"Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it."
-- Lou Holtz
Meet Lou Holtz, the motivational miracle worker who revitalized the Notre Dame football program by leading the legendary Fighting Irish to nine bowl games and a national championship. During his twenty-seven years as a head football coach, Holtz garnered a 216-95-7 career record. Each new assignment brought a different team with different players, but, invariably, the same result--success. How did he do it? By designing a game plan for his players that minimized obstacles while maximizing opportunities.
Now he wants to pass his game plan on to you. In Winning Every Day, you'll discover ten strategies that will drive you to the top of your professional and personal life. Coach Holtz will reveal how you can acquire the focus and commitment it takes to be a champion. It won't be easy; it takes sacrifice to be the best. But now you'll have a proven winner alongside you in the trenches. Winning Every Day demonstrates how you can elevate your performance while raising the standards of everyone around you. Follow Coach's strategies and winning becomes habitual. You will learn to welcome sacrifice as you dedicate yourself to excellence. He will show you how to clearly define your short-term and long-term goals, to develop an unwavering sense of purpose without compromising flexibility.
Through it all, Coach Holtz will help you discover the courage you need to live a life of unremitting triumph. You couldn't have a better guide. He will provide you with the strategies he has shared with Fortune 500 companies, groups, and organizations. Voted the top motivational speaker two years running by a survey of speakers' bureaus, Coach is going to present you with all the Xs and Os, the basics of his game plan for success in life and business.
After turning around the fortunes of college football programs at several universities, Holtz landed the top job in his profession in 1986 when he was named head coach at Notre Dame. His 1988 Notre Dame team won the college national championship (a story chronicled in his book, The Fighting Spirit), and Holtz posted winning seasons until he retired at the end of the 1996 campaign. During his coaching career, Holtz was known as an exceptional motivator, and he translated that skill from coaching to professional speaking after his retirement. In this book, Holtz outlines the principles that he believes helped him achieve success, such as a positive attitude, dealing with adversity, adapting to new situations and making a commitment to excellence. Holtz illustrates his points with numerous anecdotes drawn from his coaching days and also includes a fair number of jokes. In the end, however, what Holtz has produced is a work no better or worse than most other motivational business books. Improvement-minded Notre Dame fans are the ones most likely to be motivated to buy the ex-coach's efforts.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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August 31, 1999
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Excerpt from Winning Every Day by Lou Holtz
Every Victory Is Won Before the Game Is Played: The Power of Attitude
I left the collegiate ranks in 1976 to sign a five-year contract to coach the New York Jets of the National Football League. This was one of the two or three most coveted coaching positions in pro football, with an organization known for its professionalism. Owner Leon Hess, an NFL pioneer, was a great leader who gave his employees maximum support. New York's football fans were knowledgeable and second to none in their enthusiasm. It was an ideal situation for any coach. Yet I was unhappy almost from the moment I took the job. Every time a problem surfaced--and no pro football team can go through an entire season without its share of travails--I immediately thought, "This isn't working out." When the Jets went an abysmal 3-10 during my first season, I resigned--only eight months into my contract.
Now let's look at the flip side of that experience. In 1983, the University of Minnesota hired me to coach their football team. Five coaches--and three assistant coaches--had refused this position. The reason? Minnesota's football program had been in shambles for some time. The team, known as the Gophers, had just compiled an ignominious 17-game losing streak in which they were outscored by an average of 34 points per game. No one believed the school could quickly reverse its fortunes.
I declined the job when Minnesota's administration initially offered it to me. Besides having the same doubts as my colleagues, I couldn't see myself living in the tundra that was Minnesota. Harvey Mackay--the world-famed entrepreneur and best-selling author of How to Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive--had to use all his considerable persuasive powers to convince me to accept the position. Am I glad he did. Minnesota proved to be a great place to live. The people were friendly, the fans exuberant, and the climate not quite arctic.
I made up my mind early on that we were going to create a winning atmosphere. Fan morale was low when I took over the team. Attendance had declined for years; Minnesota often played its games before a half-filled house. However, only one year after I joined the Gophers, we sold 54,000 more season tickets--11,000 more than had been sold at any time during the school's 103-year history. Our winning record earned us an invitation to play Clemson in the Independence Bowl. You couldn't have asked for a more rousing success.
What made the difference between my experiences with the Jets and Gophers? Attitude. I joined the Jets suspecting I might fail; I came to Minnesota determined to win. With this positive outlook, I wasn't flustered when obstacles appeared. I knew we would overcome them. All that had changed was my perspective and, with that, my results. If I ever coach pro ball again, I promise you I'm going to bring that same "can-do" attitude with me.
Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it. For example, imagine you're a high jumper with the musculature to leap 6 feet 10 inches. Your pride of performance motivates you to practice and enter events. But if, on the day of the event, you don't believe you can hit 6 feet 10 inches, you're going to fall short of the mark. Your negative attitude will cut inches from your performance. However, compete with a certitude that you will clear 6 feet 10 inches and you will consistently match or better your expectations. A positive attitude is the key to attaining superior altitude.
Sweeter Than Any Bowl of Cereal
No one can control your attitude but you. Yet too often we let other people or external circumstances determine how we feel. In 1991, our team, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, was selected to play the University of Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Florida's Gators were formidable opponents. Their coach, Steve Spurrier, was (and is) a brilliant leader and tactician. Gator quarterback Shane Matthews was a superior talent blessed with a strong arm and a field commander's presence.
No one thought we could win this game. In fact, we were such a decided underdog that many people wondered if we could even hold the score close. But I believed we were poised to upset the Gators. Our team couldn't have been better prepared, and I knew our players were brimming with confidence.