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Brian Soell

Thought of the Day

Coach Dean Smith died this past Saturday. For those of you who are not familiar with him, he is one of the most successful basketball coaches in college history for a variety of reasons. Practice was the foundation of his program. Smith stated, "We believed that doing the small things right helped us to do the big things right" (p.126 from A Coach's Life).


Coach Smith had a specific ritual regarding practice. Each day, every player received a typed copy of the daily practice plan, which included an “Emphasis of the Day”, which was basketball related and a “Thought of the Day.” The “Thought of the Day,” was provided to ”…put basketball into a larger context” (p.127). To this day, numerous former players can quickly recall these life lessons that were discussed at the beginning of each practice.


Coach Smith was certainly not the first person to invent these routines or to run an organization committed to a core mission statement, but his synthesis of these rituals most certainly spread well beyond basketball. Learning, practice, repetition, and reflection establishes consistency, with these positive habits, tremendous goals can be accomplished! But, it always begins with the proper mindset. There have been few greater teachers. Say thank you to Dean Smith for his contributions and be Great today!


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