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In baseball, when a batter swings and misses, does he give up?

What about if he misses on the second pitch?

Does he walk back to the dug-out, or does he risk three strikes?

What if he does strike out?

When his turn comes around again, does he pick up his bat and go back in?

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My beloved Boston Celtics are on a bit of a roll at the moment in the NBA and I noticed an interesting statistic that mentioned when Jaylen Brown has scored 20 or more points this season, the Celtics are 23-5.

Imagine that.

A player does well and the team benefits.

It seems obvious, but sometimes we forget this important principle and also neglect to apply it in our lives.

I need you to hear this today.

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In a recent interview, long-time Miami Heat forward, Udonis Haslem was asked about the culture of the organisation and he responded,

It’s one thing to have a coach give the message and do the things that coaches do. But it’s different to have someone in the locker room that’s a living, breathing example of the culture that you want to transfer to those guys, that you want to impart upon them.

There’s no doubt that Udonis is a great leader.

He has contributed to 3 NBA titles during his tenure with the Heat and his pre-game speeches are iconic and inspiring.

And the above quote explains why he is so influential within that franchise.

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In the week leading up to the 2019 AFL Grand Final, Richmond captain Trent Cotchin said,

“For me, it’s not about holding the cup up for a second time and so forth, it’s about creating a culture that will live beyond my time at the footy club and the other players who have been such a big part of that.”

He gets it.

He understands leadership.

It’s about creating a legacy.

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Clemson University Football Strength and Conditioning Coach Joey Batson is quoted as saying:

“They don’t put championship rings on smooth hands… You win championships when the stadium is empty, when the band ain’t playing, when the cheerleaders ain’t cheering, when it’s just you and your brother, right beside you.”

I love these types of quotes as they are a reminder that we can’t just expect to turn up and expect everything to automatically work out.

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Wayne Rooney did it again.

For the third time in his professional career, Rooney managed to kick a goal from beyond the half-way line, with an audacious strike.

How does he do it?

Firstly, he needs to see the opportunity.

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One of my favourite stories to come out of the Toronto Raptors’ NBA Championship is that of their coach, Nick Nurse.

After graduating college in 1989, he worked in a range of coaching positions across Europe, college and semi-pro leagues.

In 2005, he accepted the job to be an assistant coach for the Oklahoma Storm. It paid $43 a day. To earn it, he had to coach, wash the uniforms and drive the team to games.

Now, after 15 teams across five countries and 30 years after his coaching journey began, he is the coach of the 2019 NBA Champions.

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Two-time Olympic gold medal footballer, Ally Wambach reminds us in her book, Wolfpack, to rush or point.

The premise is simple, but wonderful.

When someone scores a goal, rush to them in celebration.

Get there first, create a culture of celebrating the success of others, give them a hug or a high-five, tell them how good they are.

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I was watching an interview with one of the Boston Celtics’ players last night and in the background there was a message on the wall that simply said, “Every possession matters.”

It’s a great principle that doesn’t just apply to basketball, so let me encourage you today to take advantage of every opportunity, because:

Every interaction matters.

Every email matters.

Every single moment of every single day matters.

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The NBA season started today and in the first game of the season, after young Boston star Jayson Tatum started complaining about a dodgy call, his coach, Brad Stevens yelled out to him, “Hey, next play!”

It’s great leadership and a great reminder to us all that there will be times when things don’t go our way.

Not every decision will go in our favour.

You will make mistakes.

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