Friday, October 17, 2008


"I'm supposed to be a franchise player, and we talkin about practice....not a game, not a game. We talkin about practice."
-Allen Iverson

Life and the prosperity in it can be broken down into one simple Coach Rice proverb;
"If it's not practice time, then it's game time. If it's not game time, it's practice time."

Every phase in our lives that we've been through and/or are currently going through is training ground for the next level. From the time we started pre-school and matriculated through our respective grades, there has been one constant theme; practice, practice, practice. Now let's be honest. A lot of us hate practice. Often times we hate practice because we feel as if it is beneath us. We feel like we can't get any better. Thus, we only want to reap the benefits of game time. The reality is that the benefits of game time is winning, which is direct result of practice and game time adjustments.

Practice eventually breeds a spirit of confidence, develops a mastery of needed skills and ultimately it creates beneficial habits. Practice was designed for us to become our own best competition. It's why homework, prayer, meditation, weight-training, martial arts, were created. These things were meant to properly prepare us for war. Once we've been shown what to do in practice , it is incumbent on us to push ourselves during our private workouts. While we strive for perfection, that is not the goal of practice. The goal of practice is to make everything we do permanent; our thoughts, actions, leadership, and the impact that we make during our lifetime.

How good we become at certain things is determined not simply by how consistently and vigorously we practice, but how well we plan our practice. Once we create our practice plan, it must contain 3 things; 1) A list of relevant, challenging and effective exercises 2)A realistic time limit to complete the workout regimen 3) The exact time and place for the next game

In this life we do well what we do most. The more we commit to consistently, effectively and vigorously practicing the better we will perform during game time. In order to perform well during game time, we must apply what we do in practice once game time is here. Thus, whatever it is you wish to have or wish to do you must practice as if game time is now even if it's hours, days, weeks, months and years from now. No matter how many times you win or how many times you lose, you still gotta continue to practice. In this life you're either at practice or you're in the game. REAP THE BENEFITS OF PRACTICE IN EVERY POSSESSION OF EVERY QUARTER OF EVERY GAME. If it's not practice time, it's game time. Let's go!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Being defeated is temporary, but giving up makes it permanent.

This past Sunday my son and his self-esteem took off into the the next stratosphere. He rode his bike without the training wheels one week to the day he attempted it for the first time. At that moment he authored an irreplaceable memory and chapter in his childhood and a proud moment in my adulthood.

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. From the wobbling, swerving, the soft crash landings in the grass, the frustration, the tears, the crying and yes the snotty nose and dirty looks at Dad to the moment when the light bulb came on and he surprised himself. As my son pushed off the pavement, he pedalled and turned the handlebars from side to side. In a split second the bike and my son became smaller and smaller as he rode further and further away from me. All of a sudden, it all begins to make sense. Dad's instructions were simple; "The moment you stop pedalling is the moment that you fall."What initially sounded like a foreign language to him turned into a fluent, prophetic proverb that is applicable to our lives.

After countless repetitive commands, words of encouragement, face-to-face stare downs, man to boy challenges, and reverse psychology fused with echoed positive affirmations, my son consolidated his confusion, determination, frustration, setbacks and turned them into the best day of his life, the best ride of his life, and the best coaching job of my life. He turned around and from about 300 feet away I could see his ear-to-ear smile, I could hear the excitement in his stomach where butterflies once did back flips, and I could taste the victory and hear the roar of the crowd as we laughed and popped imaginary champagne bottles in celebration of this milestone and a rite of passage of every boy's life. It was freedom in every sense of the word.

In that very lesson of riding his bike, my son taught me more than I could ever teach him. He taught me to utilize my periodic impatient nature to create a competitive fire within. I told him several times, "get mad at me, then prove me wrong and ride this bike. Prove me wrong, son. We are not going home until you get this thing right." As I said these very words to him, I then held myself to the very same standard. Get mad at the haters, listen to their criticism, internalize it, then do everything in your power to shut them up and never mention a word of your victory to them. Thus, when goals are achieved, it's not a notion of 'I told you so', it's a notion of I told myself so.