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Beating the Odds

How to Do the Impossible

“And the impossible dream comes true!”

With those words, broadcaster Al Michaels put an exclamation point on the U.S. Olympic hockey team’s gold medal.

Now, 35 winters later, that gold medal reminds everyone that what seems to be impossible can actually happen. For the next 17 days, Dr. Rob Gilbert and I will be offering a multi-media program on doing the impossible. Dr. Gilbert will use his daily Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690. I’ll be blogging at www.totalgameplan.com.

At this time of year, the U.S. hockey team always comes to mind. In 1980, no one thought a group of amateurs could beat a Soviet team that was all but professional. The idea seemed laughable.

Here are two things you must do to create an Impossible Dream of your own.

One, you must set a goal, no matter how unlikely.

Two, you must form a strategy to reach it.

Herb Brooks, coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, did just that. He set a goal of winning the gold medal. He knew that to do so, his team would have to beat the Soviet Union, which at that time ruled the hockey world.

Brooks put his efforts into creating a superbly conditioned team that could match the Soviets. He added some technical adjustments, and worked hard to unify his team. Sure enough, the Americans beat the Soviets, outscoring them in the third period. Two days later, they beat Finland to win the gold.

You can use the same approach Brooks did. Set a goal, then decide on a plan to reach it.

Who knows, your Impossible Dream may not be so impossible after all.

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Greatness begins with the way you think, and “Think Better, Win More!: How Sport Psychology Can Make you a Champion” will help.

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

Need some motivation? 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 coach? Here’s “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” by Mike Tully and Gary Pritchard.


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