Yesterday I attended an event, entitled Be Your Best, with two time basketball Olympians (LA 1984, Seoul 1988) :
- Gerald Kazanowski,
- Eli Pasquale,
- Karl Tilleman,
- Howard Kelsey and
- their university and national coach Ken Shields.
While I am not necessarily a basket ball enthusiast I was especially attentive when Eli Pasquale spoke. By basketball standards he is short at 6’1″. He has always been shorter than his team mates, in grade ten he was only 5’3′, but that did not stop him from obtaining his dream.
Eli spoke about decisions and how the choices we make determine our outcomes. He spoke about how he would practice ball handling for two hours an night, in his basement using chairs as his opponents, until the ball became an extension of his being. He told us about how he would ride to school with his dad, so he could practice shooting in the gym before classes. He spoke of trying out for the school team and making it. He showed a picture of his towering team mates with him in the middle as the shortest person. One decision after another he dedicated himself to practicing his skills to the point that he overcame what might have been an obstacle.
Then the day came when he decided he wanted to be an Olympian. He made a difficult decision to leave his home and family in Ontario to train with Coach Ken Shields at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Nine years after making the decision to play basketball in the Olympics, he represented Canada in Los Angeles in 1984.
Pasquale said, “there was always someone telling you that you can not do what you want to do. I did not pay attention. If anything is going to happen in my life it is up to me. For me it was always about giving my best and doing my best and always looking for someone to teach me. We have to choose well.”
He ended, “Make a decision. Make a commitment, and with passion it will come.”
Coach Ken Shields added to this perspective when he was asked by a member of the audience, “How do you motivate and instill enthusiasm? How can we instill it in our children and the children we work with?” Coach Shields replied, “I do not believe in motivating people. People are self motivated… create an environment to make it come to fruition.” He explained what creates this kind of environment; it has to be healthy, fun and demanding, “where only the best is accepted.” He added, “This does not mean it does not have to be fun. Whatever environment you are in it has to be fun!”
About success he expanded on his philosophy of quality coaches giving quality training, “Even if they are getting C’s and D’s they need to feel like they are doing their best. They feel worthy. They can do things.” Coach Shields concluded, “Leaders have to do that in whatever job they are in.”
Sitting there in the dark auditorium I compared preparing for the CELBAN and preparing to play basketball in the Olympics. Both require one to:
- Decide on the dream.
- Commit to that dream.
- Find quality coaches with quality training.
- Ignore the naysayers.
- Practice your skills until they become a natural extension of yourself to overcome obstacles.
- Then, with passion, achieve your dream.
While reading the e-mails that have been sent to me, and the responses I sent back in reply, you will come to understand several things about me:
- I create an environment where people tap into their self motivation, commitment and fulfill their dreams through passion.
- I encouraging people to continue on their paths, overcoming obstacles through practice.
As a result IENs have fun learning in a healthy environment where they have self worth having grown and progressed by doing the best that they can.
When Coach Shields described coaching that results in excellence he described not only himself but also CELBANPrep when he said, “quality coaches giving quality training”. This is only one of the many reasons why people pass the CELBAN having taken CELBANPrep. They pass because they: make a decision; make a commitment; find quality coaches with quality training; practice, practice, practice. And with passion, it does come; they achieve their dreams.
It starts with one decision. Choose well.