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Jaylen Brown quoteToday was the NBA Draft, always an exciting day for a hoops fan like me.  My Celtics had the third pick in draft and they selected Jaylen Brown.  I don’t know much about Jaylen, so I did some research and found this quote from him from earlier this month:

“A lot of people want to get to the level of a Kobe Bryant, but nobody wants to put in the work that he did.”

Now, I have to be honest, as a Boston fan, I never really liked Kobe, but I always admired him.

His work ethic was legendary and turned a prodigious young talent into one of the all-time greats of the game.

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The-result-isntI’m a massive sports fan.

It doesn’t matter what the game is, if there’s a ball and two teams, I’ll happily pick a side and start cheering.

I love a close contest and find myself getting engrossed in the tension of the struggle.

I can still remember holding my daughter Madison when she was just a baby as John Terry hit the woodwork on a penalty that resulted in my beloved Manchester United winning the European Championship.  I nearly threw her up into the air in my excitement.

But then there are the boring, one-sided, inevitable results and the long countdown to the end of the game.

In basketball, if the result is beyond doubt, the side with possession will just dribble the ball and count down the final few seconds of the game.

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The-right-words-are-aAfter a terrible week of results for Manchester United, midfielder Juan Mata wrote on his blog, “Words are not enough… and the only thing to turn that anger into happiness is through good results, not words.”

He’s right.

He can say that they will improve, or they can actually perform better on the pitch.

As a fan, that’s what I want to see, but as a coach, I can see the application in a broader sense.

We can all say that we want to live a great life and be successful, or we can do the hard work required to live a great life and be successful.

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Matt Dellavedova

Matt Dellavedova celebrating a win with Lebron James in the 2015 NBA Finals

I love basketball and seeing Australian athletes shine on the big stage, so to see Andrew Bogut and Matt Dellavedova starting for the two NBA Finalists, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Andrew Bogut was the first pick in his draft year and he has been in the league for many years, so it’s not such a surprise to see him there, but Matt Dellavedova is another story.

So what’s so inspiring about him? Read the rest of this entry »

Harriette Thompson

92-year-old Harriette Thompson running a marathon. What an inspiration!

Earlier this week I stumbled across the inspiring story of 92-year-old Harriette Thompson, who successfully ran a marathon in San Diego over the weekend.

She ran it in just over 7 hours and it was her 16th completed marathon.

What an extraordinary achievement!

As I consider Harriette’s phenomenal performance, I think that there are three things that we can learn from her: Read the rest of this entry »

Live-with-hope-Have-aNeale Daniher was a terrific footballer.  A champion for the Essendon Football Club, his career was cut short by injuries, but his persistence and courage was a trademark.

He was a highly motivating coach.  His fiery messages as coach of the Melbourne Football Club gave him the nickname, “The Reverend” and his players went to battle for him every week.

And away from football, Neale is highly regarded for his affable nature, warm smile, fierce loyalty to family and friends and sense of humour.

Tragically, last year he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) an insidious illness for which there is no cure and no treatment.

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Glenn Cunningham

Glenn Cunningham, the Kansas Flyer

One of the books that I’m reading at the moment is Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, the story of Louie Zamperoni that has recently been made into a movie.  Whilst his story is inspirational enough, Laura’a done a great job of writing about him, so this post is about one of the guys who inspired Zamperoni, Glenn Cunningham.

At the age of 8, Cunningham’s legs were badly burned in a school fire that killed his older brother, Floyd.

The doctor’s recommended that Glenn’s legs be amputated, but he protested to his parents and he kept them.  However, his injuries were so bad that doctors said that he wouldn’t ever be able to walk normally again.

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In a wide-ranging Youve-got-to-make-uprecent interview, former Boston Celtics legend and current Washington Wizards veteran Paul Pierce discussed the advice that his gives to the young stars on his team:

“I talk to them a lot about mental preparation and consistency,” Pierce said. “I keep telling (John) Wall and (Bradley) Beal, ‘You’ve got to make up your mind. Do you want to be good, or do you want to be great? Because if you want to be great, you gotta do it every single night, not just when you feel like it.”

Do I get an amen?

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I-dont-know-what-my-kidsYesterday afternoon, my 10 year old son Hayden said that he didn’t think that he would be able to make it to the AFL (Australia’s highest league for Australian rules football).  He thought that maybe a lower league was more achievable.

I looked at him with pride and said, “Let’s not put a ceiling on that goal just yet, the sky is still the limit, so let’s keep training hard and see what happens.”

Maybe he won’t make it to the AFL.

Maybe he will get distracted and try something else.

Maybe he won’t put the work in or just doesn’t have the talent.

Maybe he will get injured and that will hold him back.

But I’m not going to put a cap on his (or my other kids’) aspirations.

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If-you-think-that-youreOn the weekend, Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo amazed us once again with an extraordinary 5 goals during his team’s 9-1 trouncing of Granada.  This included a hat-trick within 8 minutes and his performance was as close to perfection from an athlete as you could expect.

But not according to the man himself.

Ronaldo once said, “If you think that you’re already perfect, then you never will be.”

Despite his obvious talent and natural skill, Ronaldo’s work ethic is legendary.  Since a very young age, he has pushed himself on the training track harder than most of contemporaries, developing his skills and physical capabilities to a level reached by very few athletes.

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