It is so easy to get distracted by the things going on in your life. Other people try to pull you into their issues. It seems like every time you think you are getting back on track, something pops up that tears your attention away from what you really want to do. I read this article this morning and it adequately describes what I have been going through: Distraction is a 4 letter word. I wrote in the post before last about getting back to the repeat stage. I realized that the reason that I was stuck was due to my lack of drive and motivation. I thought I knew what was motivating me, but when I really stopped to assess what I was doing, I did not have a clue what my motivation was. I was feeling lethargic and unable to find a real reason to get out of bed other than work. I had to take a real look at what I was eating and how I was exercising and sleeping. I did not like where I was. I remember thinking “Why does it take crisis for me to take action?” I was distracted by the things that I thought I needed to do and was pulled away without continuing to focus on the things I knew I needed to do.

I like to write things down. I have little black books of my thoughts and things that inspire me. So I went back over the things that I wrote down over the past year, what my thought process was and how I was feeling at that time. I realized that while I could never recreate those exact experiences, I am in a different environment now, there are some constants that can still be applied.

1. Have a set schedule for the time that you wake up and the time that you go to sleep. Make sure to include time to decompress from the day. I read this article last week about sleep that helped me remember what is important about sleeping: How much sleep do we really need to work productively?

2. Setup a schedule for exercising. And FOLLOW IT! This is so important. Many people say they are going to exercise, but they never follow through. The follow through is important even if it is a little bit at a time. What you are doing with the small steps is building a habit. Once you get started, it is easy to add on to until you get to the point where you are repeatedly doing what you have set out to do.

3. Work on a project that excites you. This goes along with the article I read this morning. This should not have anything to do with work. It should be purely based on something that you are passionate about.

4. Take time to reassess the things that are working and the things that are not. This allows you to figure out what you are doing that is good, how you can improve upon them and the things that you need to change before they become bad habits and you are back in your rut.

5. Surround yourself with positivity. Positive thoughts can stimulate the mind (just my experience) and help you get out of that rut a lot quicker. They can help you find that motivation and foster that drive again. The sources can and should include music, people and what you read and watch.

These are just my thoughts from the experiences that I have been through and I what I have been going through for the past couple of months. It is my hope that I can write more posts and hopefully help someone and inspire and provide positivity in someone else’s life.

Hold My Hand Please?

Some people grow up with parents that do everything for them. Wash their clothes, make sure they are fed, drive them to school, to practice, pick them up, buy them their first car and so much more. These things seem like a no brainer for a parent to do right? But then what happens when you go to college, graduate, get a job and start living on your own? Your parents are no longer there to do everything for you. They have backed off and only give advice if you ask for it. You have to figure out everything on your own. All the things your parents used to do, you have to do for yourself. You may be scared of making mistakes or disappointing your parents. But that is all apart of the process of growing up and becoming an adult. When you are a child, you think your parents are perfect and can do no wrong. At a certain age you start to see their fallacy but you are never fully aware of it. They made mistakes while raising you. I am sure there are things they wish they could take back or do over. But now that you are on your own you realize what it takes to take care of yourself. You will make mistakes just like your parents. The idea and action associated with this is to learn from them and keep going. You will eventually get the hang of it. And then you will not have to ask mommy or daddy to hold your hand.


Most people say it is hard to get started. But for me that is not the case. It is easy to get started. The hard part comes with sticking with, maintaining and improving upon what you started. Drive, mental toughness and endurance are all essential to your success. In an older post I talked about grind, hustle, payoff and repeat. I am in the repeat stage. For so long I was doing the first two that I enjoyed the third a little longer than I should have. At least in my mind it seems that way. Now I have to get back to the grind and the hustle. This time I need to make sure I take the time to enjoy the payoff as I go so that I do not become stuck in the payoff stage for too long. Now, it is about how quickly I can get to the repeat without overlooking the payoff. Remember, you need to know and understand what drives you, stay mentally tough and stick with what you want to do even when it gets tough.

What is Greatness?

What is greatness?

The Heat, led by Lebron James and Dwyane Wade with an awesome supporting cast, won the 2012 NBA championship. Last year was a different story. Last year ended in the pain of losing. Last year they could not reach their goal. But you have to remember that losing is a part of life. It does not matter that you lose because everybody has to lose sometime or other. No one is perfect. The UConn women’s basketball team had that long perfect streak but they eventually lost. The Bulls and the Lakers have both won back to back championships multiple times but they could not keep winning them. The Minnesota Lynx went perfect last year enroute to their first championship. They won 10 games in a row this year to start the season but they eventually lost. The New York Yankees, the team with the most championships in the history of sports, have won more than 3 world series in a row before. It took them 9 years to win their last world series but they have not won one since.

But the fact that you lose does not matter. What matters is what you do after you lose. You can pout, sulk or put in work. Lebron James said this after winning the championship, “Losing in the finals last year put me back in place. It humbled me a lot, and I was able to go back to the basics. A lot of people had a lot to do with it, but at the end of the day I just looked myself in the mirror and said, ‘You need to be better, both on and off the floor’. And I’m happy that I was able to put myself and our team in the position to win this.” After the finals last year, Lebron went to work. If any of you were following Lebron in the offseason you saw how much work he put in even when it was not certain when the season would start. Kevin Durant was working hard with him as well and you have to give him and OKC props for getting to the finals. They definitely put in work as well, and I enjoyed watching their high energy play. But sometimes it is just your time, and from their play and attitude, I knew this was the Heat’s time.

Coming into the season you could see a difference in the mentality and mindset of all the players, especially Lebron. They wanted it and were willing to do what it took to get it. Loss will make you rethink yourself and what you think you can do. Give Lebron and the other players credit for learning from the loss last year and readjusting themselves. They played hard, and it was not easy playing against OKC. But they fought every game and made the big plays when they needed to. This was a real team win, and I congratulate the team on their success and obtaining their goal.

What is greatness? Greatness is getting knocked down, losing, but saying, “Yes, I lost. Now what can I learn from this?”. Greatness is picking yourself back up, fixing your mistakes, strengthening your weaknesses and putting in the hard work to get to where you want to be. Greatness is working hard and giving it everything you have because you never want to feel the pain of losing again. Greatness is looking at yourself in the mirror realizing that you need to be better and that you can be better. Greatness is having nothing left and the satisfaction of knowing that you gave it everything you had.

Pickup Player Personalities

Jane McManus did a hilarious job of explaining pickup players.
Original article here:

There is nothing quite like showing up at a pickup game for the first time. You’ve never met anyone, but if you’ve played for any length of time you know who you are going to find. It’s a little different if you’re a woman, where missing your first jump shot can mean your own team plays keep away for the rest of the game.

I’ve played games from San Diego to West 4th St. in Manhattan — where after I stole the ball I learned the charming phrase “Bitch Defense.” I’ve probably played with a thousand or so people over the years, five or nine at a time. Some just once, others for so many years we became good friends. Here are some of the people I’ve met:

• He Hates You: This is the ninth most talented guy on the court. Maybe you took his spot in the next game because you arrived two minutes earlier. He will likely draw the assignment of covering you, which he may refuse to do until you hit a few jumpers. Do not let him detect weakness, in fact go on the offensive when he misses. Trash-talk is essential with this type.

• The Comedian: This is the guy, whenever you are on the same team, who volunteers to go skins. He will find it hilarious every single time you come to this game.

• The Elbow: This is the old guy, a former center or power forward, who can’t move his legs and compensates by trying to horse-collar people driving to the hoop. He will get you in the boob at some point. You will both ignore it.

• The Other Woman: This is tough. You want to be all, “You go girl!” but you know you are guarding each other, usually to a draw. He Hates You tries to turn this into a game of 4-on-4. Tip: When you’re choosing coverage, go with someone besides The Other Woman or be radical and suggest zone.

• Mr. Solicitous: This guy is generous with the ball, the problem is, he wants everyone on the court to see how egalitarian he is by passing to a woman. The guy guarding you can read it as easy as a tabloid headline. PICK!

• The Kid. This newly minted teenager is so happy the grownups are letting him play. Plenty of unbridled energy on offense, the string bean still hasn’t learned what to do when the other team has the ball. This is good because The Kid could be guarding you. Tip: On offense, don’t even try to keep up. He’ll beat himself for another year.

• The Teammate. He treats you like you are just another player on the team. He passes to you. He has some reliable shots — for example, the left side bank shot from 10 yards out — that get your team to 11 more often than not. Depending on your situation, this guy could turn into The Boyfriend.

• The Self-Hater: You know this guy — he still says, “My bad.” A lot. He also speaks to himself in third person, after every miss, the way you might do if you were really angry at yourself but thought no one was around. And you were crazy. Can be hard to watch, but avoid attempts at pep talks.

• Mr. Uncertain: He does not know what to make of you. But one thing Mr. Uncertain is certain of — he does not want to make contact with you for fear he will snap you in half. It’s an advantage really, especially if you channel The Elbow. Bang him around a little bit and hopefully Mr. Uncertain loosens up.

• The Chupacabra: I have only seen this player once. I was at my regular community center game, and I was one of the first five — but there was already another woman. The guys who came in with the next team thought we were an easy out — two women on one team? But this was no Other Woman. She was 6-foot-2, could out rebound The Elbow all day and had a better jumper than Mr. Solicitous. She figured out my favorite spot and fed me the ball like a shooting coach. We held that court all night long. Later I found out she played for Boston College, but I never saw her at that game again.

If you are still out there, you have a standing invite to be on my team, Chupacabra.


These next few months are about to test me both physically and mentally. I have goals of where I want to be, and I need to start working now to get there. I will start working now to get there.

Grind. If you want something, it is not just going to fall into your lap. You have to put in the work, no matter how hard, monotonous or impossible you think it is. You cannot focus on what you cannot do. Focus on what you can do and learn what you cannot now already do. If it is going to help you get to where you need to be, just do it.

Hustle. Making connections, getting others interested and excited about what you are doing, putting yourself out there, jumping outside the box, taking a risk, taking the initiative and saying, “Hey. You don’t know me, but you will.” It is all a part of the hustle.

Payoff. After all of your hard work, you will be able to reap the rewards. The products of all those late nights and early mornings. Of putting in long hours sometimes with no food or sleep. Of toughing it out even when it looked like it could not be done.

Repeat. Take a moment to enjoy those rewards then start all over again.

It all starts now. This is the moment where you reevaluate your life. Reevaluate where you are now, where you want to be and how you are going to get there. Then you act. You put in the work. You do whatever you have to do to get to where you want to be. These next few months I am going hard, and I am going strong. I have to. That is the only way I will get to where I want to be.

Grind. Hustle. Payoff. Repeat.

2012 WNBA Draft Picks

No surprise that Nnemkadi Ogwumike goes #1. LA Sparks got an excellent player. Shekinna Stricklen #2, Devereaux Peters #3, Glory Johnson #4 and Natalie Novosel #8 all went to really good teams in the first round. I was happy to see that Sasha Goodlett #11 from Georgia Tech went to a good team in the first round as well. It will be interesting to see how they make the transition from college to the WNBA. They will have to adjust to new coaches, teammates, systems and cities. I’m looking forward to seeing how these players do in the upcoming season.

2012 WNBA Draft Prospects

The draft this year does not seem all that exciting to me. There are a few players that will go high up in the draft, but everyone else is a mystery. I know Tennessee and Notre Dame are losing some great seniors. Standford is losing a great senior as well. My definite picks, and not in any particular are:

Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Shekinna Stricklen
Natalie Novosel
Devereaux Peters
Glory Johnson
Sydney Carter

Like I said, what happens to all the other prospects is a mystery. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Baylor – NCAA Women’s Basketball Champions

Congratulations to Baylor for going a perfect 40-0 and winning the championship. I know they worked hard for it, and it’s great to see that hard work pay off. Congratulations as well to Notre Dame for reaching the finals their second year in a row. I know they will come back hungrier than ever next year to win a title.

What do you do when you lose or make a bad decision at a pivotal point? Do you hang your head and wallow in self pity, get angry at the others around you, give up? When I was younger, I would get angry. I remember my senior year of college we were playing in a tournament and all we had to do was get past this one team and we could move on. We had played this team all year, and the games had been really close. I poured my heart and soul into that game. I played some of the best defense of my life. But as the saying goes there is no I in team. I couldn’t carry the team by myself. We were up at the end of the game but then our team got foul happy. We ended up losing the game by one point. I was upset. I was angry and even snapped at a few people after the game. It hurt to lose that way. To be so close and then all of sudden denied. I had to change. I had to grow up.

Now, my MO is this: I acknowledge my hurt. I acknowledge the fact that yeah, I lost or yeah, I made a wrong decision. After that I analyze the situation for areas in which I need to improve. Then I forget about it. I let it go. You can’t dwell on the bad because that will just pull and keep you down. When you let it go, you get back up. You go back to work, you get better and resolve within yourself that next time will be better. Next time you’ll get it. Next time you’ll succeed. It’s important to state that success may not come exactly the next time. It may take you weeks, months years to finally succeed. But you cannot let your seeming failure deter you. You have to keep pushing and forging ahead never looking back. In every failure you learn and grow stronger. You learn what works and what does not work. So while the next time may not be a complete success, you are not making the same mistakes, and you are putting all the pieces together to finally be completely successful.

Skylar Diggins has this mentality of going to work. After the loss last year in the title game, she worked hard and got better. It may not have ended with a national title this year, but she’s just putting the pieces together. You can guarantee she will work even harder this offseason and come back really hungry for the title next year. I’m learning that success happens as long as you stay hungry and work for it. If you get complacent or give up, success will continue to elude you. You may be moments, inches away from succeeding, but if you give up you will never see that success. Keep going, keep pushing, keep working, keep your head up. Stay positive. You will succeed.

NCAA Title Game Set

Finally, we will get the matchup we have been waiting for. Baylor vs Notre Dame. Even though Stanford had some success in isolating Brittney Griner, other players stepped up for Baylor and they were able to get past Stanford. Notre Dame fought for its place in the title game by beating UConn in overtime. Brittany Mallory came up huge with her 3 pointers. I’m looking forward to a tough physical game because these two teams are hungry for a title. Two of the most talked about players, unsung heroes of the season and two excellent coaches will converge on the court April 3rd to determine who takes it all.