Lent Day 43 – Peace and Attitude

If you think you can or you think you can't, you are right.

— Henry Ford —

The following is a writing about my brother, Jim, from seven years ago. At the end of it is a link to my most recent Higher Leading podcast, which is a conversation I had with my brother.

Attitude is everything is an often-used saying that I never grow tired of utilizing because it is absolute truth. I love studying, observing, talking, and writing about attitude. Attitude trumps talent every day of the week.  

imageA few months ago, my brother called to inform me he was getting back into coaching. Jim was a successful girls’ high school basketball coach in the 1980s and 90s but retired to spend more time with his family. I jokingly asked him if he had lost his mind. Then I told him I was happy for him because I knew how much he loved to coach, but beyond that, I was pleased for the kids he would impact.

I went to Jim’s season opener, and his kids made a tremendous comeback to beat a somewhat average team. I marveled at how they rallied in the end and had flashbacks to my brother’s teams from a few decades earlier. Jim could always get more out of his teams than most of us thought possible. His teams have never lacked effort, which has always been amplified by a winning attitude he magically instills into every one of his players.

Today, I know the most influential leaders do just that–they infuse an attitude in their team or organization that delivers results beyond what seems humanly possible.  I call it the attitude of a winner.

It’s been three months since my brother’s first win with his new team, and as I type this blog, I am bursting with pride. I am now able to call his team “Champions.”image

The Covington Lady Buccs are now twenty-five games into the season with a record of 20 wins and 5 losses. This past Saturday, they won the Sectional Championship. They beat a well-coached and talented team that has always been rich in girls’ basketball tradition. Jim’s Lady Buccs are not overly blessed with talent, speed, or size, but they all have the attitude of winners.

In years of watching Jim coach, there are many things he does well, but as I mentioned earlier, the one thing he does exceptionally well is he works hard to get to know each player and instills the attitude of a winner inside their spirit. Here are my observations on how I believe he gets this done:

  1. Confidence of a Winner:  Jim always coaches to win. He never coaches not to lose. There is a big difference between the two. In essence, his kids have the green light to play fearlessly, even if it means they make a mistake or two. This creates a powerful energy of confidence. Watching this team grow in confidence as the season progresses has been refreshing and energizing for spectators like me.
  2. Preparation of a Winner:  Coaching to win means the leader must be willing to go to great lengths to prepare his team mentally and physically for its opponent. My brother will never be out-prepared or outsmarted as he couples his years of basketball wisdom with a focused work ethic. This wise preparation and work ethic spill over into his players, as his teams rarely beat themselves because of mental mistakes or because they aren’t in shape.
  3. Heart of a Winner:  Last but not least, Jim’s teams are bound by a winning heart. A love for the team and each other is at the core of this winning heart. I believe this is Jim’s magic potion. The love begins at the top. Jim loves his players, and his players love him, even though there are probably times they don’t like him. Great leaders love. Weak leaders want to be liked or even worse-feared. My brother falls into the rare category of being a great leader…I would say that even if he wasn’t my brother.

So here is the magic formula:

A Winner’s Confidence + A Winner’s Preparation + A Winner’s Heart = The Attitude of a Winner.

None of this is rocket science.  Several hundred authors have written thousands of books about what it takes to be a winner.

I’ve read most of those books, but none speak more clearly to me than the book my brother has written with his coaching actions for years.

By the way, the following year (2017-2018), Jim took the Lady Buccs to their fifth District Championship in history, a little over thirty years after he coached them to their first-ever district title in 1989.

Attitude is everything.

Attitude is a choice.

We all have a choice whether or not we live with an attitude of peace and winning or chaos and losing.

1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”

Journal your thoughts:

What am I grateful for today?

In what way(s) will I bring light to the world today?

What will I deny myself to draw closer to God and gain more peace in my life today?


God, I offer myself to Thee—To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties so that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always! Amen. (Third Step Prayer – Chapter 5, pg.63, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous)

And here’s that link I promised to the most recent episode of my Higher Leading podcast with Jim as my guest… hope you enjoy listening to the conversation, as much as I enjoyed having it!




Thanks to Ben Robinson at www.colorgreencreative.com for the photos!


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