by Charlie Adams, author of "Stoke the Fire Within"
Last April I was delivering a program with some other motivational speakers in Michigan. I think I’m tall at 6’6", but when I saw a guy named Tim McCormick come out to speak, I felt like a shrimp. Tim is 6’11." Now that’s tall! As you can imagine, Tim was a basketball player at the college and professional levels.
He shared a story that really hit home with me when it comes to slamming the door on the things that keep you, or your team, from performing at your best.
Tim recalled a time when he was a reserve for the New York Knicks. Pat Riley was their coach and his job was to turn them from losers into winners. This was at the time when the great Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dominated them and just about everyone else. The Knicks hadn’t defeated the Bulls in forever, and during that losing streak Jordan routinely dribbled right through them and dunked on their heads.
As McCormick reveals in his outstanding motivational keynote speech "NBA" (Never Be Average), Riley knew that the Knicks had to cut off their wimpy ways. The Knicks were getting ready to play the Bulls for the first time under Riley’s leadership. They had just finished pre game warm-ups when Riley called them into the locker room. A video monitor had been set up that showed Jordan dunking easily on them during that long streak of losses to the Bulls. It was rather pitiful.
Riley let them have it! He accused them of being in awe of Jordan and playing like they wanted his autograph. The players just sat there. What could they say?
Riley then sternly informed them that things were about to change. He said the first time Jordan came flying towards the basket for an easy dunk he wanted someone to foul him with authority. He didn’t want him hurt, but he wanted Jordan to get a message. Riley said he wanted the Knick to lean over Jordan and say two words:
Sure enough, the game started and Jordan started swooping in for his easy Knick dunk. Wham! He was fouled convincingly and went crashing to the floor. A Knick leaned over him and said, "No more!"
The Knicks surged to a huge lead and went on to win. Things had changed. They had made a decision to excel, and a part of that was saying "No More" to the things that had kept them in mediocrity and below.
It requires taking a hard look at yourself and being honest about everything that is holding you back from being your best in 2008, whether it involves recruiting or coaching your team. The fire within in you has to say, "No More!"
Some of us have the strength to say that and slap the floor and the door is closed to whatever has held us back. For some, it’s much more complicated. There is a process to go through that often requires the help of others. Saying "No More" can range from serious issues, like alcohol abuse, on down to such things as eating late at night.
Saying "No More" doesn’t guarantee you the challenge is about to be obliterated. ‘Yours truly’ – motivator speaker man – is notorious in that area. I can’t tell you how many times I have noticed a Men’s Fitness magazine in the grocery story that has some guy with abs of steel on the cover. I stand there and say "No More" to sweets and eating junk at night. I don’t slap the floor as other grocery shoppers would probably go get the manager, but I mentally say it. Then I go buy frozen chicken breasts and broccoli.
Why? Because I read that’s what Tiger Woods eats and he is built like a rock. I go home determined to eat nothing but chicken breasts and broccoli. That lasts about two days.
But you know what? Even though I haven’t had the willpower to go to my original extreme intention, my eating habits improve every time I do the "No More" routine.
s you make or think about New Year’s Resolutions, you might consider something you need to say "No More" to, Coach.
Charlie Adams is the author of "Stoke the Fire Within: A Guide to Igniting your Life". He is the Motivational Expert at Selling for Coaches, and also serves as SFC’s Media Message Expert following two decades as an award-winning sports broadcaster covering college sports. Visit Charlie’s website at www.StokeTheFireWithin.com.