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Beating the Odds

Sports and Life

Years ago, in my sports writing days, a softball coach told me something that changed my life.

“If someone is lazy on the field, they’ll be lazy in the office, too,” he said. “If someone is a team player on the field, they’ll be a team player in the office as well.”

Those words came from friend and mentor Fred McMane, who in addition to coaching our office team was (and is) a keen student of human nature.

His words created a theme that would grow through my sports writing and coaching: Values and habits translate everywhere. Persistence, hard work, selflessness, and curiosity serve you well in any human endeavor.

That’s why I enjoy checking in with the blog Karin Writes Dangerously (Taking your writing to the next level).

Karin Abarbanel, as well as a blogger, is author of “Birthing the Elephant: The woman’s go-for-it! guide to overcoming the big challenges of launching a business.” A coach and a student of writing, Karin approaches her craft as an elite coach or an athlete would view practice. A recent post of hers described three “building blocks of a successful endeavor.” She lists commitment, confidence and consistency. Don’t they sound like they would translate anywhere?

Anyway, Karin asked me to think about these four questions. Here they are, along with my answers:

1. What am I working on? My friend Dr. Rob Gilbert and I just released “Think Better, Win More! How Sport Psychology Can Make You a Champion.” Besides having fun promoting this book, I’ve started “Quantum Greatness: Predicting Success in an Uncertain Universe.”

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? Unlike other authors, who are either writers covering sports or coaches writing about their sport, I’m equal parts coach and author. I’m in the gym 200 days a year, running practices and observing athletes. I’m able to use my writing background to transmit what I see and learn.

3. Why do I write what I do? Not gonna lie. In an age of career change, the ability to write helps pay the bills. Beyond that, I feel I have something to say, namely, that you have everything you need already inside you. All you’re lacking is the strategy. I’ve got the strategies, and they’re simple and clear. Like Karin says, commitment, confidence and consistency.

4. How does my writing process work? I wish I could say I had a system, like writing for three hours every morning. What works for you? I’m open to suggestions!

Here are some other blogs to see:

The Graceful Grammarian, by Maura Grace Harrington, Ph.D., speaks of language in a loving an practical way. http://mauragraceharringtonediting.com/blog/

Dreaming of Cooperstown discusses the link between baseball and building character. http://dreamingofcooperstown.com/blog/

SGS Write by Steve Sears links writing and life through such basic touchstones as Dunkin’ Donuts or hearing a special song on the radio. http://sgswrite.com/blog/

Thank you for visiting Total Game Plan. While you’re here, you can find many other articles to help you reach your potential.

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Do you want to do your best when it means the most? Of course you do, and “Think Better, Win More!: How Sport Psychology Can Make you a Champion” will help.

How to Survive Your Sports Season” is an invaluable resource to help you with the highs and lows of practice and competition.

To improve at anything, check out “The Improvement Factor: How Champions Turn Practice into Success.”

Need some motivation? Everyone needs it now and then. Open any page of “Thank God You’re Lazy! The Instant Cure for What’s Holding You Back” for a story or a quote to lift your spirits.

Are you a sports coach? Here’s “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” by Mike Tully and Gary Pritchard.

More great info on Facebook page Total Game Plan!


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