Bill Bradley (b. 1943) fell in love with the sport of basketball somewhere around the age of ten. He had one advantage over his peers—he was tall for his age. But beyond that, he had no real natural gift for the game. He was slow and gawky, and could not jump very high. None of the aspects of the game came easily to him. He would have to compensate for all of his inadequacies through sheer practice. And so he proceeded to devise one of the most rigorous and efficient training routines in the history of sports.
“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“Work is finding yourself alone at the track when the weather kept everyone else indoors. Work is pushing through the pain and crappy first drafts and prototypes. It is ignoring whatever plaudits others are getting, and more importantly, ignoring whatever plaudits you may be getting. Because there is work to be done. Work doesn’t want to be good. It is made so, despite the headwind.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
“I like my feet to be the first footprints in the sand.” ~ Kevin Garnett
The following is an excerpt from Budo Secrets – Teachings of the Martial Arts Masters by John Stevens
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Water is the source of wisdom; swimming is the mother of all the arts.
Children should be introduced to the sea as early as possible. Rather than being strictly “taught” how to float and swim, they should be unobtrusively guided at first in order to allow them to gradually acquaint themselves with the mystery of water.
Body and mind must remain flexible. A calm mind is the single most important element of successful training. A swimmer must avoid struggling against the water, against him- or herself, or against others. A trainee must strive to harmonize him- or herself with the waves, becoming one with the body of water, be it a pond, lake, river, or ocean. Ride the waves with your mind as well as your body.
There are four levels of mastery, symbolized by the four seasons. In spring, the raw swimmer, bursting with energy and eager to compete, needs discipline and hard physical training. In summer, the experienced swimmer, now at his or her physical peak, should explore the full dimensions of the art. In autumn, the mature swimmer can relax a bit, sporting more freely in the water, and reflect on past experiences. By winter, a true swimmer has become a wise old master, beyond the limits of victory or defeat, in perfect harmony with the sea, sky, and shore.
Swimming teaches us how to live properly. There is no way a solitary swimmer can impose his or her selfish will on the water. Swimming against the current will ultimately result in disaster. Swim with the flow without strain, resistance, confusion, or unnatural movement.
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“For me the joy of athletics has never resided in winning. I derive just as much happiness from the process as from the results. I don’t mind losing as long as I see improvement or I feel I’ve done as well as I possibly could. If I lose, I just go back to the track and work some more.” ~ Jackie Joyner-Kersee
“Often called the best woman soccer player in the world, Mia Hamm says she was always asked, ‘Mia, what is the most important thing for a soccer player to have?’ With no hesitation, she answered, ‘Mental toughness.’ And she didn’t mean some innate trait. When eleven players want to knock you down, when you’re tired or injured, when the referees are against you, you can’t let any of it affect your focus. How do you do that? You have to learn how. ‘It is,’ said Hamm, ‘one of the most difficult aspects of soccer and the one I struggle with every game and every practice.” ~ Carol Dweck, Mindset
“John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, says you aren’t a failure until you start to blame. What he means is that you can still be in the process of learning from your mistakes until you deny them.” ~ Carol Dweck, Mindset
“I read an article a few years ago that said when you practice a sport a lot, you literally become a broadband: the nerve pathway in your brain contains a lot more information. As soon as you stop practicing, the pathway begins shrinking back down. Reading that changed my life. I used to wonder, Why am I doing these sets, getting on a stage? Don’t I know how to do this already? The answer is no. You must keep doing it. The broadband starts to narrow the moment you stop.” ~ Jerry Seinfeld
“If you want to play the game and win, you’ve got to play ‘full out.’ You’ve got to be willing to feel stupid, and you’ve got to be willing to try things that might not work – and if they don’t work, be willing to change your approach. Otherwise, how could you innovate, how could you grow, how could you discovery who you really are?” ~ Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
“What you do in practice is going to determine your level of success. I used to tell my players, ‘You have to give 100 percent every day. Whatever you don’t give, you can’t make up for tomorrow. If you give only 75 percent today, you can’t give 125 percent tomorrow to make up for it.‘” ~ John Wooden
“When I was teaching basketball, I urged my players to try their hardest to improve on that very day, to make that practice a masterpiece. Too often we get distracted by what is outside our control. You can’t do anything about yesterday. The door to the past has been shut and the key thrown away. You can do nothing about tomorrow. It is yet to come. However, tomorrow is in large part determined by what you do today. So make today a masterpiece… This rule is even more important in life than in basketball. You have to apply yourself each day to become a little better. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better. Only then will you be able to approach being the best you can be.” ~ John Wooden
“Be over prepared so that you wont under perform.” ~ Gary Mack, Mind Gym