STAR-WARS-YODA_510I remember sitting in line for two hours with my family when Return Of The Jedi hit the movie theaters. I have no idea exactly how old I was but i distinctly remember the popcorn and this little green guy that talked in riddles.

I didn’t understand why the green man talked in backwards sentences or loved piggyback rides so much. The one thing I did understand immediately was that he was a lot wiser and stronger than the young man he was training.

That was my first encounter with Yoda. The three foot, green, kind of dusty, old Jedi with horrible teeth. He was Luke Skywalkers mentor, sensei, teacher, and most importantly coach.

I say coach because he motivated this high stung, over anxious, and sometimes whiney young man to be what he was destined to become. Yoda did this through some extreme tough love, riddles that would confuse Einstein, and bad jokes. Although his style was a tad unconventional it eventually worked.

Being able to motivate someone else is a gift being able to motivate yourself is power. It’s power because once that happens you won’t need a green guy on your back doing it for you.

It’s power because you’ll be the one pulling yourself out of bed in the morning. You won’t need anyone else to do it for you. Self-motivation is the most important form of the word. Because when you can rely on you nothing can stop what you do.

There are millions of trainers in gyms all over the world because there are billions of people who need their own personal Yoda. The force is not strong enough for them to do it on their own, so they have someone help do it for them.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this but imagine if that trainer was with you all the time. You wake up and he/she is sitting on your bed in full workout gear holding a power bar. That could be weird but I think you know what Im trying to get at.

We all have the power to self motivate inside of us, all we have to do is unleash it. No piggyback ride needed!


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071110front_t607I remember looking around and seeing the best players in the county all lined up next to me on the baseline. Guys that I just read about in the newspaper getting ready to partake in the same tryout as Cornell Thomas the Junior Varsity bench player.

My friend asked me to come to a tryout with him for some basketball team, so some teammates and I decided to tryout.

To say I was not qualified was an understatement. I was exactly seven months into my basketball career, and lets just say I was light-years away from where I needed to be to make this team. This was my first experience with AAU. Little did I know that twelve years later I would be coaching it. Back in the 90’s AAU (amateur athletic union) was a lot different. There weren’t millions of teams all over the country; there were only a few teams here and there in each state.

Only the best of the best played on a team, which is a stark contrast to today where anyone with enough money to afford it can make a roster somewhere. “Coaches” have become salesmen and saleswomen recruiting kids to their program by using words like “Exposure” and “Elite”. In reality what is exposure? Is it going to “showcase” tournaments? Is it sending mass highlight tapes (direct marketing style) to hundreds of colleges across the country? Well this is where the grey line appears, because to be honest not a lot of people have even the slightest idea what the answer is.

I was talking to a good friend of mine who played Division 1 basketball and also coached it, and she brought up a great point regarding exposure. She said that just because you’re at a “showcase” doesn’t necessarily mean the school interested in is going to watch you.

In my program (Crossroads Basketball) to date we’ve had over 70 kids play college basketball, on all levels. Out of those 70 kids only four went to a Division 1 school, and five others attended a Division 2. How is this possible? We went to big “showcases”, I contacted schools, and the kids did their due diligence in the classroom.

Well think of it like going grocery shopping. Before you hop in the car one of the first things you do is make a list. One it will save you a ton of time, and two you wont have to make a second trip if you happened to forget something. The same goes for college coaches, especially on the scholarship level.

They go to “showcases” with a good idea of what they’re shopping for. 9 times out of 10 they’re following certain kids around from court to court trying to determine if there worth the 200,000-dollar scholarship they might offer. In some cases coaches and whole staffs are fired for not bringing in the right kids. At the end of the day these coaches are paid well to WIN.

Now is that not saying there might not be an impulse buy here or there? For sure there will be. A kid catches the eye of a coach that didn’t have them on their radar, and next thing you know opportunity comes knocking. But this also brings me to another point.

You have to be prepared to seize the opportunity when it comes! So even if the coach from your dream school trips and falls on the court that you happened to be playing on, are you ready to show him/her what you got? Have you been training like an animal? Practicing your weaknesses? Have you gotten better every week? This is where these “new style” AAU programs fall flat.

You can promise someone the world but you better make sure that not only you can deliver but also they can (the player) deliver when that opportunity comes. There’s a huge difference between exposure and getting exposed.

Getting exposure doesn’t guarantee you anything, but getting exposed guarantees that you wont be going to the school that just watched you. I talk to college coaches from both the men and women’s game often (Divison 1 to Division 3), and there’s one consistent to their recruiting. You have to be able to actually play!! So pass on the free sneakers and new Nike bag, and get in the gym and get better!!!

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Adelie Penguins Diving into Water (Composite)Im not sure what age I was, but I distinctly remember my mom asking me a very important question. She asked, “If so and so (insert friends name here) jumped off a bridge would you do it too”?

I remember wondering if my mom thought I was crazy before I quickly answered no. What I didn’t realize (until after my answer) was that my mom was giving me my first lesson in being a leader.

It’s really hard (especially at a young age) to tell the difference between following and leading. Most followers don’t know that they are one. After that talk I always wanted to lead. I didn’t want to be Data from the Goonies I wanted to be Mikey. (If you don’t know the reference we are not friends anymore) But back then I wasn’t sure what leadership was. It wasn’t getting a bunch of friends together and trying to find a buried treasure.

The reason there are so few leaders is become no one wants to do what’s in the job description. To be a leader you have to be willing to do the dirty work. That could be anything from giving constructive criticism to a sensitive coworker to doing that extra lap with the kid that thinks he cant take another step.

In contrast being a follower takes zero effort. Its comfortable, its safe, you’re on a road with millions of other cars. Leaders are sometimes traveling on a road all by themselves. Everyone took a right at the fork in the road but something told them to go left. Their decisions might be laughed at or criticized by the sheep, but lions don’t fret over the opinions of sheep and that’s what leaders are.

You cant live your dreams through other people’s actions. Which basically means to make your dream a reality you have to be the one calling the shots in your life, no one else. I love this picture because the follower penguins have no idea what their diving into, and that’s exactly how it is in our lives. We follow blindly without asking a very important question, why am I about to jump off this bridge? Lead my friends and jump when you want to not because you feel you have to.



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confidenceWill you wake up early and stay late? Will you sacrifice what you like to accomplish what you love? Will you stop making excuses?

Will you put your dream first and your doubts second? Will you look in the mirror every day and believe in the reflection staring back at you?

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When I wake up in the morning I wait. It usually happens about an hour or so after I post my morning quotes. I hear a little rumbling from down the hall, and then I hear a faint daddy and brycevoice that say’s “da da”.  I stay in my bed for a little bit longer because I know the routine. A bottle has to be made, and an over anxious dog has to be let out before I can find the person behind this voice.

As mommy and I do rock, paper, scissors to choose who actually has to bear the cold and take the dog out I hear the voice again, this time it says daddy.

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imageBack in the days there was a toy called a chia pet. You folks that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s know exactly what I’m talking about.

Im not sure if it was a sheep or goat but the premise of this toy was to pour water on it, and then sit back and watch the fur grow.

Yes I know to all you young folks this doesn’t seem like much fun (and it wasn’t) but that’s not my point. With the chia pet all you had to do is add water and all the work was done.

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paul revereI remember being in some grade reading some story about a guy on a horse yelling something about British people. At that time I had no idea or to be honest in learning anything about Paul Revere. I would find out later on in life that he wasn’t the only one ringing the alarm about the British.

The difference between him and the other guy was people listened when he talked. He was part of a million social clubs and organizations so he was in the words of Malcolm Gladwell a connector.

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revolution-fistWhich one do you prefer? If you’re like the millions of people in the world frantically eating their “last” donut today before they start fresh tomorrow, I already know your answer. You see tomorrow morning every fitness gym in America will have a few extra visitors.

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article-0-073C938B000005DC-571_634x670Fear can be funny sometimes. Not in a I can’t believe this bear is still chasing me kind of way, but how it tricks our mind into making even the smallest molehill into a mountain.

For whatever reason that molehill for me was doing an assisted handstand. I throw in assisted just so you know how easily I was fooled into thinking this particular feet was life threatening.

I first tried while working out in the gym with two very brave workout partners avoiding kicks in the face to hold my legs up. Needless to say I wasn’t super successful on my first attempt.

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break_glass_520x196I can see them right in front of me. I know that I’m positioning myself to one day in the very near future accomplish every single one of them.

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