Wednesday, December 30, 2009


from LJS:

Add this number to the pile of statistics. Place it right beside the No. 2 (Nebraska’s scoring defense) and the No. 102 (Nebraska’s ranking in total offense).

It’s the number 0. That’s how many times Bo Pelini said he’s seen a Husker player or coach point a finger at someone else on the team this year.

“Never has been and never will be as long as I’m around,” the Husker coach said of any finger-pointing."

“No matter what, you win as a team, you lose as a team. It hasn’t been difficult for us. You have to find that recipe to do what it takes, and what you need to do to win the football game. Our guys stick together. There’s never, ever going to be any finger-pointing in our football program."

Secondary coach Marvin Sanders said it hasn’t been hard keeping offensive and defensive guys united.“It’s a family,” Sanders said. “You know, it’s funny. I think people outside the program have talked about it a lot more than we ever talk about it. Somebody says, ‘Do you have confidence in (offensive coordinator Shawn) Watson?’ I said, ‘Why? I never didn’t have confidence in Watson or anybody on offense.’ I think you guys on the outside talk about it. I could care less. Watson is my family member. That offense, everybody on that offense, is family.”

“It’s just kind of how we run our organization,” Husker defensive coordinator Carl Pelini said. “There’s not a lot of ego. There’s not a lot of ‘me’ guys. It’s about the team and we know there’s three aspects. And on any given day … maybe special teams one day wins the game for you, defense another, and offense another. You’ve just got to play to your strengths and everybody does as good as you can do and hopefully it’s good enough to win the game.”

“You have a good day if you win 35-34. You gotta be happy. If you win 7-6, you gotta be happy,” Bo Pelini said. “A year ago, the offense kind of picked up the defense, and this year it was a little bit different. Each year you’ve got to find what it takes to win. There are always going to be different dynamics. But no matter what, it’s a team game.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Reminder to all: SUCCESS is about investment not entitlement; invest the time, energy, & effort into your success. Don't just expect it.
The difference between good and great players, is that great players do what they do all the time-not just occasionally! ONE time vs. ALL the time!


excerpts from an article by Tom Verducci on the Yankees Derek Jeter -- he is an excerpt:

If you were to draw up a list of Jeter's dislikes, most all of them would be what he regards as obstacles to winning:
1. Individuals who don't care about winning.

2. Self-promoters.
"I never liked people who talked about themselves all the time, gloat," he says. "If you're accomplished and have done things, people will talk about it for you. I don't think you have to point it out. I'm not judging anybody. That's just the way I am."

3. Measuring success by individual statistics.
"In this day and age, not just in baseball but in sports in general, all people care about is stats, stats, stats," he says. "You've got fantasy this, fantasy that, where you pay attention to stats. But there are ways to win games that you don't get a stat for."

4. Injury talk.
"You either play or you don't play. If you're playing, nobody wants to know what's bothering you. Sometimes it's a built-in excuse for failing."

5. Negativity.
Jeter wants nothing to do with negative questions from reporters or negative talk from teammates. He once went 0 for 32 and refused to admit he was in a slump. "We weren't allowed to use the word can't—'I can't do this, can't do that,'" Jeter says of his childhood. "My mom would say, 'What? No.' She's always positive. I don't like people always talking about the negative, negative, negative, because once you get caught in that mind-set, it's hard to get out of it."


WORKERS get the most out of themselves; when a body has limited talent, it has to muster all its resources of character to overcome this shortcoming.

If you think you are working hard, you can work harder. If you think you are doing enough, there is more that you can do. No one really ever exhausts his full potential.

Winning takes character and intelligence. It is the most important thing you can do because it’s a reaffirmation of your character.

-Pete Carril-

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why we win.......

“Why We Win”—Key Ingredients For Championship Teams

Ara Parseghian·

It’s good chemistry. It’s loyalty. It’s good personnel. A team will reflect the intensity of a coach.

Anson Dorrance·

There are several keys. One is to have a collective will. We had some teams with very average talent that collectively were just so overwhelming. That was the key. It’s tied into team chemistry, really. And tied into philosophy that we’ve sort of encouraged from the beginning—that concept of playing for each other. Playing for championships or titles is overrated. In my experience, teams aren’t motivated for championship games; they’re motivated for each other.

Joe Gibbs·

People. You don’t win with X’s and O’s. They’re needed. You’ve got to be good at it, but you don’t win with it. You win with people.

Chuck Noll·

People. You can’t do it without talent. You have to have talented players who are good people. Attitude is the thing that separates people by far. You have to be ready to work together.

Tommy Lasorda·

A championship team is when you have a team who will play for the name on the front of the jersey and not for the one on the back.

Sparky Anderson·

It’s the players. If you have good players, you’re going to have good teams. Even if you’re not there. But if you are a good coach at any level, it’s what you do with that good personnel and how you keep them focused to play.

Dan Gable·

You have a championship team when everybody is contributing close to what they’re capable of contributing. When you have a group of individuals clicking for what they need, and still understanding the total team concept, then you’re going to have a championship team.

Bill Walsh·

It’s the day-to-day hard work, and making sure everyone is working for the same single purpose.

Joe Paterno·

The expectancy. The key ingredient is to plan for it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Being a fierce competitor

Great stuff form Coach Roy Williams:

I love playing road games. I love that atmosphere. I encourage my players to treat games away from home as a wonderful challenge. I like to tell my team, "Let's go into their living room and steal their brownies." It's all about having the confidence and attitude that I can beat your butt anytime, anywhere, anyplace, anyhow...

The bottom line is that I want my players to understand that at some point in every game, somebody's going to give in, and I don't ever want it to be us. We want to be the last team standing.

Underneath Coach Williams folksy and cordial outward demeanor beats the heart of a fierce competitor. He is driven to be the best and enjoys the continual challenge of taking every opponent's best shot - whether at home or on the road. He relates several stories in the book about how his competitiveness has been an edge throughout his career. If you want to compete with the big boys and girls, you too are going to need to become a fierce competitor. More importantly, you will need to instill your own competitive will in your team as you develop them into competitors. Highly successful programs look to dictate the tempo of the competition and impose their will on their opponents. They force opponents to react to them rather than the other way around. You too can get to this level. But you must remember that having a competitive team is a big key - and it begins with you modeling it, developing it, demanding it, and rewarding it as coach.

Singletary Formula for winning

1. Hit people in the mouth (Be aggressive)

2. We are not a charity (Make your opponent earn it)

3. We execute (Focus, do the little things right, attention to detail)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What is a workout?

By George Allen, former Washington Redskins Coach
A workout is 25 percent perspiration and 75 percent determination. Stated another way, it is one part physical exertion and three parts self-discipline. Doing it is easy once you get started.

A workout makes you better today than you were yesterday. It strengthens the body, relaxes the mind, and toughens the spirit. When you work out regularly, your problems diminish and your confidence grows.

A workout is a personal triumph over laziness and procrastination. It is the badge of a winner - the mark of an organized, goal-oriented person who has taken charge of his, or her, destiny.

A workout is a wise use of time and an investment in excellence. It is a way of preparing for life's challenges and proving to yourself that you have what it takes to do what is necessary.

A workout is a key that helps unlock the door to opportunity and success. Hidden within each of us is an extraordinary force. Physical and mental fitness are the triggers that can release it.

A workout is a form of rebirth. When you finish a good workout, you don't simply feel better, YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Arm Injury Prevention

Exercises to avoid arm injury courtesy of baseball nebraska:

He's made unselfish kind of a cool thing

The following is an excerpt from an article by Pat Forde from on Tim Tebow that the quality of his character:

We can vigorously debate Tebow's place in college football history as a player. What's not up for debate is his unparalleled ability to provoke the deepest of feelings in fans of the sport.

He said afterward that he wants the fans to remember him for "how much I cared." The fact is, fans have never cared so much about a player before.

"I've never seen anything like it," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "… He's made unselfish kind of a cool thing."

None of us has seen anything like it. What makes Tebow unique in the 140-year history of this game is not just his unquenchable spirit. It's his generosity of spirit.

The numbers and awards are all impressive and voluminous, but they're not what have made the quarterback a historic figure in Florida and beyond. That's due to the winning attributes, the leadership qualities, the endless acts of charity performed off the field, the ability to graciously lead a heavily scrutinized life.

You just don't find all those things in a single college-aged package.

Tebow long ago entered another dimension of stardom, as his impact went viral. He is the most polarizing college athlete ever, by a wide margin, engendering the deepest of feelings across the culture.

Read the entire article:

Thursday, November 19, 2009


"What carries people to the top? What makes them take risks, go the extra mile, and do whatever it takes to achieve their goals? It isn't talent. It's passion. Passion is more important than a plan. Passion creates fire. It provides fuel. I have yet to meet a passionate person who lacked energy. As long as the passion is there, it doesn't matter if they fail. It doesn't matter how many times they fall down. It doesn't matter if others are against them or if people say they cannot succeed. They keep going and make the most of whatever talent they possess. They are talent-plus people and do not stop until they succeed."

From "Talent Is Never Enough" by John Maxwell

Friday, November 6, 2009

Self Confidence

From John Maxwell's book, Talent is not Enough:

The first and greatest obstacle to success for most people is their belief in themsevles. Once people figure out where their sweet spot is (the area where they are most gifted), what often hinders them isn't lack of talent. It's lack of trust in themselves, which is a self-imposed limitation. lack of belief can act as a ceiling on talent. However, when people believe in themselves, they unleash power in themselves and resources around them that almost immediately take them to a higher level. Your potential is a picture of what you can become. Belief helps you see the picture and reach for it.

The secret ingredient to winning more

The following comes from the Zig Ziglar newsletter and is written by James Smith, this was originally posted on :

It’s the one thing every one of us is familiar with, the one thing we’re able to accomplish, and even the one thing we have done our whole life. Yet, when it comes to winning, many of us lose so much because of this one key ingredient.

Amazingly, you’re doing it right now, but are you doing it to win?

If you study winners, over-achievers, the movers, the shakers, the top percentage in any class - regardless of gender, race, age, or religion, you will find a constant thread that’s so common it’s almost scary. And here’s where the really scary part comes in. The ones who are not part of the over-achievers group are actually partaking in this common thread even more, yet they’re not reaping the benefits. Now that’s insulting, unfair, and downright cruel. But it’s all by choice, our choice!

The ingredient I’m speaking of is Managed Pain. Huh? Yes, let me explain. We’ve all heard “No Pain, No Gain,” but it’s interesting to note when you study the core differences between winning and losing you will not discover a lack of talent, knowledge, brilliance, hard work, or raw skill. What you will find is those who consistently win have learned how to manage the pain they face on the way.

I’m referring to pain as anything that’s not pleasurable, such as; inconvenience, change, effort, sweat, boredom, confusion, loneliness, fear, etc. Winners realize pain for the proper purpose is productive. You see, all of us will go through a lot of pain in life. Winners spend more of their time going through pain that aligns with their goals, their vision, or their purpose. Amazingly, those who aren’t winning are also dealing with pain and to make it really bad, the pain they’re in is often not for a proper purpose!

Why is this? Lots of reasons: not knowing our purpose, not having written goals or visions, afraid, no system in place, or we simply give up on our inner capabilities. Regardless of why, those who miss out on the winning certainly don’t miss out on the pain. What a letdown. If we’re going to go through pain anyway, shouldn’t it be planned, managed, and on purpose as much as possible?I spent many years running from pain. To put it simply, I’m a pleasure junky. But the more I ran from pain, the more pain I went through because there’s pain on all roads, even the detours. I’ve finally learned that pain is a major part of winning. It’s the pain from losing that makes the pleasure from winning so wonderful.

Think about this: thirst is what makes water so valuable. Being cold is the only way we can ever appreciate and enjoy being warm, or vice versa.

Did you know when you grasp the idea that pain is part of the process you can instantly win more out of life than you’ve ever imagined? Your new perception will tell you recessions, layoffs, or other unforeseen adversities are part of the process. Instead of getting a bad attitude and immediately running from it you will stop, analyze the situation, check it against your goals or visions for life, and if it lines up you will go through the pain instead of take a detour!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


“Team Sports are really difficult things. Sometimes your team wins because of you, sometimes in spite of you, and sometimes its like you are not even there. That’s the reality of the team game. Then at one point in my career something wonderful happened I don’t know why or how but I came to understand what “team” meant. It meant that although I didn’t get a hit or make a great defensive play, I could impact the team in an incredible and consistent way. I learned I could impact my team by caring first and foremost about the team’s success and not my own. I don’t mean by rooting for us like a typical fan, fans are fickle. I mean care, really care about the team…about “us”. I became less selfish, less lazy, less sensitive to negative comments. When I gave up me, I became more. I became a captain, a leader, a better person and I came to understand that life is a team game…and you know what?…I’ve found most people aren’t team players. They don’t realize that life is the only game in town. Someone should tell them. It has made all the difference in the world to me. “

Don Mattingly/All Star first baseman/NY Yankee Captain

Wanting to get better

Five years ago, Tim Lincecum was on his way to earning Freshman of the Year honors at the University of Washington.

Today, he's getting ready for his second season since winning the Cy Young Award in November of last year. Nicknamed "The Freak," the 5-foot-11, 174-pound Lincecum isn't resting on his laurels.

"I always want to get better," said Lincecum, who had a league-high 265 strikeouts last season for the Giants. "I come into this year, I'm not just sitting on my ass hoping everything's going to be all right because of last year. I've got to come out here and work and become better. That's what it takes to be a good major-league baseball player."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Committed or interested?

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when it is convenient. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses.”

-John Maxwell


“We just want to win. That’s the bottom line. I think a lot of times people may become content with one championship or a little bit of success, but we don’t really reflect on what we’ve done in the past. We focus on the present.” – Derek Jeter

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Handling Expectations

The following comes from a great piece written by Don Yeager for Success Magazine on maintaining excellence. The following are some thoughts he penned from UNC's Roy Williams:
"But I want them to have dreams, not expectations. I want them to have goals, not be concerned about what others say. I wanted them to realize from the earliest point that others who have lots to say have nothing invested. We will be successful if we make the investment and ignore the hype. If you have dreams and goals and are committed to them, are working toward them, it becomes easier to block those outside forces.”
“I recruit character as much as I recruit ability,” Williams says. “And if you’ve built a teamof character, they can handle moments that others cannot and they accept coaching on how tomanage pressure.”
“Most elite teams have elite players,” he says. “And when the guy others look up to also happens to be dedicated to constant development, that’s a dream situation.”
Williams used his preseason time with players to reinforce his message and offer his prescription. “I reminded each player that the way you deal with expectations is to focus only on today,” he says. “Yes we have a plan for the entire year, but it all begins with what we are going to do today. If you work to be the best you can be today, you’re preparing yourself to be the best you can be tomorrow. It sounds simple, but it’s not.
“If each of us works every day to be the best we can be on that day and then come back and do the same tomorrow, then we have a better chance of being our very best at year’s end. Will that be enough to win a national championship?
That’s hard to say in college basketball today.
“But handling as high expectations as we are gives us our best chance for success.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Importance of Encouragement

Fourth side
You've heard of football coaches talk of doing well on “all three sides'' of the ball — offense, defense and special teams.

At Texas Tech, a “fourth side'' has been added.

“Our sideline is our fourth side,'' Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill said. “If you participate in sports, having your teammates cheer for you is a big, big deal. And we make a big deal out of it.''

Red Raiders head coach Mike Leach ordered almost all benches removed from the sideline at home so his players would be forced to stand up and watch.

But just watching isn't enough.

“We're traveling with some guys right now who know they're not going to play one second,'' McNeill said. “Their job is to go through pregame and then make sure they cheer the team on.

“That's one thing Mike has done, and we've agreed to it as coaches.''

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


From Think Like a Champion: A Guide to Championship Performance for Student-Athletes By Dick Devenzio

When is it okay to encourage your teammates? I’d say anytime, always, now, tomorrow. It is always useful to encourage your teammates. And I would go a step further than that: if you fail to encourage your teammates often, you are failing to contribute to a significant aspect of team-building.

1. It is hard to overestimate the value of encouragement. Many people don’t show outwardly the effect encouragement has on them—how it lifts their spirits, makes them proud, and inspires them to put out extra effort—but few people remain untouched by it. Often, in fact, the people who seem least touched or least in need of encouragement are actually those who are most affected and most in need.

2. The major point here is don’t base your encouragement on the response you get, or lack thereof. If your encouragement is sincere and well-intentioned, it will hit its mark. It will be worthwhile. I earn to make encouragement an integral part of your game, of your everyday performance.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thoughts from various coaches in sports.......

Great teams have great teammates -- how you interact with each other is critical to success as is how you talk to each other!

Good to great is more than a very good statement and requires a commitment to up your concentration; up work ethic; and up your creativity

KEYS TO HAVING A GREAT TEAM: 1. an unselfish offensive mindset; 2. an everyday commitment to defense; and 3. a committment execute to perfection system wide

Teams must understand: any group of players can put on the same uniform but that does not make a team; a team is about shared commitment

The great ones are committed to personal accountability; they often blame themselves first; figure out how they can get better at something

Who is going to lead the team this year in the hidden stats; # of times pulls team together; # of times motivates teammates, ect.

Successful people do all the things that the unsuccessful people don't want to do; don't feel they should do; or are too cool to do

Pre-season: when it hurts a little bit before the season; it usually helps A LOT during the season!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's all about the team!

“I don’t get a big charge out of being
the leading scorer. The object of
competing is winning. I just try to do
what has to be done for us
to win. That might be anything at
the time — defense, rebounding,
passing. I get great satisfaction
out of being a team player.”



“Greatness is not about someone who has the ability to be great…Greatness shows up when someone might not have the ability but finds a way to succeed. They outwork their opponents, they outhit their opponents, they outfight their opponents. They want it more. Don’t give me the guy who’s supposed to be all-world and you’ve got to try and talk him into something. Give me the guy who has maybe just enough talent to be on the field but thinks he’s great, and who’s willing to do whatever he can do to contribute, to make the team better. That’s what I want…”
-Mike Singletary
Head Coach San Francisco 49ers

Friday, September 25, 2009

Success is an everyday proposition

posted on

From "The Winner's Manual" by Jim Tressel
"Success is an everyday proposition. It isn’t defined by a championship game or the day you get your diploma, get drafted by an NFL team, make the big sale, land the account of a lifetime, or get your law degree. But the key to a successful life is in the journey and the process. It’s that emphasis on the journey to success that we work on each day, step by step.

To me, the process is what’s most fun in football, and I’m sure it’s that way for any profession.

The process of going full bore into the season and balancing your purpose with your goals and the family you love and all the things you try to accomplish—it’s a daily adventure.

It’s important to let our goals spring from our purpose. It makes sense that if we’re going to do the best we can do, our best should come from who we really are."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Quiet Leadership

Bo Pelini obviously has no problems with the way Ndamukong Suh is playing, or leading.
Pelini describes Suh as "a leader by example." Most everyone describes the standout senior DT that way.
Quiet leadership works just fine, Bo said.
"The best leader I've ever been around is Jerry Rice, and he never said a word -- or very seldom did," said Pelini, an assistant secondary coach for the San Francisco 49ers from 1994-96.

A leader does not always have to lead with his voice, he can lead with his actions.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Teamwork makes the dream work

From John Maxwell's "The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork:"

One mistake I’ve seen people repeatedly make is that they focus too much attention on their dream and too little on their team. But the truth is that if you build the right team, the dream will almost take care of itself.

Take for example a player that has a dream of playing athletics at the Division I level. This dream will not happen unless the team does well. The same can be said for all state honors, the team must do well for it to happen.

If you want to achieve your dream—I mean really do it, not just imagine what it would be like—then grow your team.

When the team you have doesn’t match up to the team of your dreams, then you have only two choices: Give up your dream, or grow up your team.

Monday, August 31, 2009

It is all about attitude!

“If you come out to get through it, if you don’t compete, then other people are going to pass you by. And that’s the facts. That’s what we were last year. We didn’t always come out here with the right attitude, the right focus. And it showed at times. Hopefully this year we’re more mature and we have a better understanding what it takes to have success at this level of college football.” — NU coach Bo Pelini

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Great quote from George Brett that Coach Cooley posted earlier this week:

A reporter once asked 3 time batting champion and Hall of Famer George Brett what he wanted to do in his last at-bat before retiring, he gave the following response:

"I want to hit a routine grounder to second and run all out to first base, then get thrown out by a half step. I want to leave an example to the young guys that that's how you play the game: ALL OUT."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mental Toughness

“I think mental toughness is the difference in this League in being successful. I just think you let the competition take over. If you gear yourself to the competition, whether it’s the one-on-one, hitter-pitcher, or team against team, that’s where you’ll get measured.”-Tony LaRussa

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Belichick on LEADERSHIP

"When a player comes to work in the morning, he is PREPARED, READY TO GO, READY TO GO, READY TO IMPROVE as a player, READY TO HELP the team, ALERT, AWAKE, and has a GOOD ATTITUDE. You couldn't have any more leadership than that. That's what a true leader does, and believe me, some of the best leaders on the New England Patriots would never ever in 100 years stand up in front of the team and say, "Oh guys, we've got to do this or that."

Tiger's Attitude


I came across this article and I could really relate. I have never been a big fan of golf probably because I have never stepped on a course. But over the past five years I have been glued to the set on the weekend to watch Tiger. Not just to watch Tiger but to hear him talk about what he does. You don't have to be a golfer to see some of the reads why Tiger is so special. He has a very analytical mind along with a champions work ethic. But he also has a special mindset which Jeff Herring talks about:
I am not a golfer, unless you count an occasional game of putt-putt. I'm not even a fan of the game. But I am a fan of excellence, and so the following quotes by golfing great Tiger Woods recently caught my attention:
"I smile at obstacles."

"My will can move mountains."

"I will do it with all my heart."

This is a great approach to solving problems and facing challenges in life.

"I smile at obstacles."
What a novel approach. Most of the time, we cringe, avoid and complain instead. Unfortunately, none of that solves a problem. Often, problems just get worse.
Smiling at obstacles means we know that we're bigger than the problems facing us, because we know we will learn and become stronger and wiser through solving them.Instead of complaining about challenges, we can see them as gifts. Most every problem or challenge comes with a gift in its hands. The gift is what we will learn through solving the problems and facing the challenges.
Several years ago I worked in a drug rehab program for teenagers. Late one evening, as I talked with one of the staff about the crises of the day, I said "You know what, whatever we do in the rest of our careers will have to be easier than this." Scott's response was, "Either that, or this is just preparing us for what's next."

Scott was right. Problems and challenges can either define you or refine you. When you embrace the situation in front of you, you are refined like gold.

"My will can move mountains"
This does not mean that our will is the be all and end all of any given situation, or that our will can get us anything we want. Frankly, if humans are the be all and end all, we are all in big trouble. What this quote means, I believe, is that when we focus our energy on the problems before us, they are in trouble. The ability to understand where you are, look at where you exactly want to go, create a plan to get there, and then work the plan for all you are worth brings incredible rewards.
Focused action can move the mountains in front of you. But too many times we are like the frog in this riddle: "Three frogs were sitting in a pond on a lily pad when one decided to jump off. How many frogs were left?" Most people say two. The correct answer is three, because while the frog may have decided to jump, he did not jump off.
While it's important to decide to do something, focused action is the only way to get the results you want.

"I will do it with all my heart"
I believe most people sleepwalk through life. Just stand outside a large office building on a Monday morning. You'll see people in trances, sleepwalking through their day.
Yet when we bring all our heart to any activity, we come alive and actually have the opportunity to live the way we say we want to.
All of us know folks who brings their whole heart to what they do. Don't you love being around them?
Why not be one of those people yourself?
When we bring our whole heart to a problem or challenge, it is easier to solve, and we just might have fun along the way.

There is a saying that there is a time in the life of every problem or challenge when it is big enough to notice, and small enough to solve easily.
When you bring these three skills to the table, you will notice problems early, solve them easily and grow more than you ever thought you would.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A simple approach to scouting....

"Belichick's general defensive philosophy was simple.
Find out what the other guys do best -- whish is what they
always want to do, especially under pressure in a big game --
take it away from them, and make them do things
that they are uncomfortable with."
From The Education of a Coach
By David Halberstam

How bad do you want it?

Great 12 minute story. Well worth your time:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I ask our players to give more of themselves than they think is possible. I know they have more inside of them. I know it. That's why I set such high standards for them physically. I want them to learn how to dig deeper.
By doing things when you are too tired, by pushing yourself father than you thought you could -- like running the track after a two-hour practice -- you can become a competitor. Each time you go beyond your perceived limit, you become mentally stronger.

-Pat Summitt

Pain of Discipline vs. Pain of Regret

“Most people want to avoid pain, and discipline is often painful. But we need to recognize that there are really two kinds of pain when it comes to our daily conduct. There’s the pain of self-discipline and the pain of regret. Many people avoid the pain of self-discipline because it’s the easy thing to do. What they may not realize is that the pain of self-discipline is momentary but the pay-off is long lasting.”
-John Maxwell

Prepare to beat the best

Great quote from Bob Knight on preparation:

“I’ve always felt you can beat average, mediocre teams in a lot of ways. You can only beat good teams with good, solid basketball. My whole concern with everything we do is how will it work against the best teams — not in most games against most teams but in the biggest games against the best teams.”-Bob Knight

Monday, July 20, 2009

Don Meyer, Winner of Jimmy V Award 2009

Great Messages for ALL!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


There are aces, closers, sluggers and Gold Glovers. And then there are the really important people in a ballclub: the glue guys.

“Glue” guys, in baseball parlance, are the players whose oft-overlooked performance quietly holds winning teams together—and without which, presumably, the team would fall apart. Statisticians don’t buy that they exist, but psychologists do. And players and managers swear by them.

He’s the scrapper,” says Charlie Manuel, manager of the defending World Series-champion Philadelphia Phillies. “The guy who plays every day. Who gets big hits. Hustles. He’s the guy who, in his own way, whether it’s quiet or spoken or whatever, he leads.”

Jason Bartlett is a glue guy. Before he joined the Rays last season, Tampa Bay had baseball’s worst record in 2007, due greatly to having the majors’ worst defense. Then Mr. Bartlett came over from the Twins and took over the shortstop position. The Rays’ defense became the best in baseball last season and they reached the World Series.

Tim Wakefield, the Red Sox’s knuckleball pitcher, is a glue guy. As Boston’s pitching staff has evolved over the past 15 years—with youngsters coming, veterans going and pricey additions like Daisuke Matsuzaka not always delivering—the dependable constant has been Mr. Wakefield, a first-time All-Star this year at 42 who has made at least 15 starts each season.

As baseball enters the second half of the season Thursday, the top contenders all have a glue guy or two whom they attribute part of their success to. With the Tigers, it’s All-Star third baseman Brandon Inge, who not only has a surprising 21 home runs but is also hitting .348 in close, late-game situations. With the Yankees, as usual, it’s shortstop Derek Jeter, who owns the highest on-base percentage among the American League’s starting shortstops despite being its oldest (35). And the Phillies insist slugger Ryan Howard is a glue guy—despite not fitting the tag’s small, scrappy stereotype—because he quietly never takes a day off.

“They’re the reliable guys,” says Braves president John Schuerholz, “who, in the toughest of circumstances, in the biggest of moments, deliver the goods.”

The legend of the glue guy is an extension of the age-old question in sports over whether natural “winners” exist—players who are greater than their statistics indicate, who win in part because of their force of will or ability to perform under pressure. Whether it’s with superstars who make clutch plays or unknowns who have a knack for being in the right place at the right time, fans and observers ascribe special talents to these players—often exaggerating their actual contributions.

Michael Jordan famously said in a 1997 Nike commercial that he’d missed 26 potential game-winning shots. “He’s probably been successful about 50 times,” then-Bulls coach Phil Jackson said at the time. But when Mr. Jordan retired from the Bulls in 1999—seven months after making his iconic shot to beat the Jazz for the championship—the total number of game-winning shots he’d hit was 25.

Skeptical about whether winners exist, statistician Scott Berry of Berry Consultants studied the matter in 2005. Taking the statistics of more than 14,000 players who had played in Major League Baseball, he created a formula to find the ultimate winner: the player whose teams exceeded their win-loss expectations the most when he happened to be on them.

The winners’ winner? Dennis Cook, a journeyman lefty reliever in the 1990s. Several players whom fans widely regard as winners and glue guys did fare well: Mr. Jeter, the Yankees shortstop, was in the 97th percentile, and David Wells, a noted big-game pitcher in the 1990s and 2000s, was in the 99th. But the presence of the relatively unknown Mr. Cook at the top, Mr. Berry says, proves his point. “Announcers refer to players who just have the will to win,” he says. “The fact that he comes out on top pokes fun at that notion.”
But Mr. Cook does believe in glue. Although he admits he was lucky to bounce from one winner to the next—including the 1996 division-winning Rangers, the 1997 world-champion Marlins and the 2000 National League-winning Mets—Mr. Cook says his teams won in part because they invested in overlooked roles like middle relievers.

“A long man who eats up 100 innings a year, he saves the rest of your pitching staff,” he says. “Those guys don’t get recognized, but they’re every bit as important. Baseball people see that, but number-crunchers don’t.”

Psychologists say there is indeed a spill-over effect with glue guys that helps their teams win, one which goes beyond quantifiable contributions. John F. Murray, a sports psychologist in Palm Beach, Fla., says that teams are much like fraternities or high schools in that players spend a massive amount of time in close proximity to each other. Because of this, “they’re constantly influencing one another,” he says. “One of the keys to confidence is social support and modeling. If you have some outstanding role models who deal with pressure effectively, that glue is going to spill out of the bottle and help everyone.”

A huge hole in the reasoning of glue believers is that it’s impossible to know in retrospect how teams would have fared without their glue players. For example, the Rays won 58% of their games (11 of 19) earlier this season when Mr. Bartlett, their slick-fielding shortstop, was out with an injured ankle. They’ve won 54% overall. But the first-place Phillies’ abundance of glue, according to both them and their opponents, appears to be what’s put that franchise over the top—just a few years after it had a reputation for underachieving. “It’s not about just one guy,” says All-Star second baseman Chase Utley.

The Phillies’ most-talented players also happen to be their glue guys, including Mr. Utley, who has led the majors the past two years in times hit by pitch, and Mr. Howard, who has played in 362 of Philadelphia’s last 363 games. Unlike many left-handed hitters over the years, he even refused to take a day off against Randy Johnson once last season.

“He’s definitely a leader, just by keeping his mouth shut,” Mr. Manuel says. “I call him the Big Piece. As in the big piece of the puzzle.”

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Forward Thinking

previously posted by Coach Cooley

Florida coach Billy Donovan is big on bringing in other players and coaches to talk to his team. A couple of years ago Bill Belicheck met with the team shortly before the SEC tournament. Florida was #1 in the country and Donovan wanted to make sure the team did not get full of themselves.

Belicheck showed them a video of the Breeders' Cup (which is a horse race) and paused the tape halfway through the race with the outcome still up in the air. He asked the team "Who will win? The horse with the most experienced jockey? The horse who has won the most money? The horse with the best odds prior to the race?" The team was puzzled, "No, it's the horse that runs the best race from here on out. You can't focus on prior accomplishments/failures, you must only foucs on the present and doing your best the next play."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Being Perfect

Great motivational clip from Friday Night Lights

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Attitude and Upsets

"I think the final outcome of most football games is affected more by attitude then by talent. I once heard someone say that an upset is really in the mind of the favorite. If the favored team plays to the best of their ability, the underdog probably isn’t going to win. But if there’s an upset, it’s probably because the favorite didn’t have the right attitude. A team that has the right attitude and happens to be blessed with the greater talent and ability is not likely to be upset. As a football team, we have to understand that our thinking affects everything we do."

-From Jim Tressel's "Winners Manual"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More thoughts from Paul Mainieri- LSU Baseball

-Baseball is a humbling game- you must concentrate and focus

-As soon as you think you have this game figured out it will jump up and beat you down

- Be loose but not lackadazical
Be confident but not arrogant
Be intense but not tight

- Hitting will always be up and down. Pitching and defense must be consistent

-In the first inning it is not that important to score runs, it is more important to make the pitcher throw pitches and show him that you mean business and he is going to have to work hard to get us out

-To win championships you have to have everyone 'locked in'

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Pitching Rubber- RESET BUTTON

To me the pitching rubber is a giant Reset Button. Think about the last time you played video games, especially by yourself and against the computer. If you were playing a football game against the computer and it returns the opening kickoff for a touchdown, what are you most likely to do? If you’re honest, you’d probably push the Reset Button and start over…right?

Why can’t you take that same approach into pitching?Every time a pitcher toes the rubber it doesn’t matter how good or bad his last pitch was. It only matters what he does from this point forward. Essentially, when he toes the rubber he has reset the game and is playing from the beginning all over again. Another way of saying it is that the next pitch is always the beginning of the rest of the game.

Pitchers control ALL action on the baseball field. No other person on the field acts independently. Only the pitcher has the ability to control what every other person on the field does. The pitcher controls whether the umpire yells “Strike”, he controls, to a great degree, if the batter hits the ball and where that ball goes (should he be lucky enough to make contact). Therefore the movement of the defense is predicated on where the ball is hit which is ultimately controlled by where the pitcher locates the pitch. On a basic level the pitcher is in control. Hitters, catchers, centerfielders, umpires, coaches, fans and announcers all react to the pitcher’s action. Once a pitcher understands his ability to control a game he can use a device, such as the Reset Button, to help him focus on the task at hand.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Profile of a winning team

The difference between playing to win and playing not to lose is often the difference between success and mediocrity.

Team members believe in themselves, their teammates, and their dream. And they don’t allow negative thinking to derail them.

The highest reward for their efforts isn’t what they get from it, but who they become because of it. Team members know intuitively that if they’re through improving, they’re through.

Winners are empowers. As Charlie Brower says, “Few people are successful unless a lot of other people want them to be.”

From “Teamwork Makes The Dream Work”
by John C. Maxwell

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Staying Relaxed at the Plate

Ripken's Rules

Cal Ripken's Rules:
Love The Game
Love Your Team
Play At The Highest Level

Monday, June 22, 2009

The competior to be feared the most..........

"The competitor to be feared the most is one who never worries about others at all, but goes on making himself better all the time."

-That is a quote that Blake Griffin has used to stay motivated. In an interview with ESPN, Griffin spoke of how he tries to control only what he can. He is set to become the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hitting with Confidence- LSU Baseball

Great stuff from Coach Paul Maineri on hitting with confidence.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


by Steve Pivovar

OMAHA, Neb. – Texas' latest postseason dramatics reinforced the teachings of two of baseball's great philosophers – Augie Garrido and Yogi Berra.

The Longhorns moved into Friday's Bracket Two championship game by pulling off another great escape in beating Arizona State on Tuesday night. Texas fell behind by six runs three innings into the game. The Sun Devils had the pitcher that Garrido considers the best in America on the mound.

But the Longhorns scored 10 straight runs and got a shut-down effort by freshman reliever Taylor Jungmann to snatch the win.

At a point when some coaches might have gone ballistic after watching their teams boot balls and squander opportunities, Garrido gathered his team around him in the dugout before the fourth inning and calmly preached a message of hope.

"How you perceive yourself has more to do in what you become than your skill or your talent," said Garrido, whose team plays today's North Carolina-Arizona State winner at 6 p.m. Friday.

"So if you perceive yourself as a loser, you're going to lose. We had just finished three innings as the Bad News Bears. I reminded them that even the Bad News Bears were good by the end of the movie."

The Longhorns are 7-1 since the tournament started and 48-14-1 overall. They've won games in NCAA play in 25 innings, on a walk-off grand slam and a walk-off walk. They've won on nights when they've had great pitching and meager hitting and when the hitters rescued faltering pitchers.

They beat Arizona State by scoring six runs in the fourth inning against Sun Devils ace Mike Leake, the No. 8 pick in last week's Major League draft and the owner of a 16-1 record and a 1.36 ERA. Catcher Cameron Rupp ignited the rally with a three-run homer, then put Texas ahead with his second homer of the game to lead off the seventh. The Longhorns tacked on three runs in the eighth.

Garrido has coached five national championship teams – three at Cal State Fullerton, two at Texas. He declined to compare the run Texas finds itself on to any of the championship drives his other clubs have made. After all, each team has its own identity, its own soul, its own karma.

He would say this is a team that is learning its lessons.

"We have not had an easy game in our eight games in the tournament," Garrido said. "Each one has demanded different things of this team. What we've done proves to me that there is a certain spirituality, and it's all about attitude and what you have to give to each other and that sense of responsibility you have to each other."

Asked what he and his teammates have learned in their wild ride through the postseason, Texas second baseman Travis Tucker borrowed from Berra's baseball philosophy: It ain't over 'til it's over.

"You can't give up in this game," Tucker said. "No matter how far you're down, there's always a chance to win if we really trust each other and have confidence in each other. That's all you can ask for."

Tucker and Rupp praised Garrido's restraint when Tuesday's game sank to its darkest moment. They've seen that from their coach before, but his reaction on college baseball's grandest stage kept the players from panicking, Rupp said.

"I'm sure coach was upset after the way we had played for the first three innings," he said. "But he stayed calm and he stayed with us."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

State JV Baseball 2009

Memorial Field in Kearney. Host to state JV Baseball 2009

* Built in the early 1950's
* Once home to a New York Yankees minor league team
* Natural Grass outfield; FieldTurf infield
* Dimensions (355 Left, 395 Center, 325 Right)
* Building behind the home dugout includes player locker rooms and indoor hitting cages

LSU- Patience at the plate pays off!

Great article on how LSU has stayed patient at the plate this year.

Here is the story by Gary Laney:

OMAHA, Neb. — Ryan Schimpf said he was just trying to get a pitch to hit.

He never got it, so his first plate appearance of the night turned into a marathon, 13-pitch walk and an early turning point in LSU’s 9-1 win over Arkansas on Monday that put the Tigers among the final four teams at the College World Series.

The epic battle between Schimpf and Arkansas starter Brett Eibner included seven two-strike pitches that Schimpf fouled off before Eibner finally blinked and threw ball four.

Before that, there were an array of balls that were batted into souvenir status or into the net that protects the fans behind home plate.

“I thought Ryan Schimpf’s at-bat was really one of the better at-bats of the year,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “That was amazing. He just kept battling. And give credit to Eibner, he just kept pumping strikes in there and he ended up getting the walk. And I think that set the tone for the game.”

It also set a pattern. Three batters later, Mikie Mahtook also spoiled a two-strike pitch before belting a three-run home run into the left-field bleachers. In the sixth inning, Jared Mitchell fouled off a two-strike pitch before delivering a full-count, RBI single.

LSU finished with 13 hits, three home runs and all nine runs scored with two outs, a sign the Tigers weren’t just swinging from the heels and knocking the cover off the ball. They were also scrapping at the plate.

“When we get deep into counts, we are not worrying about it,” Schimpf said. “We’ve just been fighting and battling and we are doing a good job seeing the ball in Omaha so far.”

Schimpf’s walk came after DJ LeMahieu led off the game with a single. Three batters after Schimpf, Mahtook slammed a hanging slider into the left-field bleachers. By the end of the inning, Eibner had labored for 39 pitches.

“The more pitches he throws, Mahtook said, “the more likely he’s going to make a mistake.”

And get tired. The long first inning guaranteed LSU would get into the Arkansas bullpen early.

“That’s the key to being successful,” said right fielder Jared Mitchell, whose three hits included a two-out, two-strike RBI single in the sixth inning that came after he fouled off a two-strike pitch. “Get that starter out and get to somebody else.”

That is something LSU is doing exceptionally well in the postseason. Monday was the sixth straight game where the opponent’s starter didn’t get out of the sixth inning. In five of those six games, the other guy hasn’t made it out of the fifth inning.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Committment to the TEAM

"Players who are committed to the team first will find a way to help when things are going bad, they will do whatever it takes. Kids that are more into themselves will not do that. They will take care of themselves and get more individual when things are tough."-Dick Bennett-


Pat Murphy on DEFENSE

Take pride in defense!
-Everyone takes responsibility for a bad play
-Team Defense Saying: "Hit it to me and your out!"
-Keep it simple, go get the ball, keep your feet under you
-Anticipate live balls off bats, get good jumps
-What types of balls are hit to your position?
-Play with passion, have fun

Hitting a wall??

Great stuff I want to pass on from

Although Kobe Bryant won't admit he is tired after a long year with both the Olympics and the grueling NBA season, there is little doubt that his body is feeling fatigued. However, Bryant won't even yet tired enter his thought process:

"I'm aware of bouncing back after a tough loss," Bryant said Wednesday. "Hopefully we can do it again. As far as me hitting the wall, so what if I did? I didn't, but so what if I did?"
"What does it mean if you did?" asked reporter Ken Berger.
"It means nothing because I'll run straight through it."

It is all about attitude, which a player or coach can control.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people thing or say or do. It is more important than appearance or skill. It will make or break a team, a company or a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day about the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. The only thing we can do is play on the one string that we have and that is our attitude."
-Chuck Swindoll-

Monday, June 8, 2009

Slaying a SLUMP

You and Mr. MLB have one thing in common: slumps. They’re inevitable, frustrating and inexplicable. So, to keep your mind sound to pound the ball consistently, here is some compiled advice from three MLB stars on how to deal with failure in the batter’s box:
Dustin Pedroia

1. It’s not you, it’s everyone. According to Wieters, “You just have to realize that everyone’s going to go through [a slump] at different times.” Wieters’ advice is to keep the slump short. “Don’t let it go on six, seven or eight games,” he says. “Try to make it two or three games.” Easier said than done, but it’s important to treat every at-bat as a fresh start.

2. Don’t over-think. Try not to turn every at-bat into a complicated chess match, since the pitcher isn’t Bobby Fischer (though it’s rumored he had a wicked slider). Sizemore feels your slump pain. He says, “It’s tough because it seems when you’re slumping, nothing you do is right. Every time you think ‘inside,’ [the pitch] is away. Or every time you think ‘get the ball out in front,’ you’re [way] out in front.” Sizemore recommends reverting back to the mindset you had when you were successful at the plate—how did it feel?

3. Take one for the team. If you’re having trouble making contact, do whatever else you can to get on base and help your squad. Be more patient at the plate: take ball four or man up and get hit by a pitch. “I just go up there and try to get on base…that’s my job,” Pedroia says.

4. More BP. Wieters advises, “Mentally, sometimes you might need to get in the cage and swing until you feel comfortable.” Then, if your bat continues to feel like Swiss cheese, take a breather. Wieters continues, “Sometimes you might need to step away from baseball for just a little bit. Relax, and wait for that one hit, because once it comes, you’re out of the slump and it’s gravy from there.”

5. Don’t tinker with your swing. Getting in the cage doesn’t mean you have to drastically alter your swing. Sizemore says, “Nine times out of ten, it’s not really your swing. More times than not, when you’re struggling with your swing, it’s timing and not mechanics.”

6. Don’t obsess with personal goals. Pedroia warns, “In our game, there’s a lot that can go wrong with setting goals, because a lot of little things can happen that could prevent [you from achieving them].” Baseball is unique in that it’s a team sport that relies on individual accomplishments. But keep in mind it’s all about winning. “The only goal that I set [was] trying to help the team win the World Series, and [that happened],” Pedroia says.

Texas and their bunting game

Here is a link to an article on Texas and how they use the bunt game to be consistent.

Here are a few excerpts from the USA TODAY article:

The Longhorns' strategy runs contrary to the major league approach to offense, which practically states that no player can ever be asked to lay down a bunt, save maybe in the World Series.

"They don't bunt until it's important. Here, every game is important. We do have a player development responsibility," Garrido said, before adding, "but with a priority of the University of Texas winning."

Back when he was at Cal State Fullerton trying to succeed in the West against baseball titans USC and Arizona State and their power pitchers, Garrido's batters bunted them into a fury.

"They'd scream at us, 'Swing the bats, you midgets,' " he said. "The more they yelled, the more we bunted."

His teams excelled at it. He won three national titles at Fullerton in three different decades.

Once in a College World Series game against Miami, five Fullerton batters in a row bunted. "We scored five runs," Garrido said, "and not a ball went over 60 feet."

Fullerton's still doing it. Dave Serrano's Titans have 75 sacrifice bunts, the third most nationally.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thoughts from Joe Torre......

"I do love the feeling of a big win. But you don't have to have a world series ring to be a winner. A winner is somebody who goes out there every day and exhausts himself trying to get something accomplished. Being able to get the most from their ability. That's what characterizes a winner."

"After 25 years of managing teams, the last 11 with the Yankees, I have learned not to live in the past and dwell on something that failed. I believe anybody who is not afraid to fail is a winner."

"The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden told me once that you can be prepared and ahve the best talent that there is, but you can't necessarily control the outcome."

"It all comes down to respect. To me, its the golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated."