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Beating the Odds

Results or Reasons?

We just finished a TotalGamePlan volleyball camp with 16 young women at the Verona Community Center in Verona, N.J.

The week went well, except for one drill. No one had any energy. No one seemed to want to improve. So not wanting to have a losing drill, the coaches made it a learning drill.

Calling the girls in, we asked this question: Would you rather have results or reasons?

It’s an important question for anyone who wants to accomplish anything worthwhile. Reasons are always easier than results. It’s always easier to find reasons why something DIDN’T happen than to have the toughness to make sure it DOES happen.

You can be sure that fans of the Miami Heat want results now that LeBron James has joined their team. No one wants reasons.

To illustrate the point about results and reasons, we asked the girls at our camp to start listing REASONS why the drill didn’t go well. Here are some of their answers:

It’s too hot.

It’s too hard.

It’s too unfamiliar.

The other girl keeps messing it up.

I don’t like this drill.

I don’t see why this drill is important.

Pretty soon we had filled up the whiteboard with all reasons why we hadn’t done well. There were lots of reasons, and few results.

No matter what you’re doing in life, this question about reasons and results can guide and challenge you. Let’s say you’re a student who has been assigned some summer reading. At the end of summer vacation, will you have results or reasons? How about New Year’s and your resolutions? One week into January, will you have results or reasons?

One other thing: Do you suppose winners have results or reasons?

Coach Tully and Gary Pritchard have teamed up to produce the book: “Ten Things Great Coaches Know.” It’s available at:


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