Tuesday, June 3, 2014


The second quarter has been in full swing since April and I delayed this post for a few reasons that I won't get into right now. Now that it's June, we're in the last phase of the 2nd quarter and that means it's time to make our presence felt in the game. It's time for What some call a second quarter push but I call a second quarter surge. Often times, the way we start can or cannot have an effect on the overall game. However, there are certain spots in our pursuit of happiness which can truly propel us into the next stratosphere if we are mindful, intentional and relentless in our approach.

I call it a SURGE instead of a PUSH because the definitions alone hold different weight. To push means to press upon something with force in order to move it away. To surge means to rise or roll with a heavy swelling motion, or to undergo a large momentary increase. Would you rather force your success away or would you rather rise to and roll with your success?

You may have actually had a great 1st quarter, but one quarter doesn't define an entire game or an entire year for that matter. In order for any growth or progress to occur we must objectively look at our body of work for all it's highs, lows, in-betweens, the good, bad and ugly. This is the moment that we uncover who we are, what we possess and where we are willing to go. The second quarter is the opportune to demand more from ourselves while it's still early in the game. The second quarter is the power quarter because it provides us an opportunity to take our good to better, our better to best, and our best to phenomenal. The 2nd Quarter can give us tremendous momentum if and when we take advantage of it. 

The 2nd quarter SURGE, simply put, is the process of Strategically Uncovering and Redirecting Gifts and Energy. Sometimes it takes a below average, average and/or even an above average quarter for us to stop and simply take inventory of where we are and why we are where we are. Whatever the case, we have the freedom to choose whether or not we will improve or enhance our performance. 

May I remind you that everyone was created with at least one gift and often times that gift is simply waiting to be uncovered. It's waiting to be claimed. Your gift is your winning lottery ticket that some of you have yet to go and claim. You are the winner but you're letting your ticket sit on the counter and collect dust. Everyone else knows what your gift is and where your gift is, but you won't redeem the ticket. As a matter of fact, other people are jealous because they can see your gift but you refuse to pick it up and use it. The key to winning in any quarter is uncovering your gift. The moment that you simply acknowledge and receive it, you automatically begin winning but it takes diligence and tenacity to grow your gift. 

Redirecting your gift is simply about knowing your gift inside and out from every possible angle yet being confident and bold enough to apply it in different areas of your life in order to make a more meaningful impact. Redirecting your gift means you have an obligation to share your gift with other people. As a result of your generosity those around you will be inclined to share their gifts as well. Ironically sharing your gift is the best kept secret to success when in,fact it, your gift should never be a secret. 

The secret to THE SURGE is the Uncovering and Redirecting portion. Ironically, it's the UR in the word that stand out. Remove the UR from the word and it has zero meaning and impact. Sound familiar? Let's think about it.... 

UR the gifted 
UR the talented
UR the beginning
UR the finisher
UR the catalyst 
UR the revolution
UR the question
UR the answer
UR the franchise
UR the victor 
UR the difference maker 
UR the game changer 
UR the powerful voice in your head
UR the master of your fate
UR the judge, the jury and the executioner 
UR the undisputed champion
UR the sole controller of your 2ND QUARTER SURGE

The possession arrow is in yoUR favor.

So what RU waiting for?  


Friday, March 14, 2014


Get your brackets ready! It's that time of year. March Madness brings out every current, former athlete and wannabe coach and sports analyst in America. Everyone is super anxious for the field of teams to be chosen so they can enter their respective office pools in order to flex their basketball muscle and claim their spot as the undisputed bracket champion. I can't remember a year when the NCAA basketball tournament didn't live up to and/or surpass the hype of March Madness. From the cinderella teams to the dominant and storied programs, every game is critical, every possession is important, every strategy is intentional, every team has a unique story, every fan, alumni, analyst and bracketologist is hungry for victory and focused on making sure their bracket doesn't get busted. Sound familiar? It should. Imagine if we approached our lives as ferociously as people approach March Madness. 

Before the tournament starts, everyone has a formula that they use to fill out their respective brackets. Some look at stats, others look at individual scorers, strength of each team's regular season schedule, the head coach, margin of victory, etc. Whatever the strategy may be, everyone completely fills out their bracket and has faith that they will win. Imagine having faith in something that we have zero control over that's out of our reach yet we don't have faith in some of the things that are within our reach. See why they call it "madness"?

As we MARCH into the final phase of the 1st quarter, there are three ways to effectively close it and step boldly into the 2nd quarter;


You want to win, right? Move up the deadline on those goals you've set and finish them ahead of schedule. As a matter of fact, add an additional goal to your original list of goals you set. Take risks on the action that will yield the highest reward for you. This is a time when you have to be selfish in your strategy. Take action that others might view as "crazy" or "overly ambitious". Let that gut instinct determine the end result that you want. This is the time when your heart and gut must be in complete agreement and are willing to stretch. Don't just write out your plans, write out your power and claim it.


When the MADNESS is at it's peak, no one misses a score update, an upset of a favored team, a landslide victory. Why? They re-structure their lives around the "madness". It becomes their priority, their focus, their obsession. Imagine if we rearranged our priorities and placed the same energy that we utilize on the "MADNESS" and place it into those daily tasks that we want to do and have to do. We would completely destroy our competition.

Become obsessed with finishing at the top, but moreover become obsessed with the fulfillment that finishing brings. Make the image in the mirror your biggest cheerleader and your most formidable opponent that pushes you to the edge of maximum competitiveness. Develop a sense of urgency, a "MADNESS", that leads you to record your daily wins and losses as you accomplish the predictable and unpredictable. Celebrate your small wins for the moment then wake up the next day like they never happened yet with a renewed and intensified hunger to go to the next level.


As you examine and re-examine your bracket, boldly follow the path of most resistance and march deliberately toward the goals you've set. Your bracket should be the envy and wonderment of those around you. However, your footsteps should be so definite and powerful that your teammates and opponents are left in awe. Allow your footsteps to be so phenomenal that you can't duplicate them and those goals in front of you not only see you coming to accomplish them, but they tremble as they hear you approaching. Put the necessary blinders on that help you stay the course no matter how far away the actual goal is. March so loudly that all those along the way recognize the intensity and intention of your journey. No need to talk loud along the way. Allow your inner voice to be your inner victory. Your work and your footsteps will speak volumes louder than anything your mouth can utter. Allow your MARCH to be the ultimate routine for the championship run. No need to look at the time. The time is now. No need to look at your teammate(s), they're expecting you to close the deal. Well done is always better than well said. So get it done!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Right about now the newness of the New Year and it's resolutions have pretty much worn off. Right? Wrong? Am I judging you? Relax! It's not that type of party. The key to winning any game is about how you start before you start. That's not a typo. Are you confused? I hope not. Let me just get down to brass tax so you can get on with your day but more importantly this week, this month and ultimately this quarter. The resolution rut is a pain in the butt, but you have the choice to get yourself out it.

There are 3 ways out of the Resolution Rut;

1) Know The System:

Some leadership guru was quoted as saying, "stop setting goals and begin creating systems", and I honestly couldn't agree more. Seeing that we are all creatures of habit, we always want to achieve and surpass goals and get new results. The reality is we have a difficult time achieving and surpassing goals because we're not committed to new behaviors, habits or systems. Our minds allow us to envision the huge and impressive results without envisioning the detailed work that goes into reaching the goal. When we leave out the details of the process, we simply fantasize. Once you snap out of any fantasy, you pretty much perish any follow-up thoughts about what you were fantasizing about in the first place.

Unbeknownst to us, we have already developed systems for everything we do including but not limited to getting dressed in the morning, making meals, even cleaning and/or maintaining our spaces (home, car, office). Now, I didn't say these systems are perfect, nor did I suggest that they're effective, but they allow us to function at some level. Therefore, before we set goals, we must pay attention to the systems that we have in place and then objectively evaluate the outcomes as well as our feelings about those outcomes. Knowing the system means you know the plays that will work regardless of the predictable and unpredictable challenges. When you know the system, you're more confident. When you know the system you're more focused. When you know the system, you control the system. Knowing the system means you intentionally choose your play every single possession and understand that if the system fails, you can still run a variation of the original system. Rejection or failure of your system hopefully leads to an enhanced desire to get out of the resolution rut. 

2) Know Your Personnel

Once you create, run and know the system, be intentional about the resources you choose to help you run your system. There are people and things that are required for your system to run effectively, but it's up to you to make the adjustments that will allow the system to produce the desired results. Don't have resources in place that throw off the chemistry of your team. You can have a team full of talent but if there's no chemistry, there's chaos. Stop choosing certain resources because they're convenient or because those resources worked for someone else. The competitive edge of knowing your system and knowing your personnel comes from you being decisive about where you want to go and who you want to be once you arrive.

3) Dictate The Tempo

Stop rushing to get to the 4th quarter. You have no idea what challenges are waiting for you. Moreover, you don't know if the plays you're running or the personnel you're using in the 1st quarter will even be enough to compete, let alone produce the desired results during the 4th quarter. I'm not suggesting that you operate at half speed or that you not focus on winning during the first quarter. I'm not asking you to be nonchalant or unenthusiastic in your approach. As the sole controller you must demonstrate a balance of focus, urgency, critical thinking and patience as you encounter obstacles and challenges. Rather I'm admonishing you to tweak your system to produce tangible and excellent results every possession.

The first quarter is the warm-up quarter, however it's not be taken lightly. Your performance sets the tone for what you will do and how you will do it. It's up to you to have first quarter vision with 4th quarter effort and tenacity. Make every possession count by making every practice count. If your practice and your system are thorough, the first quarter push will look like hard work but feel like walk in the park. Get out the rut now by creating your systems first. Your goals will thank you.


Monday, December 2, 2013

4th Quarter Close Out - Phase 1/Game Statistics

HGood Morning Team! 

We're at Day 3 of my 4th Quarter CloseOut and if you ve been following my directions you should have written down a pretty extensive list of things. I've encouraged you to exhaust the lists because there's something to be said about blessings, wins, and gifts and how their interconnectedness translates into how we successfully close one year and start another. During this time of year some people begin to name and claim their New Year's resolutions. Now, that's not a bad thing because at least they're starting before New Year's Eve and New Year's Day! Often times people base their resolutions on what didn't happen during the current year. In essence, they push back the date in order to get "ready" for the new year. 

Am I clowning people who make resolutions? Nope!

Am I someone who doesn't make resolutions? 

Am I hear to tell you what your resolutions should be? 
Heck No! 

All I'm asking you to do during the first 3 days of this closeout is to take inventory of your game statistics. From those statistics, I want you be mindful, grateful and objective about how successful this year has been thus far. Regardless of what you think you've won more than you've lost, you've been blessed more than you've been cursed and your gifts havent been completely revealed or utilized. Based on your stats simply analyze what needs to happen and what doesn't need to happen. It 's the first step en route to finishing strong and starting even stronger. Take inventory on how your lists make you feel. Do you feel confident? Happy? Surprised? Motivated? Indifferent? Angry? Whatever emotion you feel, use that emotion to decide what action(s) you'll take to finish this year strong. Notice, I didnt say anything about setting any new goals/resolutions just yet. 

Blessings -> Which ones have you taken for granted? 

Wins -> Have you forgotten that progress toward a goal is a win, not just completion of it? 

Gifts -> Do you have hard time naming or sharing what yours are? 

Are your blessings & wins true reflections of how effectively you utilizing your gift(s)? 

Numbers don't lie, check the scoreboard. 


Sunday, November 3, 2013


For the second year in a row, I ran in the annual Rockville 10K in Rockville, MD. This is the race's 38th year. In fact, it's the oldest race in Montgomery County. Since April of 2012, I've been committed to running at least 3 times a week along with my supplementary training. I've run in rain, sleet, snow, heat, humidity, wind and extreme cold. I never allowed the weather to be a factor. Mind you, there was a time when I absolutely despised running. On the days that I didn't run, I literally would be furious with myself. Why? Because I felt like I broke a commitment to myself. A commitment that required me to push myself to the limit and remain consistent in my quest to remain fit, but moreover to remain a champion. On those missed days,  I felt like someone was either coming for my spot or they had already taken it. I realized that I had to earn my spot daily. 

During the race I saw people from all walks of life, in all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. I saw breast cancer survivors, young runners, old runners, tall runners, short runners, novice runners and professional runners. As we all warmed up, took our mark and rushed out the gate there was a collective enthusiasm and confidence that filled the air. We all had something to prove, but we didnt know exactly what we had to prove. See, this race wasnt like grade school where you compete against the person next to you. This race wasnt about competing against the clock or the course. This race was and is about competing against whats inside of you and the race you run everyday is about earning your spot. 

Earning your spot is having the courage, vision and work ethic to push yourself to do things just because. Earning your spot is about ignoring the elements and opinions you cant change and finding a way to shed your old skin as much as you need to shed it. Earning your spot is about making less announcements and producing more results in your way and in your time. Earning your spot is about inviting a certain level of discomfort into your life knowing that regardless of the pain, the force and moments of temporary convenience that comes with it, you will get better. Earning your spot is about being a finisher not just a participant. Earning your spot is GROWTH. 

So as you take your mark today, remember that the spot you haven't work for will never be reserved and the spot you think you deserve is on someone else's radar and within their reach and can be occupied at any given time. There's no need to talk about what you're about to do. There's only a need to go above & beyond what youre capable of doing. 


Earn your spot. Every second, every minute, every hour. 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL:" The Season Opener"

In the words of one of my favorite West Coast MCs, "ONCE AGAIN IT'S ON!"

That's right! No matter how far away it seemed, no matter how badly some of you wanted to turn the calendar upside down to force the days, weeks and months to go back to the first week of June, it's here. That's right, it's the first day of school. While some of you may already be in the full swing of school others are still milking the last few seconds of their summer vacation. 

Some are excited, others couldn't care less if they tried, and many absolutely loathe the thought having to rearrange their schedules just to go back to school. From my window, as a father, educator and coach, the first day of school is the season opener. You get an opportunity to start fresh, deliberately make some changes and get closer to your dreams/goals. 

The stadium lights come on, the crowd has gathered, your teammates,parents and even your teachers are waiting for you to take your place and showcase the new and improved you. They all have expectations of you that are higher than the ones from last season. Are the lights too bright? Is the noise of the crowd too much for your eardrums? Will you help or hinder your team? Will your parents and teachers teammates be convinced or confused by your performance? As you look in the mirror are you confident that the reflection is an accurate indication of who you are? Inquiring minds wanna know.

Your offseason (for those who believe in the concept) gave way to countless opportunities for self-improvement. If there's an unprecedented and infectious excitement and enthusiasm about the season opener, then that means you took advantage of those opportunities and made new strides during your offseason. It also means that you're ready to unveil to spectators, reassure your teammates and re-convince your opponents that you are still a force to be reckoned with. If there's a somber and nonchalant approach to your season opener, there's some serious soul searching to do and some steps that need to be retraced. It's the season opener for crying out loud. If you're the champion that you think you are and claim to be, you know that you don't have a choice once the whistle blows and the lights come on. You have to compete. Either you're in for tragedy or you're in for triumph, but the only way to find out what you're made of is to line up and make today better than yesterday. By association many already assume that you deserve to be on the team while several others are skeptical. Whose expectations will you meet? What reality will you confirm? No need to answer. Let your results speak for themselves.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013


This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book due for release in the Fall of 2013...

When I was in 7th grade, I decided to play football. I remember a high school football coach coming to our practice to talk about adversity. It was the first time I had ever heard the word and at that moment I was somewhat intimated by the sound of it. The intensity of the coach’s face along with the stories that he told about current and former players overcoming adversity were particularly interesting. What made the stories interesting was the fact that the players he mentioned were not particularly gifted with size,speed or quickness. They were gifted with drive.

Adversity is a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty or adverse fortune. When I think of adversity now, I immediately think about Eminem in the movie 8 Mile. For those who haven’t seen the movie, Marshall Mathers aka Eminem plays himself, a poor white kid growing up in a trailer park in Detroit, Michigan who aspires to become a hip hop artist. He has a group of loyal friends who he’s known for some time. They all love hip-hop and they believe in him and support him in his quest. They constantly run into a rival hip-hop group who call themselves the Free World. Throughout the movie Eminem and his crew have several run-ins with this rival crew and get into a series of lyrical and physical battles in the streets. The consensus is that Eminem’s lyrical skills are not quite up to par and they don't impress his rivals. Out to prove them wrong and himself right, he enters the most popular weekly freestyle battle at a local club. In front of thousands, Mathers steps to the mic, looks around, nods his head to the hip instrumental, stares his opponent in the eye then into oblivion and nothing comes out of his mouth. To his dismay and the disappointment of the crowd at hand, he completely embarrasses himself and is booed off the stage.

While many would deem this instance an epic failure and assume that he did not have the skills to compete in the first place, others might say that he choked due to fear. People have turned fear into an acronym that stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Are fear and adversity the same? Or does adversity bring about fear? While fear might be false evidence, adversity is false advertising. The craft that Eminem ate, drank, and slept was not displayed to the people in the club that night because he chose not deal with adversity. Was it out of fear? Most would say yes. I would say that adversity convinced him that his skill was not good enough or good at all. In his mind, he viewed the crowd, the atmosphere and even the other MC as the opponent when, in reality, the biggest opponent was the reflection in the mirror.

We read and hear stories about athletes and entertainers and even everyday people who consistently overcome insurmountable obstacles. We often discover that these people have displayed courage, determination, focus, discipline and drive and we assume they are born with it when in reality they have developed it in the face of adversity. We often hear that people have triumphed in the "face of adversity.” While these proven household ingredients never fail those who possess and use them, there is an element of overcoming adversity that most people don’t address. The first face of adversity that they have conquered is same one that we all must conquer; the face in the mirror. When was the last time you looked in the mirror? I’m not talking about when you brush your teeth, do your hair or remove that nagging nose hair. I’m talking about shutting the door, turning on the light and getting up close and personal with your reflection. No need for talking, smiling, frowning, or even glaring. As you focus on your reflection, let your soul simply talk to you, tell you the truth, set the expectation, allow you to envision who you want to become. Let the moment build some suspense and most importantly confidence. The eyes are without a doubt the window to the soul and it is the soul that tell you the real deal about adversity.

Adversity is false advertising because it paints a picture of fear, failure and inadequacy before we get a chance to prove otherwise. Look at David and Goliath and the odds that David would win. Look at J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, who was a single mother on welfare and discouraged by 11 publishers that her book was not worth writing or reading. Walt Disney himself was actually deathly afraid of mice, but chose Mickey Mouse as the icon of his empire. Nic Vujicic was born with no arms or legs but can swim, surf, and play golf. All of these people could have thought of a thousand excuses and could name a thousand people who have discouraged them directly or indirectly, but instead they found every reason not to buy the negativity that people tried to sell them.

The truth is you cannot face or conquer adversity outside of yourself until you face and conquer the adversity inside of yourself. You cannot fix what you will not face. Know that God hasn’t given you a spirit of fear. That’s something that you gave yourself. Often times fear settles in because we haven’t spent enough time thinking or talking to ourselves. Therefore our own insecurities become the elephant in the room. If we continue to ignore that elephant and put forth zero effort to get him out of the room, sooner or later he’s gonna get hungry and angry then eat and destroy everything in the room, including you. That elephant will completely disregard everything you want, need and value, but if you haven’t faced your reflection then you won’t be ready or confident to face that elephant.

Adversity comes with a FEE.

Adversity is a FORCE that pushes or pulls us to take action

Adversity is an EXPECTATION that we will match or exceed the intensity and power of that force.

Adversity is an ENCOURAGEMENT from within that convinces us that who we are is what we’re willing to do.

Adversity is false advertisement that forces, expects and encourages us to choose. It’s really all about how we view what we value. Some may think that force is an overly aggressive word, but when faced with challenges we are forced to step up or step down. When faced with adversity we do can choose to do one of three things; freeze, run or fight. In any event, our perception of the false advertisement compels us to do something. We freeze and let it continue it’s sales pitch to us because we’re unprepared or uninformed. We run because we buy that we’re not able to conquer it. We fight it because we refuse to lay down and let it beat us.

The cost of success is about the FEE that adversity charges. You either choose to pay by taking action and investing in yourself or you choose to lose by sitting there and investing in excuses. We must stop thinking that we don’t have the ability and/or the resources to face adversity. We have both, but we must develop the character, the heart and determination to conquer adversity.

I'm Coach Rice. I approve this message and I'm ready to pay the FEE. Are you?