Attitude | The Heart Of A Winner

For this week's coaching session, you can either read it or listen to it by clicking play below.


My latest book is about basketball. Well, the book is actually about life. But I use the analogy of basketball throughout the book to help the reader grasp the points I try to make. Another Shot is about rebounding from your previous misses and taking another shot at your goals.

Even if you don’t play the game of basketball or follow the game with interest, you can probably name some of the greatest players from the past. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are more than just retired athletes. They are more than Hall of Famers. These men are pop culture icons, celebrities who earned their place in American history by playing the game of basketball with excellence.

But the reason these men became so famous is because they could play basketball at a level you and I can only admire from afar.  And the reason these men played at that level is because they had something that millions among us do not have. I’m not talking about height. I’m not talking about speed. I’m not talking about agility or any of the other physical attributes we usually associate with great basketball players. I’m not talking about any of these tangible qualities, because there are millions of tall people with big hands and muscular bodies. I’m talking about “heart.” I’m talking about “attitude.”

Yes, it takes a lot of skill and talent to play basketball at the professional level, and I have a lot to say in my book about all those necessary ingredients, demonstrating how the right blend of these things can make us successful in life, as well as sports. But beneath it all is attitude, because, without the right attitude, no athlete can survive on the professional level and no athlete can find his or her way into the annals of greatness.

To win on the basketball court, therefore, a player needs a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience. He needs a lot of skills and the ability to know how to use them. But the one overarching quality a player must have to be great at basketball is an attitude that matches the challenge. No person can prevail in athletic competition or in life without the attitude of a “winner” that flows from confidence and a strong determination to do what needs to be done.