Monday, July 26, 2010

No Excuses

The following is from No Excuses by Kyle Maynard. 

"In my heart I deserved to win the match. I had invested so much time and effort, so much sweat and passion, into prepare for this moment that preparation itself was now the source of my fear. I was never afraid of the hard work and dedication that wrestling demanded of me -- instead, I was afraid of experiencing the heartbreak of defeat after all the relentless training that had brought me to this point. I was no stranger to that fear, but know this could be my final match made it more acute.

Now I had to plow my body into my rival; I had to dominate not just his muscles but his mind; I had to drive him to submit.
While I was stronger, we all knew this wrestler had the advantage of agility and speed. We analyzed and planned, coming up with dozens of tactics to use or avoid -- but I new that winning, as always, was ultimately a matter of desire.

Yet I still believe that everyone on the wrestling mat is equal, competitors standing on even ground. Everyone learns the same rules, steps on the same scale to weigh-in, walks onto the same mat alone, and listens for the same referee's whistle to start the match. I knew from experience that a clever, well-trained, and determined wrestler could always beat a buff, but unprepared, opponent. The key is using everyone of your God-given abilities, not just strength, to the utmost.

Since the age of eleven, I've had a passion for wrestling. I'm a competitor. I believe that anyone can conquer any obstacle if they truly want it more than anything else; if they are ardent in their work; and if they refuse to be stopped by any barrier.

I've met people who wonder why I wrestle. Am I attempting to prove something to the world? Am I trying to have people fell sorry for me? Or am I simply trying to make friends, to be the token member of the team? Some people can't see the trust -- that regardless of my physical differences, I am as fierce a competitor on the inside as anyone can be. On my shoulder is a tattoo of a tiger; that how I think of myself, and that's how I fight.

I am an athlete driven by competition. Without the sport of wrestling, I would not be where I am today. There are so many problems and difficulties that I will never have to endure because of the character I've developed through wrestling. It is my discipline and my passion.

It was Dan Gable, one of the greatest wrestlers and coaches of all time, who said, 'Once you've wrestled, everything else in life becomes easy.' No phrase describes my life better.

My philosophy is simple: No excuses."

Kyle became one of the top high school wrestlers in the state of Georgia. In 2005, he broke the world record in the modified bench press by lifting 360 pounds -- three times his body weight. He is currently a student at the University of Georgia.

Quiana Childress, from homeless at 16 to College Graduate. Her inspiring story is helping others

Click on this link:

Don't Quit

Click on link:


Click on this link below:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear
is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually who are we not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And when we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people 
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson


Mark Kriegel is the national columnist for He is the author of two New York Times best sellers, Namath: A Biography and Pistol:  The Life of Pete Maravich, which Sports Illustrated called "the best sports biography of the year."

Updated Feb 3, 2010 2:48 PM ET

Only an occasion as resolutely absurdist as Super Bowl Media Day would cause you to wade into a deep sea of reporters and cameramen to ask a man  about the suicide of his mother.

 It's my job, of course, and I offer no apology, though hearing my own question does confer some sense of shame. None of it, however, is acknowledged by
Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, who suffered the loss almost six months ago.

"I knew that my mom would be with me all season long," he says, quite matter of factly. "That was tough to go through in August when she passed  away . and the circumstances around it. But it's given me peace. It's given me strength to know that she's in a better place, and she's watching  down over me and protecting me."
 Brees is a devoutly religious fatalist. "Everything is meant to be,"  he says. "Everything happens for a reason."  Still, I wonder how a man can make sense of his own mother's demise.  Drew and Mina Brees had, to put it mildly, a complicated  relationship. His parents, attorneys in Austin , Texas , divorced when Drew was just 8.  In 2001, when he was drafted, he declined to use her services as an agent, causing them to become estranged. Five years later, with his mother running  for a seat in Texas ' 3rd Court of Appeals, Brees threatened legal action if she did not remove his image from her campaign ads.

Finally, just days after state authorities subpoenaed her business records, Mina took her life in Colorado . The coroner attributed cause of  death to "ingestion of a large quantity of prescription medications." For
Brees, the tragedy was compounded by the fact that he and his mother were finally coming together. "It was getting better," he was quoted as saying.

At the end of the season, he finds himself a Super Bowl quarterback. That may not qualify as a happy ending, but it's unmistakable evidence of his resilience.

At a listed height of six feet,
Brees is the shortest quarterback to start a Super Bowl since Joe Theismann in 1984, though I can't recall one who stood taller. 
Brees could always take a hit. Going back to 2004, when he was with the Chargers, he was voted the league's Comeback Player of the Year. In the last game of the following season, he tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder and suffered rotator cuff damage.
 "I was told by some doctors that I had a 25 percent chance of coming back and ever playing," he says.
Not only did he play, but after signing with New Orleans (the only team that made him a real offer), he threw for 4,418 yards and led the Saints to their first ever NFC championship game appearance. Brees was named a starter for the 2007 Pro Bowl.
 By then, he had become a fixture in the municipal life of a city trying to heal after Hurricane Katrina.
Looking back, it's a damn shame that so much time and talk was wasted on guys like Pacman Jones, and not enough on the good works of Drew Brees - rebuilding schools and fields and lives. "This is a calling for me," he says. ".This was an opportunity that really doesn't come along for most people in their lifetime, and yet here it was staring me in the face. Our foundation has raised or committed $3 million dollars to the city of  New Orleans . That's just the beginning."

 Even the game, he says, is more than a game. "We are playing for much more than another 'W' or a Super Bowl," he says. "It's a Super Bowl for our city and our fans and everything they've been through . There is no organization or city that deserves a champion more than New Orleans ."

 Toward that end, he had one of the great seasons in the history of quarterbacking: a completion rate better than 70 percent, 34 touchdown passes, and a rating of 109.6.  Still, on the eve of Super Bowl XLIV,
Brees is regarded as "the other quarterback." His opposite number, Peyton Manning, is a victory away from arguable consideration as the best ever. Manning, of course, hails from New Orleans, where his father is the Saints' quarterback emeritus.
It's worth mentioning here that Archie Manning and his wife, Olivia, were of great help to Drew and his wife, Brittany, when they arrived in a battered city four years ago. "So gracious," Brees said. "They always check up on us. We kind of  use them as a sounding board."
The Mannings are the first family of football. They seem, well,  perfect. Bear Bryant once called Archie the best college quarterback he had ever seen. Olivia was homecoming queen at Ole Miss. Their progeny include two quarterbacks who've won Super Bowls, Peyton and Eli.

But I figure there's an element in the Manning narrative that
Brees can find even more fortifying. It's the knowledge that Archie found the strength to play ball and raise a family after finding his father dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

COACHING CORNER: Great advice from a good friend and excellent coach

Things We Have to Learn Every Year
By Coach Don Meyer

You Can Pick Captains But You Cannot Pick Leaders (The Foxhole Test) 

When we think our team is ready each year, we have our players take the foxhole test. They draw a circle to represent their foxhole. They write their name at the front of the foxhole. They draw a line at their rear, their left, and their right. On each of those lines they write the names of teammates they would want in their foxhole if they were fighting a life and death battle. The position to their rear is worth three points and is awarded to their most trusted, courageous, and tough teammate. The position to their left is worth two points and is awarded to the second most trusted, etc. teammate, and the position to their right is awarded to the third teammate they would pick and is given a value of one point. This test cuts through all the friendships, cliques, and is the truest measure of what players really think of their teammates. It might be a good idea for each coach on the staff to do this with his/her coaching staff, administrators, teach associates, and of course your team. There are many people who you would love to have around on the golf course or in a duck blind but deep down you know that defeat is assured if they are in your foxhole.

Your Team Is Never As Tough As They Can Be And You Can Never Assume They Are Tough Enough 

When looking in the dictionary you see descriptions for toughness such as: hard to break but not necessarily hard to bend, difficult to get the better of, apt to be aggressive, able to resist, etc. When we think of toughness we immediately think of mental toughness and then physical toughness. LET ME SAY AT THE OUTSET THAT A TEAM WILL NEVER BE TOUGH WHEN THEY ARE COACHED BY A STAFF OF COACHES WHO ARE NOT. The hardest thing we have to do each day as coaches is saddle up and face the day with the attitude we want our players and team to adopt. WE CANNOT SELL THEM SOMETHING THAT WE DO NOT OWN. My most difficult task as coach is to be tougher on myself and more demanding than I was the day before. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT WHEN YOUR PROGRAM IS WINNING GAMES. For every 100 who can handle failure, there is but one who can handle success. Winning can weaken the resolve of those who worship winning and do not plan, practice, play and coach to a higher standard. THE BEHAVIOR OF YOU R PLAYERS IN THEIR ACCEPTANCE OF FATIGUE, BAD CALLS, TURNOVERS, MISSED SHOTS, BEING OPEN AND NOT GETTING THE BALL, HARRASSMENT FROM THE OPPOSING FANS, TRASH TALK FROM OPPONENTS, AND THEIR TEAMMATES' FAILURES AND SUCCESSES will tell you all you need to know about how well you are teaching the life long lessons of toughness.

Players And Coaches, Everyone In Your Program Must Be Willing To Change When It Is For Their Improvement And The Betterment Of The Team 

This is the thing that always concerns us in our recruiting of players. We are not for every player. The solid programs will have attrition because there is a standard, a level of excellence, a desire for learning and improvement on and off the court that is demanding and is therefore character building in nature rather than a look the other way. That is probably why we have not had many transfers in our program from four year schools or junior colleges in our 30 years of head coaching. The few that we have had were outstanding kids and developed into great team players. As a coach you are constantly studying to find a new and better way to teach the game and YOU USUALLY FIND THAT THE OLD SCHOOL WAYS ARE STILL THE BEST. The TEST OF TIME is the master teacher and is cruel but the fairest of all teachers. You will never have a team if the best athlete on your team is not someone willing to be molded and taught to play the game and conduct them self in the proper manner. If your leader is of suspect character, the fabric of your team will be torn apart when the first negative winds attack from outside the program. If your best athlete is a great leader, no amount of negativity will rip the team apart.

Thinking As A Team, Becoming A Team, And Always Remaining A Team Is the Single Best Thing That You Can Teach Your Players For The Present Time And For Their Life After They Leave The Program 

When you play a game, travel on the road games, register for classes waiting in long lines, eat in a restaurant, befriend or ignore a young child after a game, respect or taunt an opponent, deal with winning and losing, you are making a statement about what the core values are in your program. Coaches, players, and teams are teaching lessons in every encounter along life's way. We hope it can be said of our program that EVEN WHEN THEY LOSE THEY WIN. The way you accept the hand life has dealt you vividly tells everyone else what your true character is. The great boxer Sugar Ray Robinson said, "You can tell the most about a man when he is getting whipped". That is oh so true in a basketball game and life. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE A CHAMPION. As a coach, you are responsible for the actions of your players and team. You are not a coach if you look the other way and ignore bad behavior. It must be dealt with or you are harming your players for a lifeti me. Philippians 2:1-8 gives a description of what a team attitude should be like for coaches and players.

Transition Defense, Intensity On Defense, Rebounding On Both Ends Of The Floor, And Turnovers Are Key Factors You Can Help Your Team Become Aware Of In Practices And Games
Transition Defense---Try to develop a philosophy of transition defense that fits your style of play on both ends of the floor. It might vary some each year depending on your personnel. Stick with it in every shooting drill, all break down drills, 5/0 work, and 5/5 scrimmage. This will be a key to not giving the game away. 

Intensity on Defense---Too many ways to defend a particular offensive move means no way to defend it because players think too much. It has to be instinctive quickness. If a player lacks quickness, then this is even more vital. As Jerry Tarkanian said, "The more they think, the slower their feet get". Keep it simple on defense and lean to the aggressive way of doing things and your team will make more plays defensively.

Rebounding on Both Ends of The Floor---You must chart effort in order to see if players really value possession of the ball and realize that rebounding is most often the way you gain possession of the ball. Turnovers---We got a great idea from Porter Moser, the head coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. He puts so many basketballs in the ball rack and removes one for each turnover. When all the balls are out of the rack it means that there will be morning running. We have modified it some because our coaching staff does not like to run in the early mornings. Porter is a very young coach. We put two balls in the rack and when we have turned the ball over three times the offending team will run or do whatever consequence we think is best. We like it, it is simple. It drives home a point. BALLS IN THE RACK makes our players realize that everything they do in practice will effect what they do in a game.

Friday, July 23, 2010


A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some
expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:

"If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.

What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."

God brews the coffee, not the cups.......... Enjoy your coffee!

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything."

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Author unknown

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Take a sneak peek at the upcoming documentary.  Click on the link below.


My dear friend John Wooden 
is truly an American treasure.  He was kind, caring, highly intelligent, vibrant, strong-willed, principled, humble, and one of the most fascinating men of this or any generation.

Why was the greatest coach that ever lived like this and not egotistical, selfish, arrogant, and greedy like so many that reach the pinnacle of what the world often defines as success?

It is because he firmly believed in what the first Webster’s dictionary ever printed in 1806 describing success as, fortunate, happy, kind and prosperous.  And not how dictionaries define success today, which is, attainment of wealth, fame and rank.

Coach Wooden'
s definition of success parallels’ that of 1806, he said, “Fame, fortune and power are not success.  Success is peace of mind, which is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

I have also heard him mention on several occasions that the four things mankind craves the most are freedom, happiness, peace, and love.   And none of these can be obtained without first giving them to someone else, and oh how he gave for so many years.

The best way I can describe Coach is that every time I left him I felt better about mankind and had a quest to strive to be a better human being.  Perhaps, a better way to define Coach is what Einstein said about Gandhi:  “Generations to come, will scarce believe that such one as this, ever in flesh and blood walked upon the earth.”

He is indeed a legend in basketball but more importantly he was a legend in serving mankind as a master teacher.

Now that Coach has left this earth, I ask myself how can I ever thank him for being my friend for 40 years.  And, as usual, my answer comes from the words of Coach himself.  In the last letter I received from him he said, “Although thanks is a rather simple one-syllable word that too often is used without true feeling, when used with sincerity no collection of words can be more meaningful or expressive.”

Thanks Coach!



Click on the below.


When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in you life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And think you’re a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s the fellow to please-never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.


Friday, July 9, 2010