Brad Stevens, head coach Butler men's basketball

Stubbornly persist,

and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness

go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.

~Robert Brault

*** NOTE: Brad Stevens (above) REFUSED to accept the “mid-major” tag the so-called “experts” were trying to hang on his team. He continued to persist in his belief that:

 “There is NO such thing as mid-major when the game starts. It’s just two basketball teams”

Very quietly and confidently he has led his team to

the 2010 Final Four!

His “stubborn persistence” outlasted the “limits” of others!!

Don’t let ANYONE’s limits keep you from achieving your goals!!!

March Madness Inspires Me

It never ceases to amaze me that besides all of the great basketball  drama; BUSTED brackets (especially this year on the men’s side), and upsets galore — there are always incredible stories of coaches and players that overcame adversity in their lives. These stories include tragedy, sickness, disappointments, and setbacks; but, the common thread is that through it all, these teams or individuals persevered!!   

Let’s take a closer look at this year’s tournament: 

  • University of Tennessee Volunteers men’s basketball: In January, 2010: 4 Tennessee men’s basketball players were arrested during a

    Bruce Pearl, Tennessee head basketball coach

    traffic stop for speeding near Tennessee’s campus. They were later charged with numerous misdeamor counts including possession of marijuana and illegal possession of a firearm. Head coach, Bruce Pearl, suspends these players (sending a strong message) and plays several weeks with 7 only players!! At the time, the “Vols” were 10-2 and ranked 14th in the country. In spite of this adversity, Coach Pearl continues coaching, motivating, utilizing the team he HAS in front of him and they end up reaching the Elite 8 and losing to Michigan State in a one point thriller, 70-69.


  •   Coach Frank Martin, now head coach of Kansas State’s men’s basketball team, was a newly hired assistant coach under Bob Huggins, at Kansas State, in March of 2006. While on the recruiting trail Frank Martin began to feel sick and he took some Advil, drank some water 

Frank Martin

and thought he could “sweat it out.” Before long, his temperature rose and he was shaking uncontrollably. Another assistant coach checked on him in his hotel room, saw his condition and Martin was rushed to the hospital, where his temperature soon rose to 105. Frank Martin was told he had pancreatic cancer, which has a survival rate of 4%. Devastated, he called his wife who had returned to their home in Cincinnati, of the news. Later the doctors returned with a prognosis of pancreatitis, and not cancer and that he would be ok. Pancreatitis has two high triggers of alcohol and high-fat foods and so through discipline and determination he has it under control. This year as head coach of Kansas State’s men’s basketball, he led them to the winningest season in Kansas State basketball history (29-3) and a birth in the Elite 8!!

  • Finally, Tiffanie Shives, a 5-10, junior guard for Gonzaga University, was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 10 years old. Tiffanie overcomes adversity on a daily basis with the need to constantly check her blood sugar, take medication, monitor her diet; IN ADDITION

    Tiffanie Shives, Gonzaga point guard

    to being an outstanding student/athlete on one the most improved women’s basketball programs in the country! On top of the diabetic condition, Tiffanie also overcame a season-ending knee injury that caused her to sit out the ‘Zags, 1st win in the NCAA’s last year. Talk about overcoming adversity!!


These are just a few of the many incredible stories from this year’s tournament alone. I have been collecting stories like this for several years because they have inspired me! When I hear of these stories — it always reminds me of my favorite quote, Adversity causes some men to break; and others to BREAK records” – William A Ward.  How do you respond to adversity? Do you hide in a closet and lament “woe is me?” or “WHY me?” Or do you, like Bruce Pearl, Frank Martin, Tiffanie Shives, use that adversity to motivate you to persevere and WIN??!!! These people show me what’s important:  

It’s not about what happens to you; but what you DO about what happens to you” – AR Bernard  

“March Madness Inspires Me” — to overcome “Life’s Challenges” 

Revisit of “The Definite Dozen”

"Reach For The Summitt", by Pat Summit - Great book!



I have have mentioned before, from time to time, I like to revisit books that I’ve read before. Usually, it is a couple of years later and I am in a different place maturity & leadership-wise. During the revisit; I will always discover a “nugget” that I didn’t see before because I “see” differently than I did back then!

My most recent revisit was to the book, “Reach For The Summit”, by Pat Summitt, legendary head coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers women’s basketball team. In this book, she outlines her “Definite Dozen” system for succeeding at whatever you do. We are going to take a look at the Definite Dozen, and I hope you find some “nuggets in the Dozens” for YOU!


Pat Summitt: “As we get caught up in teh day-to-day matters, we sometimes forget what’s really importantto us. I like to keep the Definite Dozennearby as a reminder.”

An overview of the Definite Dozen:

1.   Respect Yourself and Others.

  • There is no such thing as self-respect without respect for others.
  • Individual success is a myth. No one succeeds by herself.
  • People who do not respect those around them will not make good team members and probably lack self-esteem themselves.
  • When you ask yourself “Do I deserve to succeed?” make sure the answer is yes.

2.   Take Full Responsibility.

  • There is no shortcut to success.
  • You can’t assume larger responsibility without taking responsibility for the small things too.
  • Being responsible sometimes means making tough, unpopular decisions.
  • Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you’re never wrong?

3.   Develop and Demonstrate Loyalty.

  • Loyalty is not unilateral. You have to give it to receive it.
  • The family business model is a successful one because it fosters loyalty and trust.
  • Surround yourself with people who are better than you are. Seek out quality people, acknowledge their talents, and let them do their jobs.
  • You win with people.
  • Value colleagues who tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear.

4.   Learn To Be A Great Communicator.

  • Communication eliminates mistakes.
  • Listening is crucial to good communication.
  • We communicate all the time, even when we don’t realize it. Be aware of body language.
  • Make good eye contact.
  • Silence is a form of communication, too. Sometimes less is more.

5.   Discipline Yourself So No One Else Has To.

  • Self-discpline helps you believe in yourself.
  • Group discipline produces a unified effort toward a common goal.
  • When disciplining others, be fair, be firm, be consistent.
  • Discipline helps you finish a job, and finishing is what separates excellent work from average work.

6.   Make Hard Work Your Passion.

  • Do the things that aren’t fun first, and do them well.
  • Think big, work small.
  • Plan your work and work your plan.
  • See yourself as self-employed

7.   Don’t Just Work Hard, Work Smart.

  • Success is about having the right person, in the right place, at the right time.
  • Know your strengths, weaknesses, and needs.
  • When you understand yourself and those around you, you are better able to minimize weaknesses and maximize strengths. Personality profiles help.
  • Be flexible.

8.   Put The Team Before Yourself

  • Teamwork doesn’t come naturally. It must be taught.
  • Teamwork allows common people to obtain uncommon results.
  • Not everyone is born to lead. Role players are critical to group success.
  • In group success there is individual success.

9.   Make Winning An Attitude.

  • Combine practice with belief.
  • Attitude is a choice. Maintain a positive outlook.
  • No one ever got anywhere by being negative. Confidence is what happens when you’ve done the hard work that entitles you to succeed.

10.   Be A Competitor.

  • Competition isn’t social. It separates the achievers from the avergae.
  • You can’t always be the most talented person in the room. But you can be the most competitive.
  • Influence your oipponent. By being competitive you can affect how your adversary performs.
  • There is nothing wrong with having competitive instincts. They are survivasl instincts.

11.   Change Is A Must.

  • It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts the most.
  • Change equals self-improvement. Push yourself to places you haven’t been before.
  • Take risks. You can’t steal second base with your foot on first.  

12.  Handle Success Like You Handle Failure.

  • You can’t always control what happens, but you can control how you handle it.
  • Sometimes you learn more from losing than winning. Losing forces you to reexamine.
  • It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb. Continue to seek new goals.


This is just an overview of the Definite Dozen. For more information on this intersting and effective system, buy the book here. For more information on Coach Pat Summitt, go to :

Feed The Positive Dog

Jon Gordon, author & speaker


Note from Coach O: Hello all! I know it has been a while since I posted. I apologize and must say that I missed sharing with you all! Today’s post is from the newsletter that I receive from Jon Gordon. If you don’t know who Jon Gordon is; YOU NEED to check him out! See the link after this post to learn more about him! Enjoy this post from Jon — I did!


Feed The Positive Dog By Jon Gordon 

Are you dealing with stress at work? Is fear knocking you off balance? Are financial worries causing you to lose sleep?

The answer is to feed the positive dog.

If you read “The Energy Bus” you know I share a simple story about a man who travels to the village to speak to the wise man. He says to the wise man, “I feel like there are two dogs inside me. One dog is positive, loving, kind and optimistic and then I have this fearful, pessimistic, angry and negative dog and they fight all the time. I don’t know who is going to win.” The wise man thinks for a moment and responds, “I know who is going to win. The one you feed the most. So feed the positive dog.”

The fact is we all have a positive and negative dog inside of us. It’s part of our human nature. The key is to feed the positive dog and starve the negative dog. The more we feed the positive dog the bigger it gets and the stronger it becomes. The actions are simple. We just need to make them a habit and do them every day. Here are a few ways to feed the positive dog.

Practice Gratitude – You can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time. Gratitude is like muscle the more you do it the stronger it gets. Take 10 minutes each day and make a list of what you are thankful for. You will fill your body and brain with costless and priceless anti-depressants.

Take a Walk of Gratitude – I do this each morning and it feeds me all day long.

Turn off the News – Starve the negative dog.

Smile More – It enhances your serotonin levels and uplifts you.

Focus on Get to vs Have toRead the article here.

Read Uplifting Books – I happen to know of a few good ones 😀

Get together with a positive, uplifting person.

Call or visit someone who has made a difference in your life and thank them. (research shows this is a huge happiness booster)

Write a Few Thank You Notes Today – When you thank others you feed them and yourself.

Watch a funny movie that makes you belly laugh.

Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.

Focus on God instead of Gold – For more read, Matthew 6:33

Start a Success Journal – Write down the one great thing about your day. The more you look for success, the more you will find it.

Decide to Make a Difference – When you help other people with their problems you forget about your own.

I Challenge You:

I challenge you to pick 1, 2 or 3 strategies identified above and make them a daily habit. Do them for 10 minutes a day, every day for 30 days. Don’t wait. Start them today. Don’t just read this newsletter, say “that’s nice” and put it away. Identify what you will do, when you will do it and commit to it. Your positive energy and natural anti-depressants are more powerful than the negativity you face.

Stay Positive! 


(To read more of Jon’s great stuff; visit