy Pausch, you can learn about him — and about life — in this video. But this clip is not meant to be viewed by you alone; it’s meant to be shared with your team, your teammates, your fellow coaches, anyone who needs a reminder about how precious life is.

Pausch died in July 2008 of complications from pancreatic cancer, but not before delivering his famous “Last Lecture.” In it, Pausch smiles at the Grim Reaper and assures the audience that it’s not about living long. It’s about living fully.

Most of the time, the young athletes we’re coaching can scarcely comprehend the value of time. Life stretches out before them like an endless prairie. But we as coaches must urge them to live as fully as possible.

Yesterday in a radio interview, Boston Red Sox Manager Terry Francona says his team operates with the mindset of playing every game as if it’s the last. It didn’t help them last night, as they lost to the New York Yankees, but the daily mindset matters more than the daily result.

Imagine the mindset the two freed journalists hold about life today! One minute they were facing long prison terms in North Korea; the next minute they were on an airplane to go home. They will never look at life in quite the same way.

Whether it’s a game, a practice, or just walking around, do it as if it were your last chance.

Here is the Pausch speech in its entirety. It lasts one hour, 16 minutes; it will inspire when viewed either in part or in whole.


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