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Beating the Odds

Conquering the Self

President Obama has won at least one key victory. Amid tax deals, a bad economy, and multiple wars, he’s stopped smoking.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs says he hasn’t seen any evidence of smoking in the last nine months. If that’s true, then even Obama’s critics can give him some credit. Dealing with any addiction is a difficult process.

No word on the strategy Obama used. But anyone who can quit smoking amid the kind of stress in the Oval Office has shown everyone a valuable lesson: Things that seem impossible can actually be done.

If the president can quit smoking, then everyone can win great battles. Coaches can be more disciplined, more organized, more focused. They can correct flaws in themselves and in their teams. They can find strength they didn’t know they had.

Said Ben Franklin: “He that cannot obey, cannot command.”

It’s a good lesson for coaches to remember. Asking for virtues in others, when they are lacking in the self, will quickly become evident to all.


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