Sunday, March 15, 2009


Needless to say, this time of year is my favorite for obvious reasons. It's the best time for college basketball. Ever since I fell in love with this game I have religiously watched every sports channel, read numerous magazine, newspaper and on-line articles as they relate to the tournament. Is it an obsession? Well, I wouldn't go that far, but I will say that I never grow tired of watching it, even if my favorite teams and coaches don't win.

It's a time of year when you get to see stellar powerhouses, cinderellas, resurrected and rising programs battle each other on the hallowed hardwood for an opportunity to be called the best. Players and coaches alike put their skill, will, and strategy to the ultimate test on the greatest stage in sports. Behind-the-scenes interviews, practices, shoot-arounds, old and new stats, pre-game and post-game interviews, buzzer beaters, hustle plays, controversial calls, unforgettable commentary and ultimately a team is crowned as the undisputed national champion.

Sports journalists have coined the term "bracketology" in an effort to stress that there is a science to filling out your tournament bracket. While there is a science to predicting who will advance to the Final Four and furthermore who will be crowned champion, there is a personal meaning that bracketology has for me. While Biology is the study of life and psychology is the study of human behavior, bracketology is the study of champions. Each coach, each player, each student, and each fan looks forward to the tournament with an unparalleled enthusiasm. This enthusiasm is fueled by the thoughts, hopes and dreams of their team/school possibly having the chance to stand in the winner's circle. However, if this goal is not achieved and they don't get that grand opportunity, the shear thrill of being recognized is just as much of an honor for some. Whether they are recognized by their school's name, their mascot's or their coach's name the "one shining moment" is the very essence of a champion. To have a chance to show everyone that you are a champion beyond the shadow of a doubt, whether you win or lose.

Let's take that same enthusiasm, pride, and tireless effort and apply it to our lives on a daily basis. Let's fill out our daily brackets and carefully strategize our course to life's championship game. Let's compete vigorously against those opponents with well-deserved reputations and those we've never seen or heard of. Let's commit to making the hustle plays, the fundamental passes, playing solid defense, and hitting the game-winners/buzzer beaters that confirm and validate our status as champions. Let's hoist our championship trophy everyday having the satisfaction and the confidence that we played the game the right way. The shining moment is here. Earn it with every possession.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Are you serious, Coach?

I know, I know. Most of you may think that by making this statement it is simply to spark curiosity in the reader. You may also be thinking that I sound too much like a coach who's attempting to motivate his players. Ok, maybe you're right. But let's be honest for a second and think about one of the most dreaded words/concepts in the history of mankind; homework. Why is the word dreaded? Maybe it;s because most people are afraid of work. Then again maybe it's because most people associate their home as a place reserved strictly for rest. Whatever reason(s) people give for loathing homework, it is often directed at the lack of motivation to do the things that are absolutely instrumental in our growth and development.

Homework is one thing we all have dreaded at some point in our lives. The word alone still makes some people cringe long after their school days have passed. Even the most academically astute people find it hard to motivate themselves to complete homework consistently and accurately. No matter the case, homework is the very concept that is at the root of our work ethic. We often do it reactively because we have to or because we want to. Those who complete their homework do it and go through the motions just to get it done while others truly want to do their homework because they wish to truly learn and understand. This is clealy the difference between a student and an intellect.

No matter if we are in school or in the world of work there will always be homework to do. Doing the homework before it is assigned speaks to our willingness to develop a work ethic that is focused on proactively preparing for challenges in an uncertain future, yet wholeheartedly believing that a rewarding and positive outcome awaits. Dancers choreograph their routines prior to the recital, doctors consult with their patients before performing surgery, lawyers research cases, rehearse their statements, arguments, and rebuttles before stepping into the court room, and coaches watch film, write practice plans and go over both team's strategy before the actual game is played. Homework translates tedious work done in isolation into proficient skill sets that are displayed in public. We must be committed to completing the homework, understanding the homework and using the homework to rise above the class. So with that said, have you finished your homework?

Sunday, March 1, 2009


On this path, this journey, we are provided with options as we attempt to live out our dreams. However, before we live out our dreams, and even before we identify, strategize and act on our dreams we have a decision to make. We must decide whether we are in the way or whether we are on our way. What do I mean by that?

The things, situations and people that we encounter all have a designed intent. For example, a normal interstate highway has at least 2 lanes. On most interstate highways, local parkways and bypasses the left lane is designated for passing while the right lane is intended for those who are not passing anyone. You choose a lane according to how fast you want to go and in turn it will determine how quickly you arrive. Those who properly utilize the passing lane are people who are focused, ready to take risks, and willing to learn as they go. They pass on the left and return to the right lane in order to faciliate the smooth flow of traffic yet still move rapidly in the direction of their goal. Often times we witness people who hop into the passing lane, stay even with the lead car in the right lane and remain there. Thus, while they are moving forward, they are creating a moving traffic jam in the process and no one gets ahead.

We see this type of behavior in leadership all too often. Believe or not, leadership is not just about the person who is in the front, it's about the person who is in the front yet allows other people to lead when they are ready. Effective leadership on the road to our destination is about empowering, encouraging and allowing others to lead in their own time, with their own style and at their own pace. To lead and impede other's progress is like taking an ill-advised shot , but to lead and allow others to grow is the consummate assist. Therefore I ask; Are you in the way, or are you on the way?