Winning is the only thing (and other B.S.)

Winning is the only thing (and other B.S.)

IN THIS ISSUE: 

“MARCH MADNESS – WINNING ISN’T EVERYTHING: IT’S THE ONLY THING.”  A SPECIAL REPORT ON HOW CHEATING CAN GET YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO: 

ATHLETE’S LOCKER – “Come on boys and girls, let’s cheat to win!”
PARENTS’ CORNER – “How to raise a cheater!”
DR G’S TEACHING TALES – “Listening to the sweet sound of the sirens“

What a GREAT time of year! It’s almost Spring! They say that the snow may even melt here in the Northeast within the next year or two. And it’s Dance time! The NCAA men and women’s basketball tournaments are about to begin and now we can finally see some “real” exciting basketball. Enough of the crap that they are masquerading as round ball in the NBA. I’m so sick of the selfishness displayed by too many of these great players. It’s a team game and for a lot of these teams, it’s all about one-on-one. Then there’s the furor around spoiled, know-it-all, out of control and over-paid little boys. You know, the Ron Artests and Latrelle Spreewells of the league. We can relax, forget all that b.s. and just sit back and watch some genuinely exciting, “unspoiled,” team basketball. But as the Big Dance rolls around to greet us, we hear another knock on our door from a very unwanted and particularly ugly visitor. Scandal! Villanova has suspended 12 players for unauthorized use of an athletic department employee’s phone card (Maybe we can get Carrot Top to do the advertisement for them: Dial 1 – 800 – YOU PAY!). St Bonaventure has withdrawn from post-season play for fielding an ineligible player. Apparently the Athletic Administration and admission’s department of the Bonnies mistook a welding certificate for a Junior College diploma, (Come on! Anyone could have done that. It’s an honest mistake!). Then there’s Fresno State being dropped from the tournament because some of their players had received bogus grades and had their work done for them by other students. Actually these allegations go back two years to the time of previous head coach, Jerry “The Shark” Tarkanian, (What’s wrong with “a little help from your friends?”). 

However, this year’s award for the “sleaziest & slimiest” goes to head coach Jim Harrick and his Georgia Bulldog assistant, Jim Harrick Jr. You’d be interested in knowing that Coach Harrick occupies some very rare air indeed. He is only one of three coaches to have taken 4 different schools to the NCAA’s Big Dance. Over the course of his illustrious 23 year career as a head coach he has amassed an impressive 470 – 235 record. He is truly a miracle worker! In 1995 he led UCLA to the National Championship. Just two years later he took a surprise team of URI Rams to the Regional Finals. 

So what if Jimmy bends the rules just a little bit. So what if he was fired by UCLA one year after winning the National Championship for lying about an expense account report, (Why haggle over nickels and dimes?). So what if there were allegations of improprieties at URI. Apparently Jim is being accused of getting players’ grades changed, having student managers write papers for players and arranging for players to receive lodging, cars and money from Ram boosters. So what if son, Jim Jr. was also accused of falsifying hotel and meal reports for recruits there. So what if the younger Harrick was recently fired by Georgia for academic fraud. Apparently Junior was teaching a “course” on basketball coaching and several of the Bulldog players were actually signed up for the course. (No conflict of interest here!) One player was even given an “A” for the course and never once attended a class. This same JUCO player was also sent money for hotel and phone bills and even had Junior do his correspondence course work so that he could get into Georgia. 

As of this writing, Jim sr. was just suspended “with pay” by the University and the 21st ranked Bulldogs’ season has been prematurely ended. They will not be playing in the SEC or NCAA tournaments barring a player instigated court injunction. What’s Jimmy got to say about all this brouhaha? “I’ve never had a violation! Go ask the NCAA! The truth will come out. My record speaks for itself!” Well it certainly does Jimmy, my boy! However, it’s not saying quite what you’d like it to! When Harrick recently learned of the sexual harassment charges that were being filed by his former secretary at URI he said, “We have put this behind us! We are focusing on nothing but basketball.” (Apparently this has been the problem. Following rules and being honest doesn’t count here, only basketball does). “We forgot the past. We’re thinking about the future. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.”

Please Jim. Spare us the motivational bullshit! The fact of the matter is that you have a long history of cheating, dishonesty and breaking rules, all in the name of winning. You’ve obviously taught your son quite well in the process. What’s that saying about the apple not falling too far from the tree? But don’t worry Jimmy. We don’t care that you flat out lied to your long time friend “Dickie V” (Vitale) during an ESPN interview on national TV. We don’t care that you weren’t straight with any of your players about what was really going on for them. So what if the seniors won’t get to end their college careers playing in the tournaments! Don’t worry! I’m sure that after Georgia fires your sorry ass you’ll land softly on both feet, smelling like a rose and coaching another national contender just like your buddy, Bobby K over at Texas Tech! It’s not fair for us to just dump on you today. You are not the first coach who’s been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and you certainly won’t be the last. In fact, there’s a long line of coaches as we speak lining up behind you just waiting to have a chance at some of your tainted “success.” You just happen to be this season’s poster boy for what’s very wrong with big name college sports. WINNING IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS. That is what you’re teaching us Jimmy, isn’t it? 

Let’s face it: Playing fair and square is for squares. Recruiting emotionally stable, appropriate student-athletes is something that only losing programs do. Teaching the student-athletes under your tutelage a good sense of ethics and some valuable life lessons like responsibility, honesty, integrity, and fair play are not in your job description. What’s that you say, you’re focusing on “nothing but basketball!” Well of course Jimmy! That explains it quite nicely for us! 

Here’s my biggest problem with coaches like Jim Harrick. They send a lot of very wrong messages to young coaches, athletes and their parents. So what do high school and youth sport coaches learn from watching this fiasco on TV. To win, you have to do extraordinary things. You have to be “flexible” as a coach. You have to be able to be a “master bender” and a “rule jumper.” To be successful you have to go after the very best athletes, regardless of their personal history, academic eligibility and personal problems. Success will be yours if you close your eyes and look the other way. Remember, “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil!”

Now let’s not be too hard on poor Jimmy. He and his son are just products of the NCAA Division I basketball and football system. Winning enough games is a necessary prerequisite to maintaining your membership in this elite fraternity. In fact, if you don’t win enough you will fall from grace in your athletic administration and then be kicked out into the cold, cruel world. Why? The athletic administrations themselves are under tremendous pressure from their alumni to win more and more. Winning brings more national exposure and more big bucks to the school. After all, who doesn’t want to be aligned with a winner? More is good! The NCAA tournament hasn’t even started yet and already the heads have begun to roll this spring with five head coaches “released” just last week because they didn’t understand this concept of “more.” 

I am not condoning Jim Harrick’s behavior. The point I want to make here is that these coaches are under tremendous pressure to win. Their jobs and livelihood are directly dependent upon their won-loss record. The D-I machine runs on success, plain and simple. Without enough of it, the machine will chew you up and spit you out. The majority of these coaches don’t get points for having a high graduation rate. They aren’t rewarded for building character and goodness in their athletes and positively shaping their young lives. They get no credit for opening their athletes’ eyes to social and community action. Let’s call a spade a spade. These things aren’t bottom line important in the coach’s job description. As Jimmy said, “just focusing on basketball” and winning is!

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like the Universities and athletic administrations around the country are overtly encouraging their coaches to abandon academics, character development and integrity for cheating. It’s a bit subtler than that. They’ll flat out tell you that grades, character and integrity are very important to them. Then they’ll turn around and do variations of the opposite. For example, Georgia President Michael Adams went on and on about how upset he was with Jim Harrick and his basketball program, and that the University wouldn’t tolerate academic fraud. However, it was Adams who overruled his athletic director and insisted on hiring Harrick four years ago. Why? Because Harrick had reassured him that he’d run a clean program. What did they expect him to say? Hire me and I'm going to cheat? Hire me and I'm going to recruit a player who has been accused of assaulting women, who went to five high schools and five community colleges?  

The fact of the matter is that athletic directors and University presidents are just as guilty as coaches like Harrick. They are guilty of complicity. Do you think they’d keep a coach at the school who produced student-athlete-scholars of high character who consistently didn’t win enough game. I find their behavior disgustingly hypocritical! As if the University of Georgia had no clue about the man that they were hiring as head coach? Duhhhh!!!! Give me a break!  
 
What do you think young athletes watching this fiasco are learning from Junior and Senior Harrick? “I can get away with anything as long as I win?” “Academics in college are a total waste of time and certainly not necessary for success.” “It’s not how you play the game that counts, it’s whether you win?” “Bending the rules a little bit or a lot is A-OK. It doesn’t really hurt anyone?” “Dishonesty is the best policy?” Or perhaps, the message they take away is, “The coach doesn’t really care about me so I’d best watch out for myself?” Who knows? What I do know is that having to watch all this dirty laundry come blowing by my television screen is annoying and detracts from the excitement and fun of the game and the tournament. To quote Jim Harrick, all I want to do these next two weeks is “just focus on nothing but basketball” so bring on the games! 

ATHLETE’S LOCKER

“Come on boys and girls! Let’s cheat to win!” 

Do you remember growing up as a kid and watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood? Mister Rogers was one of the kindest, caring men on TV and his show helped positively shape millions of young Americans for the past thirty some odd years. Let me sing for you now. “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…a beautiful day in the neighborhood…won’t you be my, won’t you be my,…won’t you be my neighbor.” Hello neighbor! It’s so good to see you today. I hope you’re having a fun day. Today we’re going to talk about something really special to me. It’s a lesson I’ve never taught you before. My lesson today is absolutely crucial if you’d really like to turn those dreams of yours into reality. This lesson is actually a very top, closely-guarded secret and I’m only telling you now because you’re my bestest-friend neighbor. So get up real close to your computer screen right now so no one else will be able to read this and steal it from you. Shhhhh! Quiet! What’s the big secret? CHEATING! Can you spell that word with me now? C…H…E…A…T…I…N…G! Very good!

That’s right boys and girls! If you want to be a “great” success, try cheating in your neighborhood. As I always say, “You can’t go wrong by going wrong!” Remember what it did for Canadian sprinter, Ben Johnson? Benny was the fastest man alive a few years back. In 1987 he won the world championships in Rome and then he clocked a record-smashing 9.79 seconds to take gold in the finals of the 100 meter dash at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. See Ben run. See Ben run fast! Run Ben run! Why, good old Ben was faster than everyone, anywhere, anytime until those nasty goody-two-shoes started accusing him of using steroids. That was a right un-neighborly-like thing to do if you ask me. 

Remember boys and girls, if you get caught cheating, lie through your teeth. DENY! DENY! DENY! Don’t you ever, ever admit that you’re wrong. “I don’t know how those nasty steroids got into my body” Benny said. “Perhaps someone doped my food. Maybe aliens abducted me last night and put them inside of me while I wasn’t looking. It is common knowledge that those dudes from outer space regularly use them. It wasn’t my urine sample. They must have mixed them up. One of the testers is crooked. Trust me on this one. I certainly didn’t knowingly put those steroids there. That would be cheating and I’d never cheat!” Remember also that as you lie through your teeth, you must make sure that you look honest and pained at the accusations. 

OK. I’ll admit that they took Ben’s medal away from him and that he was humiliated in front of the world. See Ben Bum out. Bum out Ben Bum out! Oh, yeah, he was also banned from competition for life, but isn’t that a small price to pay for the thrill of victory? He really won didn’t he? I saw him myself cross the finish line first! Forget all these losers who think that winning is only meaningful if you play fair! What a bunch of crap! Winning is great no matter how you win and I have to admit, cheating really helps you out along the way! A little dishonesty is always the best policy as my great, great, great, great grandfather Abraham Lincoln always said. Don’t be so surprised! I am a direct descendant of the bearded one. In fact, old Abe use to tell me (only during séances) that cheating was indeed a heavenly virtue.

You see, cheating brings a little spice into your life. It quickens your pulse, gets your heart pounding hard and creates a little excitement for your dull existence, not to mention that it stimulates your guilt glands. Please! How much fun and excitement do you generate when you lose fair and square? You see my point? Winning is where it’s at.  It’s what’s really important. So whatever it takes, regardless of how unscrupulous, you be sure you do it! So what if you have to bend the rules just a bit? Who cares if you tell a little lie or two? Come on! Nothing feels as good as knowing that you’re going to end up on top. If you doubt me here, go ask former skater-turned famous mud wrestler-turned boxer, Tonya Harding.

Tonya Harding really wanted to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Don’t fault Tonya for having a dream! Every little boy and girl should have a dream. See Tonya dream! Dream Tonya dream. So what did she do to increase her chances of seeing her fairytale come true? You guessed it! She cheated! You see, boys and girls, this is what it’s all about. Devious little Tonya, bless her heart was part of a little conspiracy involving her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly and a trio of serious dimwits who plotted to deliberately injure her toughest rival, Nancy Kerrigan. The thinking behind the plot (I actually don’t think that these dumbos were capable of thinking but you know what I mean) went something like this. If they could injure Nancy on or before the 1994 Olympic Trials, then Tonya could easily make the United States team and have a better shot at winning gold in Lillehammer. Sing with me now: “It’s a sleazy day in the neighborhood…a sleazy day in the neighborhood….” 

So Tonya’s ex and the three stooges stalked Ms. Goody-two-shoes down and one of the intellectually challenged trio walked up to Nancy right after a practice session, and just before the start of the US figure Skating Championships (U.S. Olympic Trials) and whacked the poor girl across her right knee with a metal pipe. Ouch!!!! See Nancy in pain. Cry Nancy cry. “It’s a painful day in the neighborhood…a painful day in the neighborhood.” 

So guess what? These brilliant dimwits successfully executed their master plan! Nancy couldn’t compete and good old Tonya won the gold medal to make the U.S. team! Hooray!!!! Who ever said that cheating and crime doesn’t pay? 

Oh yeah. I almost forgot. One minor problem: A week later they caught the three stooges, who then squealed on Tonya’s ex, Jeff G who then implicated Tonya. Nancy recovered and was even allowed to skate at the Lillehammer Olympics where she went on to win a silver medal while poor Tonya finished a disappointing 8th. After the Olympics the situation got even worse for Tonya who among other things, had obstructed the investigation. Truth be told, she was probably a primary architect of this deceitful and idiotic plan. Tonya plea bargained her way out of greater charges but was stripped of the gold medal she had won at the US Championships and then banned by United States Figure Skating from competitive skating for life! Major bummer. But like a polished cheater, Tonya did her best to deny each and every allegation to the bitter end just like my great, great, great, great grand uncle George Washington. (I come from pretty distinguished stock) When asked if he chopped down the Cherry tree, old George replied. “I did not! I am completely innocent. However, I do know who did it and I can not tell a lie. My axe is the guilty party. My axe did it! It came up to me, forced me to grab it and then pulled me unwillingly while it chopped down that poor old tree!” Good show George! 

Now please remember, not only is lying and cheating exciting. It also puts you in the best of company. Why, it can even make you feel presidential! If you think I’m kidding, go ask Bill Clinton. Can you remember just how smooth and convincing he was when he lied through his teeth to the entire world on national television: “I did not have sex with that woman. And it makes me very upset to think that you think that I did! But it all depends on how you define ‘it’.” Attababy Billy boy! We’ll let you live in our neighborhood with Benny, Tonya, the three stooges, the Harricks and everyone else who’ve learned over the years that dishonesty is the best policy.           

(disclaimer: no disrespect to the late Fred Rogers. The world would be a better place if there were more men like him around) 

PARENTS’ CORNER

“How to raise a cheater.”

Let’s consider two of my favorite parent questions: First, what do you want your child to learn from her experience in competitive athletics? Second, what price are you, the parent, willing to pay for your child’s success? A story for you:

Tim was a 10 year-old tennis player who was referred to me because he was too afraid to play competitive tournaments anymore. He had been playing the game since he was 6 and competing since he was 7. Initially he loved playing matches, but over the last two years he had been experiencing more and more difficulty competing. When it came time for a tournament he would become very anxious and start to cry. The night before, he would experience severe stomach pains and frequently throw up. His sleep was disturbed by nightmares. He would beg his parents not to take him. Finally things got so bad that his parents wisely came to the decision that making their son suffer over a game seemed a bit on the absurd side. They stopped signing him up for tournaments.

Practice was a totally different experience for Tim. He played almost every day and loved it. He even enjoyed playing practice matches. He had no problem with losing. The only problem he seemed to be having was going to tournaments. When I asked him what was so upsetting about this, all he could talk about was that someone might cheat him. When I asked him to tell me more, this is what he related.

Two years before he was playing a boy who had a reputation for calling the lines very closely. This is a kind way of saying that the boy was a cheater. Tim wiped this kid up 6–0 in the first set of their best of three set match. As the second set started, the boy’s father became involved in the match. He started calling or signaling when he thought the ball was in or out and his calls, not surprisingly were just as bad as his son’s. If Tim made a call and the father didn’t agree with it, dad complained. As you can imagine, this poor 8 year old got completely intimidated and distracted by this father’s inappropriate behavior.

A reminder to parents: When your child competes, he is competing, NOT YOU! She plays her sport for her, NOT for YOU! You are not part of a team with your child. You are not working together with your child. It’s her sport, NOT yours. When your child reaches a goal, it’s her accomplishment, NOT OURS! Your child’s sport is NOT a WE proposition! Yes, you provide the money, support and transportation to make it all happen, but that does NOT give you the right to butt in and expect that you have any role other than that of appropriate parent. 

An appropriate parent gives his child ownership of the sport and doesn’t get overly involved. An appropriate parent can keep the sport in perspective and knows that far more important things are at stake here than just the outcome of some insignificant game or match. An appropriate parent pays the bills, drives the child, and sacrifices with no strings attached. In other words, they do NOT expect their child to “produce” a certain result or pay back the parent’s “investment” with a certain quality performance. Simply put, appropriate parents don’t go sticking their noses where they don’t belong like this father was doing!

It’s one thing for a parent to make sure that his child is safe in a competitive situation. It is totally another thing when that same parent becomes involved in the competition as a “judge.” Give me a break! Are we just a tad bit biased here? The fact that this father was actually helping his child cheat goes beyond normal comprehension. As far as I’m concerned his behavior is totally despicable! I’m really sorry, but appropriate words fail me! I am not particularly into shame as a constructive life experience or teaching tool, but all I can think of to say to this kind of father is, “SHAME ON YOU! Having your son win was that important to you that you would actually stoop so low to insure that it happened. PITIFUL!

Tim was so upset that his opponent’s father was now interfering in the match that he completely fell apart. He kept focusing on the father and his calls and could no longer pay attention to the match. It didn’t even matter to the boy that his own coach finally came over to try to settle him down and lend his support. He proceeded to lose the next two sets 6-1, 6-0. He left the court in  tears. This poor-excuse-for-an-adult should be “locked up” for emotionally abusive behavior. The part that really gets to me is that this kind of a “man” probably didn’t even have a clue that what he had just done was grossly inappropriate or flat out wrong. 

Poor Tim was literally traumatized by this experience, which marked the real beginning of his fears of playing tournament tennis. 

So, sir, let me ask you, “just what would you like your child to learn from this experience?” Competition is good and let the best man win? It’s just a game so have fun? Winning isn’t as important as how you win? Son, you have tremendous talent and ability and I’m so proud of your honest efforts? Let me help you out here because I’m sure you’re having trouble comprehending the depth of the question. You are actively teaching your son to be just like you! A cheater! You’re teaching him that dishonesty is the BEST policy. You are teaching him that playing fair is for squares and that winning is the only thing that counts regardless of what you have to do to win. You are reinforcing his inclination to cheat by giving him the message that you wholeheartedly approve of his dishonesty. You are doing this directly by going along with his bad calls and indirectly by ignoring the times that he cheats when you yourself can see it! 

So let me tell you what you’re really teaching him. The wonderful thing about our early sports experiences is that they form the foundation for a lot of performance and interpersonal situations later on in life. Many of our skills learned on the court or field transfer over to academics, the arts, and performance on the job, as well as to the many relationships we have in our life. You’ve just taught your kid how to use dishonesty in the rest of his life! Way to go Dad! You’ve taught him the basics of failed interpersonal relationships: DISHONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY. How can anyone hope to have an intimate, satisfying personal relationship based on deceit and lies? Forget it! You can’t! Trust me on this one. If you as a parent collude with or condone dishonest behavior from your child in sports, you can take it to the bank that he will readily utilize this same dishonesty in many, if not all of his interactions outside of sports. What’s to stop him from cheating on tests? It’s the same thing. What’s to stop him from plagiarizing when he writes papers? What’s to stop him from lying to you, your spouse or his teachers? Later on, what’s to stop him from cheating on his girlfriend or wife? I hope you’re getting the picture here. Your son will take his sports “learning” and use it in every aspect of his life. And the really sad thing about all of this is that you are dooming him to unhappiness and failure by teaching him this!

But dad, don’t feel so bad because it gets even worse! The dishonesty doesn’t stop here. Like with so many things that you directly or indirectly teach as a parent, your lessons are “the gifts that keeps on giving.” What do I mean by this? Guess how the child-now-turned-parent will interact with his kids once he becomes a father? Right on! He will teach his own children all of the valuable life lessons that you taught him.

So what am I saying here? If you have any regard at all for your child, if you truly love and care about her, do NOT teach her life lessons that will sabotage her and consistently set her up for failure. Do NOT collude with or condone dishonesty. If you see your child cheating do something about it FAST! Do not turn and look the other way. Don’t pretend it wasn’t happening. I would be totally humiliated and feel like a failure as a father if I had a son who had “honestly” acquired the reputation that Tim’s opponent had. Be an appropriate adult male. Be a positive role model. Actively promote honesty and fair play. Teach your child that winning isn’t everything. Teach your child that being a real winner is always about how you play the game, not whether you win or lose. 

Excellence in your sport demands persistent and honest hard work. TO become a champion you must practice, practice, practice. Success in your sport is therefore 95% physical and 5% mental in practice. However, once you step out onto that field, track, course or diamond, the entire game changes. Now it’s all “upstairs.” Whether you soar with the eagles or gobble with the turkeys depends upon what’s going on between your ears. Success in competition is 95% mental and 5% physical. Don’t leave this important part of your success to chance! Start training today with the best in mental toughness training aids and coaching.


DR G’S TEACHING TALES

“Listening to the sweet sound of the sirens”

In Homer’s Odyssey of Greek mythology fame, the hero, Ulysses must go through a series of brutal ordeals before he can ever hope to see the shores of his beautiful homeland again. One potentially deadly test that Ulysses and his men must literally pass through was sailing their ship through the very narrow straights where the sirens lived. Now, no one had ever really seen the sirens and lived to tell about them, but it was said that the sirens’ song was the sweetest sound on earth. In fact, sailors who were unfortunate enough to pass through this area were never heard from again and the only visible remains of them was their ship, partially sunken and shattered on the rocks that littered the borders of this narrow straight. 

The word on the sirens that piqued Ulysses’ curiosity was that anyone who heard their song immediately fell madly in love with them and, abandoning all reason, jumped into the water to be with them forever. Certainly their visible appearance was most appealing as they had the upper body of a beautiful maiden. However, once the hapless sailors had entered the water, the sirens turned into vicious man-eaters, devouring their prey alive and leaving nothing but bones. Ulysses wanted to be the first person to hear the sirens sing and live to tell about it. So he instructed his men to tie him securely to the forward mast and regardless of his subsequent orders, and no matter how much he protested, to sail quickly through the sirens’ straight and out into the safety of the open sea. To insure that his men would be safe, he had them insert melted wax into their ears so that they would be deaf and consequently immune to these deceptive monsters’ dangerously seductive song. 

As the sailors entered the very narrow, rock-strewn straight of the sirens they had to slow the ship’s speed down considerably and as they did so Ulysses began to hear the singing. At first, it was barely noticeable, but as they got further and further into the middle of the narrow channel, the sirens’ voices became louder and more compelling. Ulysses became totally enraptured by the beautiful singing. All he saw was gorgeous maidens singing all around him and just to him, smiling sweetly and beckoning the sailor to join them. He forgot everything he knew about the danger of the sirens, he forgot everything he knew about safety, he lost all his common sense and began to struggle to free himself so he could join those beautiful maidens.    
 He began calling to his shipmates to set him free but they ignored him. When he saw that they paid him no heed, he became infuriated and demanded that, as their captain and leader they set him free. When they still refused to listen, he started threatening them with bodily harm and death for their mutinous refusal to listen to him. But no matter what Ulysses said, or how he said it, they refused to pay attention to their crazed leader and instead, kept the ship headed right down the middle of the channel towards the safety of the open sea.

Is there a lesson in this for all of us involved in sport today? The lure of winning, of success is a dangerously seductive siren. It creates an illusion and a state of unreality that often times has tremendously destructive consequences. Success sings a very sweet song at first, entrancing all who listen, coaches, athletes and parents to “jump in.” It promises wonderful things like fame, riches, special privileges and power. 

When you begin to embrace it, you’re enticed to give up little things at first. Perhaps a little lie here, then a tiny deceit there, then a little bit of cheating here. You bend this rule and then you walk around that one. Blinded by the sweet sound of success you kid yourself into believing that what you’re doing is really OK and that you’re not doing anything wrong. The corruption of your moral and ethical character proceeds in this way as you slowly abandon everything that you knew was true and right. To do this, like Ulysses, you stop listening to your heart and instincts. You throw your good judgment and morality out the window. 

And when you first taste that success, as you savor that moment of winning, you temporarily forget the little deceits that helped you out along the way. Don’t be a fool. Nothing is worth selling your soul to the devil for. No success is really worth the price that you and your loved ones will have to pay when you get caught cheating. And don’t be grandiose and idiotic enough to believe that you won’t get caught. Sooner or later you will have to pay and the price will be a whole lot greater than you could ever imagine. Jim Harrick is beginning to pay big time! Ben Johnson continues to pay to this day! Tonya Harding and everyone else out there who sell their soul down the river for a chance at success ultimately end up paying. What’s the price? You will lose things that will be near impossible to replace: your good name, integrity, self- respect and trustworthiness, all the things that really matter in this world. When you look in the mirror, what do you want to see? You may be able to hide from everyone else, but you can’t hide from that dude in the mirror.

If you have a performance difficulty or you're consistently underachieving, call me today. I can help!