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Thinking About Winning Is NOT Jinxing Yourself

"This is the only race of my life where I just felt I was going to win. I used to think it was bad to think
about winning, that I was going to jinx it."

--Ashleigh McIvor, Olympic Gold Medalist, Ski Cross

It's time to clear up the confusion out there about how you can JINX yourself.

...and please listen up, because this is important.

You will never jinx yourself by thinking about winning BEFORE an event.

Thinking about winning is only a problem if you focus on it DURING your event.

That's because you cannot control winning.

If you could, you'd always win.

In classic sport psychology terms, if you think "outcome" during an event - about winning or performing well,
you'll probably tighten up.

It's called PRESSING, and we've all done it.

When you're PRESSING - thinking outcome - you stop focusing on what you need to do to win...
such as nailing landings, getting a good start out of the blocks, moving your opponent around the court,
or driving to the net.

When you focus on outcome, you lose awareness of what's actually happening in your event, and make tiny mistakes.

So when do you think about winning?

You think about it every day leading up to your event. In training, in practice, even as you're falling asleep at night.

In fact, visualizing yourself winning is exactly what you should do.

But once your event starts, you get into the Now.

You're busy.

You're concentrating.

You're focused.

You're completely absorbed in what you're doing.

Winning -- and performing well - takes care of itself.

Besides, you've already programmed your mind for success. It's handled.

Bobcat Football Facts of Life

Face it ... nobody owes you anything!

What you achieve or fail to achieve in your lifetime is directly related to what you do or fail to do.

No one chooses his or her parents or childhood, but you can choose your direction. Everyone has problems or obstacles to overcome! But ... that is relative to each individual.

Nothing is carved in stone ... you can change anything in your life if you want to badly enough. Excuses are for losers.

Those who take responsibility for their actions are the real winners in life.

Winners meet life's challenges head-on knowing there are no guarantees and give it all they've got and never think it is too late or too early to begin.

Time plays no favorites ... and will pass whether you act or not.

Dare to dream and take risks.


If you are not willing to work for your goals, don't expect others to.

Believe in yourself!


Excellence does not just happen.

It comes with a price. To achieve

Excellence in any pursuit can be

tedious and exhausting. It

requires courage and


Excellence demands constant

vigilance. There are those anxious

to pull you down. It will seem

that the competition is way out

ahead of you, because they're

taking shortcuts. Those

shortcuts will eventually be

their downfall.

In the challenge of

excellence, lies its value.

Strive for Excellence

A Leader

I went on a search to become a leader

I searched high and low. I spoke with authority. People Listened. But alas, there was one who was wiser than I, and they followed that individual.

I sought to inspire confidence, but the crowd responded, "Why should I trust you?"

I postured, and I assumed the look of leadership with a countenance that flowed with confidence and pride. But many passed me by and never noticed my air of elegance.

I ran ahead of the others, pointed the way to new heights, I demonstrated that I knew the route to greatness. And then I looked back, and I was alone.

"What shall I do?" I queried. "I've tried hard and used all that I know." And I sat down and pondered long.

And then I listened to the voices around me. And I heard what the group was trying to accomplish. I rolled up my sleeves and joined in the work.

As we worked, I asked "Are we all together in what we want to do and how to get the job done?"

And we thought together, and we fought together, and we struggled towards our goal.

I found myself encouraging the fainthearted. I sought the ideas of those too shy to speak out. I taught those who had little skill. I praised those who worked hard. When our task was completed, one of the group turned to me and said "This would not have been done but for your leadership."

At first, I said, "I didn't lead. I just worked with the rest." And then I understood leadership is not a goal. It's a way of reaching a goal.

I lead best when I help others to go where we've decided to go. I lead best when I help others to use themselves creatively. I lead best when I forget about myself as a leader and focus on my group ... their needs and their goals.

To lead is to serve ... to give ... to achieve together.


Be a Leader


We are what we Repeatedly do, Excellence is not an act it's a habit


Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.

-Cadet Maxim U.S. Military Academy

The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor

-Vince Lombardi

Only those who have the patience to do the simple things perfectly will acquire the skills to do the difficult things easily.


"You can't get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good."

-Jerry West

"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained in it."

-Hebrews 12:11

"One of the greatest lessons I've learned in athletics is that you've got to discipline your life. No matter how good you may be, you've got to be willing to cut out of your life those things that keep you from going to the top."

-Bob Richards

You Have a Great Deal of Potential!
By Lawrence Fine

You have a great deal of potential! How do I know this? Because almost everyone has a great deal of potential at something.
You can accomplish great things!
You can be almost anything you want to be!
You can make a big difference in this world!
You can help many people!
You can help others while also helping yourself!
Creating a win/win scenario where everyone benefits is not only possible, it's easier than you think!
So the one question is...what is holding you back?
No one can prevent you from achieving your potential (except you)
No one can stop you from doing something great (except you).
Stop making excuses, go do something special...achieve your potential!

by Lawrence Fine

When competing (and let's be honest, we all compete at something whether it's in sport, in business or in life), there are three reasons we might not win.

The smallest percentage of losses is the result of it just not working out. As an example, two even competitors are competing and one of them has to lose. You didn't do anything wrong in this case, sometimes, it just happens.

The Bigger percentage is because the opponent is simply better than you. It might be the case of them being bigger, stronger, faster or smarter but most of the time you compete against these people, you will lose. There is nothing to be ashamed of when losing in this type of competition because we almost all have someone we simply don't match up well against.

Sadly, the BIGGEST percentage of losses is our own fault. Everything from lack of preparation to poor mental attitude. The reason this is so sad is the BIGGEST percentage of our losses is in the one category we can control.

The good news is.....the biggest percentage of our failures are within our control! Short term, it's difficult to get much bigger stronger or faster but we can control our preparation, we can control out attitude, we can control our discipline.
The even better news is when we start taking responsibility for our own actions, not only will this BIGGEST category get much smaller but the small category (which some would call unlucky) will also get smaller. This is tied into the golfer who, after making a great chip shot and someone tells him it was a lucky shot responds. "it's amazing but the more I practice, the luckier I seem to get!"

No matter how much you prepare and how much your attitude improves, with very few exceptions, we all will have some encounters with opponents we don't match well against (the Bigger group). However, we can significantly lower the size of the BIGGEST and the small groups and this will result in much greater success, whether on a field, court or in boardroom. So much will simply depend on whether you really want to win or whether you simply say you want to win (there is a BIG difference).


The following formation is used help evaluate our athletes.

1. Are You Coachable? Can you listen, and are you willing to learn from the instruction, which you are given, or will you insist upon doing things your way?

2. Commitment - Are you committed to teamwork or individualism? Are you paying the price for success both in the classroom and in the weight room?

3. Loyalty - Do you support your fellow players and the mission of the football program?

4. Work Ethic- Do you do extra work outside of practice to further your own skill to help the team. Going the extra mile, summer football work, before and after school weight program, spring and summer football, etc.

5. Responsibility - Are you always on time, bringing all your equipment Everyday? Do you help keep the locker room clean and neat?

6. Can You Accept Criticism? Coaches will, from time to time, be critical of your actions on and off the field. If you can accept criticism, you should be motivated to correct errors, which you have been making. Criticism is never anything personal against you; on the contrary, it's a coach that cares enough about you to make you better. Must be able to take coaching.

7. Relationship With Teammates - Do your teammates respect you as an individual and as a team member? Do you do the things that will earn their respect?

8. Are you a team player? Do your actions on and off the field show that you are more concerned with the welfare of the team then gaining individual glory? In a team sport, individuals may win honors, but the entire team earns them.

9. Are you disciplined? The greatest player is a disciplined individual, both on and off the field.


What is perseverance?

Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
Perseverance is trying again and again.

You show perseverance when you ...

Give up your tv time to spend hours studying
Try a new sport that is very difficult but you don't give up
Have a learning disability but keep studying even when discouraged
Come from a home where there is fighting and unhappiness but you still try your best
Have missed a week of school but you work hard to catch up
Are at the end of a difficult race but you cross the finish line
Save money and make sacrifices to buy something
Spend hours practicing on your music
Study and work hard to raise your grade
Try out for something you weren't successful at the first time

Proverbs and maxims

Failure is the path of least persistence.
All things will come round to him who will but wait. (Longfellow)
Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.
Work hard and give it your best shot; never be a quitter. (Charley Taylor)

More quotes on perseverance

Victory belongs to the most persevering. (Napoleon Bonaparte)
Hitch your wagon to a star. (Emerson)
To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage to a man. (Euripides)
You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try. (Beverly Sills)
Many strokes overthrow the tallest trees. (John Lyly)

People who persevered despite handicaps and disabilities

Beethoven (composer) - was deaf
Ray Charles (musician) - is blind
Thomas Edison (inventor) - had a learning problem
Albert Einstein (scientist) - had a learning disability
Terry Fox (runner) - is an amputee with cancer
Stevie Wonder (musician) - is blind
James Earl Jones (actor) - was a stutterer
Helen Keller (author) - was deaf and blind
Marlee Matlin (actress) - is deaf
Franklin D. Roosevelt (president) - was paralyzed from polio
Vincent Van Gogh (artist) - was mentally ill
Woodrow Wilson (president) - had a learning problem
Itzhak Perlman (concert violinist) - was paralyzed from the waist down
Stephen Hawking (physicist) - had Lou Gehrig's disease (of the nervous system)

Heroes and heroines

Susan B. Anthony was a women's rights activist who spent her entire life working for a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote.
Marie Curie was a physicist who published 32 scientific papers and continued to study sources of radioactivity over many years.
Amelia Earhart became famous as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and as an advocate of aviation and women's rights.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias was a great American female athlete who excelled in many sports.
Benjamin Franklin was a leading scientist, inventor, publisher, and politician whose persistence, patience, and hard work paid off. He is on our $100 bill.
Wilma Randolph was an Olympics Gold medalist in track who was not able to walk properly as a child.
El Chino was the first Chinese matador in Spain.
Martin Luther King, Jr. worked very hard to lead the civil rights movement in the 1960's. He withstood prejudice and resistance to change.

Put perseverance into action

When something starts to bother you, wait as long as you can before you express frustration.
When something doesn't work right, try again and again.
Don't lose your temper when something upsets you.
Always finish what you start.
Keep working at something that is difficult until you complete it.
Don't give up on difficult jobs or situations.
Focus on someone or something that ordinarily makes you lose your patience and try to understand it (and don't "lose it").
Work a little harder or a few minutes longer on a task that you do not like.

Community service ideas

Volunteer to work in the library, at a nature center, or in an animal shelter doing tasks that require a great deal of patience and persistence.
Organize a campaign to promote good study habits in your school.
Help with the recycling project at your school and community.

Not so cool ways to cope

Escape or avoid your problems.
Blame yourself.
Blame other people.
Blame chance.
Blame other things, forces, or powers.

Cool ways to cope

Face and accept what happens in your life.
Express your feelings.
Write about your feelings.
Get help if you need it.
Try to make it better.

Take good care of yoursel

Write in your journal about difficult situations and how you handled them without giving up.
Write a poem about suffering, what you can learn from it, how to face it, how not to hurt others, or anything else about obstacles.
Collect stories, poems, diaries, or quotations by writers about persistence.
Brainstorm cures for "the blues."
Learn what Galileo (a famous astronomer) or other scientist endured with opposition faced during his or her lifetime.
Find out what help is there for people who face difficult situations - counselors, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, therapists.
Create a skit that shows what to do when disaster strikes.
Explore the healing power of music.
Explore the healing power of exercise.
Explore the healing power of pets.

Put some extra effort into a project that is difficult and try to improve your skill (like public speaking or learning a dance).f.
Learn and grow from your experiences, including the ones that hurt