March 12, 2004, Newsletter Issue #153: DETERMINATION

Tip of the Week

Determination can be called persistence, tenacity, or perserverance. Any way you say it, it means imposing your will on the situation and accomplishing the task at hand. The average basketball player will reach an obstacle and give in to the situation. "Oh well, I tried", they might think. The champion basketball player will find a way to get it done. It may be getting open, advancing the ball up the floor, developing a passing angle, penetrating the lane, creating a shot, or drawing contact to get to the free throw line. Whatever it takes - get it done.

Coach John Wooden says, "It is the ability to resist temptation and stay the course, to concentrate on your objective with determination and resolve. Impatience is wanting too much too soon. Intentness doesn`t involve wanting something. It involves doing something.

The road to real achievement takes time, a long time, but you do not give up. You may have setbacks. You may have to start over. You may have to change your method. You may have to go around, or over, or under. You may have to back up and get another start. But you do not quit. You stay the course. To do that, you must have intentness.

Here`s a little example of what I mean. In 1948, I began coaching basketball at UCLA. Each hour of practice we worked very hard. Each day we worked very hard. Each week we worked very hard. Each season we worked very hard. Four fourteen years we worked very hard and didn`t win a national championship. However, a national championship was won in the fifteenth year. Another in the sixteenth. And eight more in the following ten years.

Be persistent. Be determined. Be tenacious. Be completely determined to reach your goal. That`s intentness.

If you stay intent and your ability warrants it, you will eventually reach the top of the mountain."

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