Is it time to retire the National Anthem?

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A symbol of Patriotic Pride or a useless ritual?

As a college basketball coach one of my essential duties is to recruit high school student-athletes that I believe will positively impact my program while helping the student prepare for life with a college education. You spend countless hours on the road, sitting in the stands, interacting with people from all walks of life etc. During a couple of recent trips to high school gymnasiums, I noticed something that to some may seem trivial, but it has caught my attention.  At the start of each game as is customary for most athletic contests the national anthem is either sung or played.  This tradition began during World War I & II. Take the time to Google the history of playing the national anthem at sporting events while you’re at it look up the history of the song and its meaning to this country in case its been a while since you took History 101.  What I’ve observed during this time honored tradition amongst today’s youth was both appalling and disappointing.  In one incident a school administrator had to walk over to the bleachers and ask the students to be quiet and rise as a fellow student began the first verse.   As the singer weaved through the anthem it was hard to focus on her singing as the students continued conversations, texting, and kept moving throughout the gym .  I happened to sit next to a young woman who recently graduated from high school and at the conclusion of the anthem she remarked “What a shame, you should not have to be told to stand and be quiet during the anthem” I agreed and asked why did she think the students have no respect for the anthem .  She chalked it up to lack of maturity and ignorance.

 A few nights later in another gym this same phenomena took place, people were engaged in conversations filled with laughter, looking at their phones, and so on.   I could not help but wonder if as a country have we failed to educate the next generation on the symbolic importance of the national anthem or perhaps we should take the cue from this generation and eliminate the tradition which has become routine. In essence skip the preliminary and get right to the main event.  Does anyone really care what takes place after the introductions of the players and coaches?  After all today’s society is all about speed , we live in a world that dictates the need for quick replies, swift responses, and fast download or upload times.   As a young man growing up whenever the anthem began you observed it in the same manner as the men and women of the armed services (United States Code 36 USC 301-Sec.30), .  I mean you stood perfectly still and whatever you were doing prior to the start of the anthem was irrelevant you would stop, you would not dare engage in a sidebar conversation for fear of the wrath of the crowd.    But as we turn the clock on a new year I have to ask you my friends how do you feel about the anthem? What does it represent to you? Is it an outdated ritual? I look forward to reading your replies in the meantime; I’ll continue to endure another high school student’s off key rendition of Francis Scott Key’s lyrics while her peers continue with business as usual.

A Christmas Carol for Today’s Athlete

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A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were sitting on the couch watching a college basketball game.  When one of the athletes took a charge and as he was falling you could see a quick glimpse of his compression shorts complete with padding in the thigh area and my wife immediately asked what is he wearing? I proceeded to explain to her that’s the latest trend now days. Today’s athletes not only wear padding in the gear under their uniforms, with the advancement of technology they are almost covered from head to toe with moisture control and padding for the ribs, thighs, rear end etc.

What she exclaimed next really caught my attention and gave cause for reflection to my days as a young athlete. “That’s what’s wrong with today’s athlete’s, this is why they are too soft” I found that statement both humorous, yet profound. So in the spirit of the Christmas season (I’m unashamedly Christian) below I’ve listed my 12 days of Christmas good tidings for today’s athlete’s.

On the first day of Christmas I wish today’s athletes could go back to a time when working up a sweat was a symbol of hard work and the term “Hit the showers” actually meant something.

On the second day of Christmas I wish today’s athletes could experience what it feels like to get excited for the game just because; voiding the need for a can of energy drinks.

On the third day of Christmas I wish today’s athletes could experience a time when you depended on the natural foods you ate to fuel the body instead of relying on vast supplements

On the fourth day of Christmas I wish today’s athlete’s could experience the benefits of good old fashioned calisthenics to make them stronger, run faster and jump higher instead of spending a small fortune on strength shoes and fancy equipment

On the fifth day of Christmas I wish today’s pampered athletes could experience traveling to the games packed like sardines on those yellow buses instead of luxury coaches. This would force them to interact with teammates instead of entering their own world of texting and I-pod’s.

On the sixth day of Christmas I wish today’s athletes could experience what it feels like to play Pop Warner, little league, and recreational basketball, or hockey for fun. A place where they can be a kid, without the pressure of being the next great?

On the seventh day of Christmas I wish today’s athletes could experience what it feels like to play for a coach who really has their best interest at heart and that was the norm

On the eight day of Christmas I wish today’s athletes were encouraged to accept responsibility for a poor performance based on their choices to stay up late, not get enough rest or properly prepare instead of people using psycho babble to understand or give them a built in excuse.

On the ninth day of Christmas I wish today’s athletes could experience a time when making the high school varsity team was quite the honor and college athletics and education were the dream instead of the pros.

On the tenth day of Christmas I wish today’s athletes could experience what it feels like to attend a sports camp to learn new skills, meet new people that become lifetime friends and not auditioning stages for recruiting services

On the eleventh day of Christmas I wish today’s athletes could experience the true definition of loyalty, commitment and integrity

On the twelfth day of Christmas I wish today’s athletes could experience a time when the only protective gear you wore was a mouthpiece, goggles, knee pads, shin guards and jock straps.

And a Partridge in a pear tree…

 Happy Holidays

 

The wonders of putting on a pair of old shoes

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            Jeremiah 10:24 O Lord correct me, but with justice; not in your anger lest you bring me to nothing.

        What happens to a person who is used to being at the forefront as a coach or teacher instructing others,when they take a step back and become the pupil again? I’ll tell you HUMILITY! That is exactly what has taken place with me as I write this article. A few months ago I made a conscious decision to enroll in a distance learning program to obtain a ministry diploma. Up to that point I have never been a proponent of taking on-line courses, I reasoned that I was from the old school and needed to attend a brick and mortar establishment so as to experience the human interactions of both my peers and the instructor. So I hesitantly registered for the class, I figured what’s the worst that could happen? I’ll try it for the semester and if I don’t like it, I am done.  I had no clear idea of what the school expected from me in terms of time, assignments, cyber classroom participation etc.  The answer to those questions appeared quickly with the assignment of the first homework. I soon discovered that the school was serious about preparing its students for ministry and not just another diploma mill out to make a quick buck. 

     I also realized another important factor; it has been almost two decades since I last sat in a classroom as a student.  A lot has changed since then including the various writing styles that are required.  That brings me to my main point of the article.  My peers and I are required to complete weekly readings along with the submission of written response papers on what we have read.  At first I thought no problem, what’s the big deal, (can you see the arrogance), that is until I got my first paper back, I didn’t fail in fact I received a B- however the paper was marked up so much I thought it was one of the pages out of my playbook complete with the X & O’s . Are my writing skills that rusty?  After all I recently published a book and people across the world visit my website to read my articles. This occurrence reminded of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of constructive criticism and how crushing it feels believing you’ve hit a home run only to learn that you missed the mark. My ego took a hit and I felt the air of false confidence I had entering the program slowly dissipate.  It was getting to the point that I did not want to look at my papers when the instructor returned them. I agonized opening the email with the paper attached, anticipating the worst.  To escape this trap of doubt and fear, I had to remind myself that correction and constructive feedback though not enjoyable are critical for improvement and growth and the Bible has dozens of scriptures that speak of the benefits of correction. 

This experience also helped to remind me of the range of emotions that some of the athlete’s that play for me go through on a daily basis. I have become keenly aware of the need to balance feedback, encourage, availability for one on one consultation or clarity and making sure that directions and expectations are clear and concise.  Another area that I glossed over the past few seasons was to remember that each of the athlete’s has a different learning style and one size does not fit all. Lastly I was reminded of how much students, athletes, and subordinates rely on those of us with more experience to guide and instruct them on how to be successful.  By placing my feet in a pair of old shoes as the student has made me a better prepared coach.

 

 

Are you ready for some football?

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The NFL has done a great job of branding that tag line into the psyche of the American public even the occasional sports fan has heard that infamous line shouted in bar rooms, restaurants and living rooms across the country.  This is why it immediately came to mind after receiving a targeted email from a member of an organization called “Color of Change”.  The email was detailing the bias of Fox TV and its rightwing platform that allows individuals like Glenn Beck unlimited access to the airwaves and a captive  influential audience, the organization was encouraging everyone including businesses to launch a boycott of Fox TV programming, by simply not tuning into the station.  My initial reaction was what a good idea, especially since Fox does not have the best reputation of quality programming featuring or targeted towards people of color.

I wrote back to the organization expressing my thoughts of their initiative, but I cautioned them that this mission won’t be difficult for many people of color during the week due to the above mentioned reason, however the fall equinox is upon us and that signals the start of football season and Fox Sports is a major carrier of NFL games, this is where the challenge of the boycott will be difficult. To put it bluntly people of color are and will tune in on Sundays to watch the games, therefore giving Fox a tremendous ground swell in ratings, therefore nullifying the effectiveness of the boycott, unless the organization can effectively  reach , educate and inform the public of its mission even so that might be enough. Let me confess and say it will be a challenge for me not to press the buttons on the remote that is designated to the Fox channel in my area; I’m a huge pro football fan.  

Coincidentally as this campaign is starting, across my laptop came news of a recent blowup in the NFL involving the legendary football great Jim Brown and his role or lack thereof within the Cleveland Browns organization, now that Mike Holmgren was brought in to make changes. You have to wonder what the players many of them African-American must feel or think about these recent events or do they even care? after all this is their job and they have families to feed, cars , houses and bling to acquire, for some it may be a case of leaving the political and social agenda’s to others, why rock the boat.  As a passionate fan, I am left in a quandary, one side of me strongly supports the boycott, not because I am a liberal or democrat, (I happen to be an independent) but I do feel that Fox has served as an instigator fanning the flames of bigotry and instilling fear which has led to an increase of racial tensions in the country, and the level of disrespect for Jim Brown does not sit well, though I do not have all of the details of the meeting between the two. On the other side the love of football coupled with my understanding of the First Amendment which guarantees an individual the right to freely express their opinions are putting up a fierce battle. A decision will have to be made soon, as I sit in my favorite spot on the couch armed with the remote in hand accompanied with an assortment of snack foods.  Alas what’s a person to do?

The World Cup Games- compels Americans to look in the mirror!

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As the world cup has reached its version of the final four with Uruguay, Netherlands, Spain and Germany all vying for a shot at the Championship match held in Cape Town, South Africa.   I could not help but wonder if the games really made much of an impact here in the USA, sure the TV screens were tuned in at the local bars, taverns and restaurants across the country as team USA tried to advance on the big stage and the media blitz of snapshots we experienced of the often talked about but never really appreciated melting pot of fans rooting for the team , while I expect a few secretly enjoyed watching the demise of the team as there is still a hint of anti American sentiment that was prevalent in the last World cup games. Unfortunately for team USA their hopes and aspiration were once again dashed, as they were defeated for the 2nd time in 4 years by Ghana and with it went the viewership.  The pundits will point to the increase of Patriotic pride and overall revenue as a direct result of the world’s largest sporting event, but let’s take a closer look and examine this phenomena, I find it hypocritical that we saw so many images of fans Black, White, and Hispanic sitting together with a rooting interest, when after the camera’s lights turn off and the hoopla fades these same individuals will travel back to their segregated neighborhoods and blame the others for their roles in the decline of the moral fabric and economic downturn. This country has a real challenge with race, yet for some reason it seems there is at least one thing that can pull us together at least for 2-3 hours and that is our common interest in rooting for our favorite team to win.  Secondly despite all of the hype surrounding the world cup I believe it will do little to elevate the status of soccer as a primary sport in the US, joining the family of baseball, football, hockey and basketball.

Soccer in this country is still regarded as an affluent suburban sport; the word suburban is just another clever marketing term for white middle and upper class, in the same way as the word Urban is used to represent the Black population of inner cities. You don’t believe me? Quick what image comes to your mind when you hear the word soccer mom? See what I mean, I doubt many of you thought about the Ethiopian mom driving a caravan of youths eager to get to the soccer field. How many caravan commercials on television re-enforce this stereotype? One of the attractions of the world cup for the average fan is that you get to witness many of the teams from what are considered third world and under developed countries perform and compete at a high level while admiring the diversity of their rosters.  However when we think of the sport of soccer in this country, rarely do you think of the Salvadorian, African, Caribbean, and Asian athletes playing at the local dilapidated fields. Maybe it’s because it’ s a rare site indeed to see a group of youths just pick up and go to soccer field in the same manner you can watch a group of teens play pick- up basketball.

 I’m sure some of you are thinking, if the men’s team had gone further maybe it could have added some infusion of the sport in the same way the women did a few years back, with Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain who became an overnight sensation after taking off her shirt, much to the delight of males everywhere, funny how this was exalted as pure passion, yet when the Williams sisters wear revealing outfits they are maligned, but that’s another story for another time, also does anyone remember Briana Scurry she was the African American goal keeper on that championship team who never received the same adulation and endorsement deals as her white counterparts another missed opportunity to grow the appeal of the sport and embrace the diversity.

     

The energy and momentum of the women’s victory was short lived, including the now defunct professional women’s’ soccer league that soon followed sure there was an increase in girls youth programs, but the overall feeling and imagery of soccer has not changed.  Soccer has a long way to go to really be accepted in this country and join the Big Four, and that’s too bad, because it’s the one sport that actually cuts across many demographics and truly represents the face of America as we know it today.

The Values of Championship Teams

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Lessons to be learned from the 2010 NBA Finals

                                                      

As I sit inside listening to the thunder and rain that is pounding against the pavement of my front steps I’ve decided to reflect on a couple of questions that have arisen and how to connect them to the upcoming NBA finals. Why do people find it necessary to search outside of their circle for the talents and resources they need to get ahead? Why is it that so many don’t recognize or appreciate the talented people that are within their reach? I like so many others stand guilty as charged in acknowledging that for some reason it is hard to see those people, places and things that can help us achieve success because they are so close and people tend to overlook or take things we see on a regular basis for granted.  When it comes to contemplating what is needed to achieve success there is a broad mentality that somehow what we need is “Out there” if we can just connect with the right person place or thing then somehow all of the stars will align and we’ll be on our way. The problem with this philosophy is that it induces us to look beyond those valuable resources that sit right under our nose. There’s a proclivity to look toward the horizon for that superstar or something special that will lead us to the Promised Land.

As I prepare to watch the 2010 NBA finals between two of the most storied and successful programs in the history of team sports, compete for the right to be crowned champion, one of the traits I admire about them both is their ability to appreciate every person on the roster including the coaches and trainers and the strengths and talents each brings. A great example of looking within your circle occurs when a head coach goes to the bench to find that player, who can make things happen, give the team a spark and change the tempo of the game, hence Nate Robinson’s performance in the pivotal game 6 of the Eastern Conference Championship.  This is why theCeltics and Lakers are consistently vying for championships and not sitting home.  These two teams understand that every person has a job to do and the team that maximizes and receives the best output from their respective units will bring home the title complete with a parade. Championship teams master living in the moment, they don’t waste valuable time and energy looking beyond their current circumstances, or gazing into the future for answers. At the conclusion of the season they will address any shortcomings and make moves to correct them, but while they are at the doorstep of greatness they have learned to appreciate the individuals within their circle and live or die with that.  I think we as individuals should take a page out of their playbooks and begin to appreciate those individuals within our grasp, stop looking past your bench players who may already possess the talents you seek. Tap into the treasures in your backyard and begin to recognize the unlimited potential of others; the answers you seek to help you achieve victory in life may stand just a few feet away.

 

Mentors: Real Life GPS systems to Success!

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Last week I served as a moderator for a panel on how to use the athletic skills you’ve obtained as a college athlete to land a job in the real world.  The panel was made up of 3 former college athletes who were more than willing to share their experiences and success strategies with the current student-athletes in the room who were hanging on their every word.  I asked them a series of questions and as I listened intently to their answers a few common themes emerged on the benefits of athletics and how they transfer:

1.       Healthy Lifestyle

2.       Leadership

3.       Discipline

4.       Teamwork

5.       Networking

I thought these were all great qualities and traits along with the importance of finding mentors.  It was on the subject of mentoring that I really pressed the panel, as this is an area that people often mention as a key to success, but I wondered how many of us really know how to choose a mentor? What makes a good mentor? I asked for specific strategies to identify mentors or approach them especially if your personality is one of quietness and shyness?  The panel had some great suggestions from developing relationships with professors, utilizing the career center on campus, getting involved on campus beyond sports, exchange business cards, having the courage to step out of your comfort zone to send a massive e-blast asking for Help! Etc. These were great strategies for contacting and networking with possible mentors, but the question still remained; what makes a good mentor? Is it someone who is older, wealthy, better educated, similar career paths, shared ethnicity and demographics? If mentoring is a key to success, why then are so few people willing to become one?  

In my book “An Unsung Coach” I advise that a mentor should be someone you respect as a person, their morals, ethics and values should all line up, a mentor doesn’t have to be someone who has a lot of wealth, college education, or hold a powerful position. A mentor should be someone you admire respect and trust, they should posses qualities that you can emulate, but not to the point where you morph into a carbon copy.  One of the most influential mentors in my life was a man named Hollywood (not his real name), he never attended college, though it was an aspiration; fact is he never got past middle school, before dropping out, but even in his forties he was working and studying for his GED; he believed in education and often encouraged the young people he came in contact with to finish school, Hollywood received his education from the school of hard knocks, he obtained a Masters Degree in street hustling.  

 Although Hollywood didn’t have a lot of book knowledge he knew the art of survival. He often read materials on finance and real estate and learned the game well enough to purchase a condo, nice ride and put food on his table before he lost his battle with the Demons and relapsed. Unfortunately he lost everything and eventually passed away. Hollywood and I would spend hours engaged in long conversations on creating wealth and laughing at the so called playa’s, he explained to me that real “Playa’s and hustler’s were gifted in holding their own in the corporate boardroom and on the street corner, they knew how to straddle the line, without losing credibility on either side.  Hollywood didn’t realize it at the time, but the impact of his wisdom left an everlasting impression on me that resonates to this day and I miss him, it’s funny as much as he thought he was getting out of our conversations he had no idea that he gave me so much.  Hollywood was very instrumental in pushing me to purchase my first home. He stressed the importance of establishing a foundation for wealth through owning not renting; imagine that a former street hustler schooled me on the value of building wealth.  As you can see identifying a mentor is tougher than it appears the traits and background of potential candidates vary, be careful not to have a prototype in mind as some of the best mentors may not come in the ideal package.

The PUNCH line of sports!

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A couple of days ago a good friend from the state of Texas called to get my opinion on the double standard of punishment for violent acts between male and female athletes. He started the conversation by referencing the 2 game suspension of Baylor women’s basketball phenom Brittney Griner for punching a player from Texas Tech in the face and breaking her nose,Griner Punch, he asked if that were a guy from Kentucky do you think he would have just received a 2 game suspension?  I easily answered the question with an emphatic “NO” and used the example of Lagerrette Blount the Oregon football player who punched a player from Boise State in the face at the conclusion of the gameBlount punch . Blount’s season was virtually ruined and he was vilified across the country by everyone from the media to the common fan. The question becomes why the double standard ? there is no clear or easy answer, however what I find interesting about both cases is that both perpetrators were African American athletes who punched white athletes, how would this have played differently if the white athletes assaulted the black athletes? especially in the arena of football and basketball where African Americans are thought to dominate and not be challenged by their white counterparts, after all sports is the one area where many blacks feel superior to whites or at least feel that if all things being equal they can beat them unlike corporate America.  Secondly the fact that male athletes receive harsher sentences is counter intuitive to a culture that breeds competition and winning at all costs, raking in huge profits while encouraging a “Swag”or macho attitude of earning respect. Lastly  I think there is a severe back lash when the assailant is an African American male as oppose to a female as in this case with Griner, because of the negative stereotype that is associated with the black male athlete of being nothing more than a glorified “Thug”.  I doubt the purists of women sports who championed and fought for title IX were looking for preferential treatment when it came to holding female athletes equally accountable for their actions on and off the playing surfaces. However to date to the best of my knowledge none of the feminists groups, coaches or advocates have come out and made a statement on the minor suspension of Griner and how the NCAA and universities unfairly punish male athletes more harshly for the same offenses. I am not attacking Griner, I chalk up her actions to a young person who simply lost her composure, which does not make it right, however I’m not naive to forget what its like to be young and have your emotions get the best of you and override common sense, but I am questioning how the cases differ? how can she get a slap on the wrist for breaking a players nose while male athletes lose their seasons and reputations. Maybe its because men sports impact the bottom line of a university in a greater way and negative publicity upsets the fan base, and corporate sponsors or perhaps because they are simply more visible, whatever the reasons the NCAA needs to carefully examine these occurrences as violence in sports is becoming increasingly common especially in women sports and we can no longer turn the other CHEEK!

The game has never been the same!

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With the recent completion of the NBA All Star game held in Dallas, TX in which the East edged the West squad 141-139 and Dwyane Wade being named the MVP and the upcoming Frenzy aka March Madness, I thought it was fitting to remember the first African American that broke the color barrier in the sport of Basketball.                                                        

Harry Haskell “Bucky” Lew (January 4, 1884 in Lowell, Massachusetts – 1963) was the first African American to play in a professional basketball game. Lew played in a New England League game for Lowell against Marlborough on November 2, 1902, the first documented instance of an African-American playing in a professional basketball game. Harry Lew was born in Lowell in 1884 to an African-American family with a long and illustrious history in Massachusetts. His great-great-grandfather, Barzillai Lew, was a free black man who purchased the freedom of his future wife for $400. A gifted musician, he served in the Revolutionary War. He played the fife at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and years later at General Burgoyne’s surrender after the Battle of Saratoga. Harry Lew’s grandparents’ home in Lowell was a stop on the Underground Railroad. His father, William, was a delegate to the 1891 Equal Rights Convention in Boston.

He came of age in the Jim Crow era when “separate but equal” kept blacks and whites in different worlds, in the North as well as the South. Breaking the color barrier on a Lowell basketball court was not easy. Bucky Lew was a talented musician—he played a violin solo at his graduation from Lowell High School — an excellent student, and an extraordinary basketball player. According to one of his teammates, he was “the best double dribbler he had ever seen” (double dribbling was legal at the time). A brilliant defensive player, he was always chosen to guard the best player on any opposing team. But when Lew first took the court against white men, his skillful play was met with jeers and racial slurs.

After leading the local YMCA team to a Merrimack Valley championship, he played defense for the Pawtucketville Athletic Club in the New England Basketball League. When the League folded, Lew stayed in the game, working as a player and general manager for his own Lowell-based teams. In 1928, he moved to Springfield. One of the pioneers of basketball, he has never been inducted into the Hall of Fame, located just a few miles from where he spent the last 35 years of his life. Years later “Bucky” Lew reminisced about that first game. On November 2, 1902, his team, Lowell’s Pawtucketville Athletic Club, faced a team from Marlborough. He remembered that his manager was reluctant to let him play against white boys. But Lew was a hometown boy, and “some of the local papers put the pressure on by demanding that they give this little Negro from around the corner a chance to play. Well, at first the team just ignored the publicity. But a series of injuries forced the manager to take me on for the Marlborough game.”

Lew was supposed to be the extra man, and to spend the game sitting on the bench, but then one of the starting players was injured. At first the manager refused to put him in. “He let them play us five on four,” Lew remembered, “but the fans got real mad and almost started a riot, screaming to let me play. That did it. I went in there and you know… all those things you read about Jackie Robinson, the abuse, the name-calling, extra effort to put him down … they’re all true. I got the same treatment and even worse … I took the bumps, the elbows in the gut, knees here and everything else that went with it. But I gave it right back. It was rough but worth it. Once they knew I could take it, I had it made.” This was only the first of Lew’s encounters with racist opponents and fans. “Nobody ever voiced an objection to playing against him as a black player until they played him and he would shut down their best player… Then all of a sudden, they would say, we don’t want to play against a Negro player. They just used that tactic to get him off the court for the next game.”

After Lew played one year with the Lowell team and two years for a Haverhill team, the New England League disbanded. Lew formed and traveled with his own team, playing and coaching, for another 20 years.

Photo and story courtesy of hoopedia.com

How to Win in 2010

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2 Corinthians 8:10-11

“and in this, I give advice it is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago, but now you also must complete the doing of it!

 

What is it about the start of a new year that brings about a renewed sense of hope and causes people to stop and reflect on their life or current situation, why is it that we wait until the start of a new year to set resolutions or goals. Question is it really a new goal if you keep rehashing the same ones over and over again? You know the ones I’m referring to lose weight, save money, better relationships, new job or career, etc.  Maybe it has something to do with the season as many parts of the country are experiencing a deep freeze that forces us indoors where we have time to reflect on our success and shortcomings from the previous year.  I to was among the masses who rode the new year’s resolution merry go round, until 2009 when I shifted my focus and tried a new approach, one that would help me actually achieve some of my goals including the publishing of “An Unsung Coach”

This year if you really want to see a difference in your life and actually accomplish some of the goals you set forth , instead of just  broadly writing your goals down on a piece of paper that eventually ends up in your sock drawer or the trash receptacle make your goals specific how many pounds will you lose by June 30th, how much money will you have saved at the end of 3 months, what type of training or certification do you need to get ahead in your present occupation, then  mentally condition yourself to embrace the philosophy of finishing what you start.  If you make this simple strategic change, you will be well ahead of over 90 Plus percent of the population in reaching your goals.

Transitioning to this philosophy will not be easy, in fact it will require lots of practice and discipline to become a habit, habits are those things we do so often that that they become a part of our normal routine without much thought like driving the same route to work each day, brushing your teeth, watching your favorite television show, but if the goals you desire are worth having they are worth putting in the time and effort to make them a reality. Everyone of us is guilty of starting something we never saw to completion perhaps a new business venture, piecing together your family tree, writing a  new song, going back to school,  and we had every intention of completing it, we were filled with passion and enthusiasm, we researched every detail to the point we experienced sensory overload, then after a few months, we lose steam and eventually move on to something else, often times at the expense of never seeing the benefits of bringing the current project into fruition. In this country we love to boast about how we can multi-task however most successful people, people that have built multi-million dollar corporations or head large corporations will tell you the key to their success were in focusing on one task at a time and seeing it through despite the distractions and excuses.

So as you review your New Year’s list of resolutions and prepare to embark on the journey of making 2010 the year you can’t lose, adopt the principle that has helped me and countless others establish a new definition of success, finish whatever you start and next year at this time when you reflect on the year, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come and how talented you truly are!