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Archive for March, 2011

Team Chemistry

What comes first, winning or team chemistry? There will likely never be an answer to that, but baseball writer Joe Strauss takes a close look at the issue of clubhouse dynamics in today’s St. Louis Post Dispatch. On baseball’s Opening Day, Strauss discusses some of the St. Louis Cardinals’ off-season moves through the prism of […]

Lessons of “Dancing With the Stars”

The more you watch “Dancing With the Stars,” the more you see great connections to coaching and practice. Here are at least five: * All contestants have exactly the same amount of time to get ready for the next show. It’s what you do with that time that matters. So the mental game is huge. […]

Getting What Others Want

Yesterday we talked about the biggest addiction, namely, the addiction to comfort. There’s no question that comfort feels good. The trouble is that everything you want in terms of skill and achievement lies outside of this zone. To become better at anything, you must leave the comfort zone. And to become the best at what […]

The Worst Addiction

Most people have self-imposed limitations. Like the elephant tied to a pole with the flimsiest of ropes, they have long since given up the hope of breaking free. Their favorite words are, “I can’t.” The trouble with self-imposed limitations is that most people don’t even realize that they have them. The negative thoughts have become […]

Dealing With the Unexpected

Recently I had the chance to speak to two groups of school athletic directors. The discussion began with this question: What percentage of your time is spent on your to-do list, and what percentage is spent dealing with the unexpected? In both groups, estimates on the percentage of time spent dealing with the unexpected ranged […]

Should College Athletic Scholarships End?

Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former presidential campaign, has found a new crusade. Amid the buzz of the NCAA basketball tournament, Nader has called for an end to college athletic scholarships. You can easily see why someone would look at college sports and see problems. Basketball and football are cesspools filled with recruiting violations, spotty […]

The Boredom Paradox

When world-class cellist Pablo Casals was 93, someone asked him why he still practiced with such diligence. Casals said, “I think I’m making progress.” Imagine staying fascinated with something for that long! After decades, Casals was interested in getting better! You can use his example to achieve greatness in your field. If you can become […]

How to Sell Anything to Anybody

Whether you know it or not, you’re in the business of sales. — If you’re a parent, you’re trying to sell your children on values and habits. — If you’re a teacher, you’re trying to sell your students on curiosity and knowledge. — If you’re a coach, you’re trying to sell your athletes on a […]

Should Japan Use Baseball to Heal?

Mike Piazza hit 427 home runs in his career, but few of them had the impact of the one he hit shortly after 9/11. It helped the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves, and pointed the city toward the healing process after the terror attacks. Now, after the earthquake and tsunami , and still in a […]

Soft, selfish, stupid

A few days ago we said how hard it is to make good choices at tryout time. It’s difficult, for example, to judge in a short span how a player will behave over the long period needed for proper skill growth. How can short bursts of physical activity show whether anyone has a strong mental […]