A definition for failure

“Failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day”

I like this quote, but I do have another definition for failure.  Failure is when someone quits.  An old coach once said to me, “you aren’t a failure until you give up.”  You don’t fail at anything, until you quit trying.  I love the choice of words in the quote above: ‘errors in judgment’.  We all make them, all the time.  But do you learn anything from these errors in judgment?  That is the key question we must always ask ourselves.  Every mistake, or error in judgment, that we make is a learning opportunity.  Every learning opportunity is a chance for us become better at what ever it is we are doing.  These opportunities are in our face almost every day.  Try not to ignore them so much!

Mental toughness: 20 ways to get it

I am currently re-reading one of my favorite books, Training Camp by Jon Gordon.  One of my favorite chapters in this book is chapter 20 (Twenty Ways to Get Mentally Tough).   I just had to share it with you.  Mental toughness is what is needed to get through the challenges we face in life.  Whether it’s challenges you face on the basketball court, in the classroom, at work, or just everyday life adversities, the key component of getting through it and becoming successful is being mentally tough.    Yes, mental toughness is not something you are born with, it is something that can be developed.  In the same manner we master certain skills in our lifetime, mastering the skill of mental toughness takes practice.  You must realize that being positive or negative is a habit, and you have to choose to be positive.  And here’s a great guideline on how to choose to be positive:

1.  When you face a setback, think of it as a defining moment that will lead to future accomplishment.

2.  When you encounter adversity, remember, the best don’t just face adversity; they embrace it, knowing it’s not a dead end but a detour to something greater and better.

3.  When you face negative people, know that the key to life is to stay positive in the face of negativity, not the absence of it.  After all, everyone will have to overcome negativity to define themselves and create their success.

4.  When you face the naysayers, remember the people who believed in you and spoke positive words to you.

5.  When you face critics, remember to tune them out and focus only on being the best you can be.

6.  When you wake up in the morning, take a morning walk of gratitude and prayer.  It will create a fertile mind ready for success.

7.  When you fear, trust.  Let your faith be greater than your doubt.

8.  When you fail, find the lesson in it, and then recall a time when you have succeeded.

9.  When you head into battle, visualize success.

10.  When you are thinking about the past or worrying about the future, instead focus your energy on the present moment.  The now is where your power is the greatest.

11.  When you want to complain, instead identify a solution.

12.  When you own self-doubt crowds your mind, weed it and replace it with positive thoughts and positive self-talk.

13.  When you feel distracted, focus on your breathing, observer your surroundings, clear your mind, and get into The Zone.  The Zone is not a random event.  It can be created.

14.  When you feel all is impossible, know that with God all things are possible.

15.  When you feel alone, think of all the people who have helped you along the way and who love and support you now.

16.  When you feel lost, pray for guidance.

17.  When you are tired and drained, remember to never, never, never give up.  Finish strong in everything you do.

18.  When you feel like you can’t do it, know that you can do all things through Him who gives you strength.

19.  When you feel like your situation is beyond your control, pray and surrender.  Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.

20.  When you’re in a high-pressure situation and the game is on the line, and everyone is watching you, remember to smile, have fun, and enjoy it.  Life is short; you only live once.  You have nothing to lose.  Seize the moment.

Training Camp by Jon Gordon

25 Little Things to Remember (from Pete Carril)

Here are “Twenty-Five Little Things to Remember” taken from one of my favorite books to read:  The Smart Take From The Strong (The Basketball Philosophy of Pete Carril).

Twenty-Five Little Things to Remember

1.  Every little thing counts.  If not, why do it?

2.  When closely guarded, do not go toward the ball.  Go back-door.

3.  Whenever you cut, look for a return pass.

4.  When you commit to a cut (or back-door) do not stop and do not come back to the ball.

5.  Bad shooters are always open.

6.  On offense, move the defense.

7.  Putting defensive pressure on the ball makes it harder for the team to run an offense and gives your team a better chance to defend.

8.  In a zone or any defense, when their five men guard your three men, look to throw cross court passes.

9.  Watch the man in front of you.  He shows you what to do.

10.  Keep your dribble.  Use it when you’re going to do something useful.

11.  A pass is not a pass when it is made after you’ve tried to do everything else.

12.  A good player knows what he is good at.  He also knows what he is not good at and only does the former.

13.  You want to be good at those things that happen a lot.

14.  When the legs go, the heart and the head follow quickly behind.

15.  Defense involves three things: courage, energy, intelligence.

16.  If your teammate does not pass the ball to you when you’re open and he doesn’t say anything, then he did not see you.  If he says “I’m sorry,” he saw you and did not want to throw you the ball.

17.  In trying to learn to do a specific thing, the specific thing is what you must practice.  There is little transfer of learning.

18.  Whatever you are doing is the most important thing that you’re doing while you are doing it.

19.  Anyone can be average.

20.  Being punctual is good in itself.  However, what is more important is that your punctuality tells your teammates what you think of them.

21.  Hardly any players play to lose.  Only a few play to win.

22.  I like passers.  They can see everything.

23.  The way you think affects what you see and do.

24.  Rarely does a person who competes with his head as well as his body come out second.  That was said even before Coach Vince Lombardi by the Greeks and the Romans, and probably by the Chinese.

25.  The ability to rebound is in inverse proportion to the distance your house is from the nearest railroad tracks.

Random thoughts and notes of a basketball coach