What Champions Read

Arnold PalmerWe become what we focus on and if there’s a certain mentality that separates the most successful coach, athlete, or business leader from all the rest, it’s the extreme desire to be the best at what they do. They hate to come up short. They hate to get beat by someone else.

Adopting this winner’s mindset gives you a distinct advantage over your competition because, as strange as it may sound, most people don’t have that deep desire to be the very best. They’re content with being average.

Arnold Palmer, one of history’s greatest golfers, most definitely had a winner’s mindset. He felt that his mental approach to the game of golf was one of the things that separated him from his competition… [click to continue…]

The Overconfidence Myth

Mike DitkaSelf-confidence means believing you have what it takes to achieve your goal and it’s a quality that is essential to success.

“I don’t think anything is unrealistic if you believe you can do it.” — Mike Ditka

“Self-confidence is the first step toward success. If you believe it, you can achieve it.” – Tommy Lasorda

“If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else believe in you?” – Derek Jeter

“I have always believed that what you expect is usually what you get, what you focus on is what you draw to yourself.” – Pete Carroll

“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does; that makes you a winner right there.” – Venus Williams

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“To be an overachiever you have to be an over-believer.” – Dabo Swinney

These types of famous quotes about the importance of self-confidence could go on and on. There’s no doubt that self-confidence is a quality required for success.

However, many people have a fear of being too confident. They worry about being overconfident and setting themselves up for failure and disappointment.

Is the fear of overconfidence warranted? Should you be careful to keep your confidence in check?

World-famous sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella offers a surprising answer to these questions… [click to continue…]

Vince LombardiVince Lombardi is famous for saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” And for years there’s been some controversy over how the legendary coach intended the statement he is now synonymous with.

While it is true that Lombardi did indeed repeat the statement often throughout his career, it’s also true that he spent a lot of time trying to explain that his words were taken out of context.

“I wish to hell I’d never said the damned thing,” Lombardi once told a reporter. “I meant the effort… I meant having a goal… I sure as hell didn’t mean for people to crush human values and morality.”

So why did Lombardi repeat the phrase so often if it was something he knew could be easily misunderstood? [click to continue…]

What Nick Saban Thinks of Positive Thinking

Nick SabanExtensive studies by psychologists suggest that people who embrace a positive attitude are going to be happier, healthier, and more successful than those who don’t. Our own personal experiences confirm that when we maintain a positive attitude we’re more productive, we feel better about ourselves, and life tends to go a lot smoother for us—both personally and professionally.

However, “positive thinking” is often misunderstood. Some people hear the phrase “positive thinking” and immediately think of “wishful thinking.” They think of self-help gurus forcing smiles or naïve Pollyannas pinning their hopes to unrealistic expectations. People who view positive thinking this way are missing something key.

Nick Saban has already established himself as one of history’s greatest college football coaches. And while no one would accuse him of exuding a happy-go-lucky, smiling-all-the-time persona (he’s better known for his no-nonsense persona), Coach Saban is a big believer in the importance of having a positive attitude. Here’s how he sees it… [click to continue…]

Remember This When Life Gets Tough

Yogi BerraWith the release of my new book, Old School Grit, I’ve been talking a lot about GRIT lately. Defined as the willpower to persevere with passion and a sense of purpose, psychologists have discovered that if one could identify a single “secret” to success, GRIT would be it.

The discussion of GRIT is exciting, especially when we talk about pursuing our passion and finding our purpose. But it’s vital to not overlook the most important part of the grit equation: perseverance. Without relentless perseverance, the pursuit of your passion will end quickly.

Finding your purpose is only the first step. Pursuing your passions will give you an advantage over those who aren’t as passionate, but it’s not a free pass down easy street.

If you’re going after something worthwhile, you’re going to face lots of adversity along the way. That’s just the way it is. You’ll be pushed to the brink. There will be times when you question yourself. There will be times when you feel like things aren’t going to turn around for you. There will be times when you feel like giving up.

And when those times occur, you must remember the words of Yogi Berra… [click to continue…]

Dabo Swinney’s Top 10 Success Quotes

Dabo SwinneyThe Clemson Tigers pulled off a last-second victory over Alabama to win the 2016 college football National Championship.

For Clemson, it was the school’s first national title since 1981. For Dabo Swinney, it confirmed his status as one of the nation’s elite coaches.

On his way to winning the National Championship, Swinney led his Tigers to back-to-back wins over Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes and Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. Meyer and Saban are generally considered the two best active coaches in the sport. To beat these future Hall-of-Famers in back-to-back games is a remarkable accomplishment.

Dabo Swinney has quickly won over a nation of fans. His rags-to-riches story, his quick wit, his memorable one-liners, and his relentless confidence in the power of positive thinking reminds me a lot of another legendary coach, Lou Holtz.

Swinney is the type of leader who exudes optimism, but don’t confuse his belief in positive thinking with a passive Pollyanna attitude. Dabo is a fighter. He has a warrior mentality.

To better understand Dabo Swinney’s success philosophy, here are 10 of his most memorable success quotes…

1- “To be an overachiever you have to be an over-believer.”

This is Coach Swinney’s most famous line and it sums up his optimistic outlook on life. Dabo doesn’t believe in thinking small. He knows how important it is to set BIG goals and to ignore the naysayers who tell him to lower his expectations. [click to continue…]

John CalipariWe live in a fast-paced, highly-competitive, constantly-changing world. No matter what industry you’re working in, the rapid pace of change can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. If you’re not careful, the ever-changing demands of your daily work life can lead to such high stress levels that you get burned out and lose your enthusiasm and focus for whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish.

We have three choices for how we can deal with changing circumstances and the stress that this can cause.

First, we can dwell on the past and try (unsuccessfully) to avoid the task at hand.  Second, we can worry about the future and all the uncertainties that lie ahead. Or third, we can choose to accept things as they are and discipline our thoughts to seek peace and clarity in the present moment.

The first two choices lead to more stress and eventual burnout. Successful people focus on the third choice.

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari knows what it’s like to work in an extremely competitive and ever-changing field. He offers three practical steps for keeping your focus on the present and avoiding burnout in your career… [click to continue…]

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