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If you BELIEVE you can do something, then you are probably RIGHT!
If you DON'T BELIEVE you can do something, then you are probably RIGHT!

 "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of SELF-SATISFACTION in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming."
-- Coach John Wooden

Nicole and Greg Jennings

(From Strengthening Your Grip by Charles Swindoll)

I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position.

Attitude is that "single string" that keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there is no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.

Team Attitude (Ripple)
"No problem can withstand the sustained power of great attitudes, they are like ripples in the water they spread."


I love the game of basketball. I love to play it, watch it and coach it (the jury is still out on being a ref) and I love talking about it.  I've been blessed over the years to have worked at over 50 basketball camps.  In those camps I have met over 3000 boys and girls, ages 7 thru senior in high school.

There was a great deal of basketball being taught and learned. However, I hope that ALL of those kids took more than just the drills that they learned about basketball home with them when the camps were done.  I hope that they took some lessons that can be applied on a daily basis in the the game of life.

At some of the camps, there were speakers that shared some very important lessons and some very personal parts of their own experiences that really could help some young people (and older ones too) in their journeys in life.  And there were also some words of wisdom and motivational quotes shared with campers too.

Here are some of the quotes used during the Dick Shilts' Basketball Camps, the KVCC Basketball Camps and some that I found .  I hope that some of them can help you the way that they helped me.


"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."
--Proverbs 1:8

"Be careful how you think. Your life is shaped by your thoughts."
--Proverbs 4:23
"All God ever intended for you to be is the best you, you can be."
--Max Lucado
"Just do you the best you can do"
--Christopher Watkins ;-)

"From what we get, we can make a living; from what we give, we make a life."
--Arthur Ashe

"If you Love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of."
--Bruce Lee
"As a parent, I have a job as a role model to my children, and by extension, to other young people."
--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
"There is no right way to do a wrong thing."
--Norman Vincent Peale
"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts about reality."
--Franklin Delano Roosevelt
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
--Maya Angelou
"Perhaps your greatest weakness is not realizing your own power.
-- from Ken Blanchard's Empowerment
"ENTHUSIASM is one of the most powerful engines of success.  When you do something, do it with all your might.  Put your whole soul into it.  Stamp it with your own personality.  Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective.  Nothing great was ever achieved without ENTHUSIASM."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Whether you say you can or you can't, you are right."
--Henry Ford
"Nothing important can be taught, only learned."
--Dale Dauten
"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them."
-- Michael Jordan
"Scream as we may at the bad, the good prevails."
--Carlos Bartol
"Three Rules to live by: Do the right thing. Do it to the best of your ability. Treat others the way you want to be treated."
--Don Meyer
“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
--Maya Angelou

"Those who stand strong will stand forever.
--Joshua D. Clark

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
--Teddy Roosevelt

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."
--Vincent T. Lombardi
"I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occassions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot . . . and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why . . . I succeed."
--Michael Jordan
"Everyting negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise."
--Kobe Bryant

"Once you are labeled 'the best' you want to stay up there, and you can't do it by loafing around. If I don't keep changing. I'm history."
-- Larry Bird

"The key is not the "will to win" . . . everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important."
--Bobby Knight

"If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got."
--Lee Iacocca

"The quality of a person's life has got to be a full measure of that person's personal commitment to excellence and victory, regardless of what field they may be in."
-- Vince Lombardi 

"It is more probable that your attitude, rather than your aptitude, will determine your altitude in life."
--Al McGuire

"Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan."
--Tom Landry

"Sometimes a player's greatest challenge is coming to grips with their role on the team."
-- Scottie Pippen

"If we magnified our blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we'd all be much happier."
--John Wooden

"A wrong heart attitude, rather than a lack of ability or potential, prevents most people from progressing and enjoying life."
--Joyce Meyer

"There is no tomorrow, when all I can live for is today.   Everyday that I practice or play the game,  I need to make sure that I take it for what it really could be: The last day I might ever play."
--Adrian Dantley
"If we refuse to listen to reason, then we have no wisdom, because wisdom listens."
--Joyce Meyer

"Impossible situations can become possible miracles.
--Dr. Robert Schuller

"It's not up to anyone else to make me give my best."
--Hakeem Olajuwon
"Desire is the key to motivation, but its determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek."
--Mario Andretti
"I've always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.  I don't do things half-heartedly, because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results."
-- Michael Jordan

"The team itself must be the leader of the team."
--Phil Jackson

"Four corners of success: commitment, effort, motivation and discipline."
--Don King
"The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline."
--Bum Phillips

"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."
--Satchel Paige

"Ability may get you to the top, but it takes CHARACTER to keep you there."
--Joe Paterno

"It's a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness."
"Obviously, there have been times when I've failed.  But there have never been times when I thought I would fail."
-- Michael Jordan

"I've already accomplished a dream...I'm here. I've got millions of goals. I'm going to keep going. If you stop dreamin', you stop living. Ultimately, I want to make this team. I want to do everything in my power to make this team."
--Former Detroit Lions undrafted rookie defensive back Chris Kern from Mount Union College...A DIVISION III football school.

"The true test of a person is not where they stand in comfort and convenience but rather, where they stand in controversy and challenge."
--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"To see what is right and not to do it is cowardice."

"The best teams have chemistry. They communicate with each other and they sacrifice personal glory for the common goal"
--Dave DeBusschere

"When you care about others, when you reach out to others, you make a difference."
--George Santayana.

"To love another person is to see the face of GOD. To be loved by others is to feel the touch of GOD."
--Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

"True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."
--Helen Keller.

"What happens to a person is less significant than what happens within them."
--Louis L. Mann.
"The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot."
--Bill Russell

"Don't ever underestimate the power of character. If you want to win, don't whine. Success is made from hard work, perseverance, and integrity, not luck."
--Michael Josephson
"The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before."
--Steve Young
"The difference between the old ballplayer and the new ballplayer is the jersey.  The old ballplayer cared about the name on the front.  The new ballplayer cares about the name on the back."
--Steve Garvey
"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand."
--Vince Lombardi
"We should not get stuck in the way things are.  We should concern ourselves with the way they should be."
-- Michael Josephson

"If you want to reach a goal, you must 'see the reaching' in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal."
--Zig Ziglar

"Everyone wants to win but not everyone is willing to prepare to win."
-- Bob Knight

"Winners live in such a way that they would not be ashamed to sell their parrot to the town gossip."
--Will Rogers
"Life is like a ten-speed bike; most of us have gears we never use."
--Charles Schulz

"If it doesn't bother you, it won't bother them."
-- Pat Summitt
"Who can ask more of a man than giving all within his span.  Giving all it seems to me is not so far from victory."
--John Wooden

"The strength of the team is each individual member...the strength of each member is the team."
-- Phil Jackson

"My advice to kids?  Don't be like me - be better than me."
-- Shaquille O'Neal

"If your ship doesn't come in, you should probably consider swimming out to it."
-- Comedian Jonathan Winters

"I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom."
-- George S. Patton
"Things may come to those who wait, BUT only the things left by those who hustle."
--Alan Stein
"Finish last in your league and they call you 'Idiot'.  Finish last in medical school and they call you 'Doctor'."
--Abe Lemons
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
-- Steve Prefontaine
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
--Mahatma Ghandi
"What you are is God's gift to you.  What you make of yourself is your gift to God".
"It's not the hours you put in, it's what you put in the hours."
"What most people need to learn in life is how to Love people and use things instead of using people and loving things."

"You can't change who you are, but you can surely make the best of it."
"Coming Together is a beginning; Keeping Together is Progress; Working Together is Success."

"It isn't the load that breaks us down, it's the way we carry it."
"It's amazing what a team can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit."

"Heal another's heart and in the process you will heal your own."
"Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it."
Your ATTITUDE is either The Lock or The Key to the Door of Success.
"Teamwork: The fuel that produces uncommon results in common people."
"Class is that intangible quality in a person which COMMANDS rather than DEMANDS, the respect of others."

"Quality is never an accident it is always the result of intelligent effort."
"When we put a limit on what we will do, we put a limit on what we can do."
"Those who have invested the most are the last to surrender."
"Basketball is like photography, IF you don't focus, all you have is the negative."

"Character is a victory, not a gift."

"It is not doing the things we like to do, but liking the things we have to do that makes life blessed."

"Courage does not always roar.  Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "

"Don't ask for an easier life; Ask to be a Stronger Person."
"Excellence is the result of caring more than others think wise, risking more than others think safe, dreaming more than others think practical, and expecting more than other think possible."
"The only difference between practice and games should be the clothes you are wearing"
"Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there."
"People are like sticks of dynamite.  The power's on the inside...but nothing happens until the fuse gets lit."
"Winners lead with their ears and follow-up with their tongues."
"Luck is preparation and chance meeting."
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." 
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
"It's the little moments that make life big."
"A bend in the road is not the end of the road--unless we fail to make the turn."
"If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher."
"Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction."
"Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up."

"More than we often suspect, the lives of others we do affect."
"Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out."
"Success is never final.  Failure is never fatal.  It's courage that counts."
"Talent is GOD-Given; Be Humble.  Fame is Man-Given; Be Thankful;  Conceit is Self-Given; Be Careful."
"I am not what I ought to be, not what I want to be, not waht I am going to be, but thankful that I am not what I used to be."

"You are richer today if you have laughed, given, or forgiven."

"There is a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me."

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."

"The man who never made a mistake never made anything."

"It's what we put in during the quiet times that comes out during the storm."

"Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic."

"Friends are angels that lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."

"Real faith sees beyond the challenges."
"Attitudes truly are contagious.  So ask yourself one question: 'Is mine worth catching?"
"Our vision becomes clear when we look inside our heart."
"It's not the things we get, but the hearts we touch that will determine our success in life."
"The mind is like a parachute, it works best when its opened."
"A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song."

"Hard work beats talent when talent's not working hard!"

"Attitude controls motivation. Motivation controls performance. Performance controls success."

"Praying for and genuinely caring about the welfare of others are acts that inevitably have positive consequences."

"You are the only person on this earth who can use your ability."

"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement."

"Character is the basis of happiness and happiness is the reward of character."

"Never forget in the darkness what you learned in the light."

"The race for quality has no finish line."

"If we wait until we feel like doing what is right, we may never get around to doing it."

"If you feel you have no faults...there's another one."

"Repetition is the mother of learning."
I am the GREATEST builder in the world.  I am the foundation of every great triumph.  No matter what your position is, I can better it.
My name is ENTHUSIASM!

"Winners improve their performance by improving their attitude."

"Our choices not only reveal our character, they also shape our character."

"When I sleep, I dream of doing my best and succeeding at EVERYTHING that I do.  And when I'm awake, I give all my effort and energy into making my dreams come true."
"When things go wrong, don't go wrong with them."
"The train of failure often runs on the track of laziness."
"True faith and courage are like a kite - an opposing wind raises them higher."
"The greatest possession we have is the 24 hours directly in front of us."
"A situation can change you BUT do not allow it to reduce you."

"When we pause to think, we find cause to thank."

"Our choices not only reveal our character; they also shape our character."

"If we feed our faith, our doubts will starve to death."

"Words are windows to the heart."

"Peace begins with a smile."

"A trying time is not the time to quit trying."

"Winners fill their lives with laughter, but they don't confuse fun or pleasure with happiness."

"Happiness multiplies when we divide it with others."

"Winners bloom where ther are, and they have given up on the idea that more is better."
"The only time you must not fail is the last time you try."
"Winners make peace with imperfection."

"Winners encourage one another and build each other up."

"Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on our front door forever."

"A winner considers the rights of others before his own feelings, and the feelings of others before his own rights."
Remember the three R's:
Respect for self; 
Respect for others; 
Responsibility for all your actions.

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world make you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what the man has to say.

For it isn't your father, mother or wife
Whose judgement upon you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people might think you are a straight-shooting chum
And call you a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest
For he's with you clear to the end.
And you've passed your most dangerous test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

  • Players are working with you, not for you.
  • Be interested in finding the best way, not your own way.
  • It is the little things that make the big things happen; life is just one small victory after another.
  • There is no progress without change. Yet all change is not progress.
  • Be yourself. Don't compare yourself to others.
  • When you disagree, do so without being disagreeable. Keep emotions under control.
  • Never discipline to punish; discipline to teach.
  • Don't let what you can't do interfere with what you can do.
  • Don't be affected by what you cannot control.
  • Base decisions on performance, not potential.
  • Team accomplishments are more important than individual achievements. Always exhaust "We" before "I."
    - Coach Morgan Wooten

From The Washington Post:

The hoops season has started. Future basketball stars are practicing jump shots and crossover dribbles hoping to catch a coach's eye.

So who better to ask about basketball than DeMatha High School Coach Morgan Wootten? Wootten has coached high school hoops for 50 years and won 1,213 games. He coaches kids ages 9 to 18 at his summer camp at Frostburg State University every year. No one knows more about what coaches are looking for than Coach Wootten. He is so good he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this year.

POST: How should kids be preparing for the basketball season or for team tryouts?

COACH WOOTTEN: The first thing is that any player has to be in good shape. So kids should be running before the season starts. It is estimated that a basketball player runs five miles during a game. Then players have to stay in shape by eating right and getting enough sleep.

POST: What basketball skills do coaches look for?

COACH WOOTTEN: The basics. A player has to be a good ballhandler, to be able to pass and catch the ball. Players should also practice dribbling--with either hand--with their head up and practice layups with their right and left hands.

POST: What other qualities do coaches look for?

COACH WOOTTEN: I always like a youngster who has a real enthusiasm and love for the game. Because nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm.

It is also very important that a player be coachable. Does the player listen and try to do the basic things the coach is telling him or her to do?

POST: Do coaches sometimes pick kids who are not the best players?

COACH WOOTTEN: Positively. The five best players seldom make the best team. I always tell my players that if you have a beautiful garden, you will need someone to weed it. Every team needs players who will do some of the dirty work. The players who will dive for the loose balls, set the picks and make the hustle plays that win games.

POST: Some kids think that they can't play basketball because they are not tall. What do you tell them?

COACH WOOTTEN: The beauty of basketball is that there is a place for everyone. A small player who can handle the ball can help a team. A big, maybe awkward player can rebound and set picks. And there is always a place on the team for a defensive stopper--someone who can work hard and stop the other team's top scorer.

POST: What if a kid does not make a team? What should he do then?

COACH WOOTTEN: Keep on playing. There are lots of teams you can play for--boys and girls club teams, CYO teams, recreational league teams.

I remember Perry Clark who played on the DeMatha junior varsity for two years. He tried out for the varsity in his junior year and didn't make it. I told him what he had to work on. He played on a recreational league team and made the varsity his senior year. Perry attended Gettysburg College on a basketball scholarship. Now he is the head coach at the University of Miami.

POST: Have you ever coached any players who became pros?

COACH WOOTTEN: I have had 12 players make the NBA and 12 more play pro ball overseas. But I have had players become doctors, teachers, lawyers and school principals. I always tell my players you have a better chance of being a doctor than being Doctor J [the former NBA star].

POST: Whether they make the pros, make the school team or not, what should kids get out of playing basketball?

COACH WOOTTEN: Whatever makes basketball work will make life work. The things you learn from basketball--hard work, dedication, learning to work with others--will help you in anything you do.

Basketball also teaches you how to handle success and failure. If you lose, you have to pick yourself up and try again.

POST: Thanks, Coach. How does the DeMatha team look this year?

COACH WOOTTEN: We'll be fine. Like I tell my teams, play hard, play smart, have fun and play together and things usually turn out all right.

99.9% vs 100%

How much are you giving each day?

Are you giving everything you have -- or a little less than your best?

Most people think 99.9% is good enough to be considered giving it your all!

Consider that if 99.9% was enough in other fields then.....

*The US Post Office would lose 400,000 letters every day;

*Pharmacists would fill 3,700 perscriptions incorrectly every day;

*18 airplanes would crash every day;

*Doctors would drop 10 babies during delivery every day.

... Now do you think it is too much to give 100% in practice, conditioning, the weight room AND ESPECIALLY THE CLASSROOM?!


1. Fear no opponent. Respect every opponent.

2. Remember, it's the perfection of the smallest details that make big things happen.

3. Keep in mind that hustle makes up for many a mistake.

4. Be more interested in character than reputation.

5. Be quick, but don't hurry.

6. Understand that the harder you work, the more luck you will have.

7. Know that valid self-analysis is crucial for improvement.

8. Remember that there is no substitute for hard work and careful planning. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Athletic Ability, Sexual Conquest and Economic Success are not the best measurements of manhood.
Build and Value Relationships.
Practice the concepts of empathy, inclusion and integrity.
Base your thoughts and actions on "What can I do for you?"
Try to leave the world a better place because you were here.
Excerpts from Jeffery Marx's article entitled "He Turns Boy into Man," found in the Kalamazoo Gazette's Parade section August 29, 2004.
"Being a man means learning to love and to be loved."
- Joe Ehrmann
"A real man has a purpose that is bigger than his own individual hopes, dreams , wants and desires."
"Integrity - telling the truth, doing what's right, having honor - defines a man."
"A man BUILT FOR OTHERS constantly asks the question, "What can I do for you."
"A man realizes that empathy is seeking to understand the pain of others and then doing something to alleviate that pain."


The Starfish Story

One morning an older man was walking along a beach and saw a younger man in the distance who appeared to be dancing in the sand.
As the older man got closer he saw that the young man was not dancing, but was picking up startfish after starfish from the beach and throwing them back into the sea.

As the older man came upon the younger man he asked him, "Young man, what are you doing?" The young man turned to the older man and said, "Well, you see, the sun is up and the tide is out and if these starfish do not get back into the sea they will die."
"But young fellow," the older man said, "Look ahead of you. There are miles and miles of beach and thousands of starfish. You can't possibly make a difference."

The young man looked at the older man and then looked at the starfish in his hand. He gently tossed the starfish into the sea and then turned to the older man and said, "Well, sir, I made a difference to that one."

$20.00 Bill

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill.  In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"  Hands started going up.

He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.  He proceeded to crumple the $20 dollar bill up.

He then asked, "Who still wants it?"  Still the hands were up in the air.  "Well", he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.

He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?"  Still the hands went into the air.

My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson.

No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value.  It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way.  We feel as though we are worthless.  But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.  Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you.

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.

You are special - "Don't EVER forget it."

Not Your problems!!!!!