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Archive for October, 2009

Building Toughness

What are your standards? Jay Bilas, ESPN basketball commentator, raised the question yesterday in an energetic talk at the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association coaches clinic in Des Moines. Bilas said he has visited several college practices recently, and the common theme is work hard and compete. Trouble is, most athletes don’t even know what that […]

Mastering the Situation

Peak performance expert Dave Cross of “Yes, I Can!” sports often says that no situation has any meaning except the one you give it. By that he means that no matter what happens, you can choose your response. His words came to mind the other night in a show in which Hall of Fame pitcher […]

Distracted Flying

So it turns out that focus was at the heart of the Northwest flight that overflew the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles. According to the pilots themselves, they were busy with laptops while in command of a San Diego to Minneapolis trip. This sounded a lot like distracted driving to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We’re […]

Finishing Tasks

Forty-four years years ago today, with a crowd staring from 630 feet below, welders placed the final section into the St. Louis Arch. Their work brought a happy end to a project that took nearly three years and several million dollars. It was a dangerous job that proceeded through brutal weather extremes. But it was […]

Victory and Adversity

By the time we see them, players in the World Series are already wearing the trappings of a big-leaguer. But it wasn’t always that way for them. David Eckstein, named the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Fall Classic, was a college walk-on who earned his scholarship only through persistent work. Cole Hamels, who won […]

Great Players, Bad Coaches

Argentina soccer legend Diego Maradona has joined a long tradition of star athletes who never made it in a coaching or managing role. Maradona’s troubles, featured in Time magazine, resemble those of hockey star Wayne Gretzky, who resigned this year after an unsuccessful run as Phoenix Coyotes coach. To be fair to Gretzky, the team […]

What Exactly Do the Patriots Do?

In the days leading up to today’s game in London, Tampa Bay Coach Raheem Morris paid tribute to the New England Patriots, calling them a “model” team. Morris cited “their head coach, their quarterback, their receiving corps, their defense. Everything about the New England Patriots is a great model to follow.” All that is fine, […]

The World of College Football

Today’s post consists of two stories from the world of college football. In one, the University of Minnesota has apologized for its mascot, who mocked a Penn State player who was praying. In the other, columnist Jeff Pearlman takes University of Montana football coach Bobby Hauck to task for boycotting the school newspaper. Of the […]

The Importance of Hope

“Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.” — Unknown Last night the Los Angeles Angels beat the Yankees to extend their American League championship Series to a sixth game. The Angels are trying to become the latest team to rebound from a 3-1 […]

Keeping It Simple

Da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” But sometimes coaches forget, and they complicate things. Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a little schoolboy. He seemed well-adjusted enough, but something about him concerned the teacher. Whenever it was time to draw, the boy would use a black crayon. […]