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  • Writer's pictureKevin Anselmo

Counterintuitive Ideas on Success from Basketball Players & Coaches 🏀


I've always appreciated how basketball (and all sports for that matter) mirrors our life journeys. Sports often seems to be a zero sum game. We frequently hear refrains like: "Win or go home" and "championship or bust". For a player, a slump could result in being benched, or worse, released from a team.


Yet regardless of how competitive we are and wish to achieve at any activity - sports, business, hobbies - we know that results don't always turn out the way we would like. Does that mean we have failed? Maybe, if we haven't put in the effort. But maybe not. On that note, I love these quotes from different players and coaches and think they can apply to many of us as we go through different career ups and downs. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” - former UCLA coach and legend John Wooden


"Every year you work, you work towards something, towards a goal — which is to get a promotion, to be able to take care of your family, provide a house for them, or take care of your parents. You work towards a goal — it’s not a failure. It’s steps to success. I don’t want to make it personal. There’s always steps to it. Michael Jordan played 15 years, won six championships. The other nine years was a failure?" - Giannis Antetokounmpo following his team loss in the playoffs


“You know the other thing is, you always hear people give glory to God and say thank you when they’re holding a trophy. But you never really hear in times like this (referring to being down 0-3 to the Miami Heat). And so, for me, it’s an opportunity to just sit right where I’m at and just be faithful. That’s what it’s about.” - Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla following a loss that put his team down 0-3 in the playoffs "I had to learn how to give my best effort to God and trust him with the results. I have to learn to have enough faith to trust in his grace and to trust in his sovereign and perfect plan. I had to submit my will, my desires, my dreams — give it all up to God and say, “Look, I am going to give my best effort, go on the court and play every day for you, and I'm going to let you take care of the rest." - former player Jeremy Lin


"If you make every game a life and death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." - former University of North Carolina coach Dean Smith



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