What Champions Read

John WoodenNo coach in history has influenced more leaders than John Wooden. The winner of ten national championships as UCLA’s basketball coach, Wooden’s success philosophy goes beyond sports and leaders from all walks of life have embraced the lessons he taught.

At the center of Wooden’s philosophy is one important rule that the legendary coach repeated often: Make each day your masterpiece[click to continue…]

Buck O'NeilBuck O’Neil is an inspirational baseball legend. A star player and manager for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, O’Neil would eventually become Major League Baseball’s first African-American coach.

Despite growing up in the era of segregation and having to fight ugly racism and unfair oppression throughout his life, O’Neil always exuded optimism and hopefulness. His determination to follow his passion and make a career in baseball never wavered.

One of my favorite stories about Buck O’Neil was one I included in my book, Think Like a Warrior.

The story takes place when O’Neil was just a teenager. He was living in the segregated South in a town where African-Americans were not allowed to attend high school. For three years, the young Buck O’Neil worked alongside his father doing hot, grueling work in a celery farm where he earned just $1.25 a day.  Eventually, O’Neil had seen enough and a conversation with his father would change his life forever.

Here’s how Buck O’Neil tells the story… [click to continue…]

Tim BrownTim Brown is a nine-time pro bowler, a member of both the College Football and Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he has the fifth most all-purpose yards in the history of the NFL.

With those incredible credentials it’s hard to believe that halfway through college at Notre Dame, Brown seemed to be on the path to a very average football career. He was seeing limited playing time and had even questioned whether he was on the right path as a football player.

That’s when Lou Holtz stepped in. Shortly after he was hired as Notre Dame’s new head coach, Holtz told Brown he thought he could be the best player in the country. Such an idea sounded crazy to Tim Brown, but Holtz didn’t back down… [click to continue…]


It’s not a coincidence that the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, was also known for being one the hardest-working athletes of his generation. His relentless work ethic is legendary.

With Jordan’s work ethic in mind, it might seem odd to hear him say that he always tried to avoid “work.” Yet, it was exactly that approach which allowed him to consistently outwork his competition. Jordan explains… [click to continue…]

Mike DitkaGoal-setting is an essential part of any success program. If you don’t have a clear vision of where you want to go, how can you ever expect to get there?

There are two approaches when it comes to setting goals.

One approach is set small, manageable, and “realistic” goals so that you’ll build your confidence and avoid disappointment. The other approach is to set big, crazy, and “unreasonable” goals so that even if you fall short of your goals, you’ll still be achieving much greater things than if you had aimed lower.

Highly-successful people follow the latter approach.

Mike Ditka is a member of both the College Football and Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s also one of only two people in history to win the Super Bowl as a player, as an assistant coach, and as a head coach.

Here’s how Iron Mike advises people to set goals… [click to continue…]

Derek JeterDerek Jeter is a 14-time MLB All-Star and a five-time World Series champion. He owns the MLB record for most hits ever by a shortstop (3,465) and he has a lifetime batting average above .300. His 20-year career with the New York Yankees was one of the greatest in baseball history.

Jeter is also a case study in the power of positive thinking.

Baseball is a “sport of failure.” Even the greatest hitters of all-time—players like Derek Jeter—fail at the plate roughly 70 percent of the time. Each season, the very best teams in baseball must endure around 60 losses or more throughout the year. To overcome so much failure and to ultimately succeed at a high level for a long period of time is a lesson in perseverance.

And, as Derek Jeter points out, it’s also a lesson in positive thinking… [click to continue…]

Pat WilliamsPat Williams found extraordinary success when he found what he calls his “sweet spot” in life. One of the NBA’s most admired and accomplished executives, Williams is also a sought-after motivational speaker, the author of more than 100 books, and a former professional baseball player.

Williams was once asked what his “secret to success” was. The senior vice president of the Orlando Magic responded with this success formula…

[click to continue…]

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