SlamDunk Success Blog

Venturing Into Fiction

Uncategorized Oct 02, 2020

Last week I told you about some big changes on the horizon for my business — transitioning my company name from "Great Resources for Coaches" to "SlamDunk Success" — and also upgrading my website and course platforms to go along with the change. This will allow me to better serve the different audiences in my various endeavors.

One other major change that is coming will be in my writing. You may have guessed it by the subject line of this post/email. I am now venturing into the world of fiction! That's right... I am writing and publishing fictional stories.

I have always wanted to write fiction. And through the years I have written a bit of it. But I never felt like any of it was good enough to publish. 

Until now.

I have written two novels over the course of the past year that I will be publishing in the next few months (hopefully!) The first one is done and in the final editing and logistics stage.

The basic story of the...

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Big Changes on the Horizon

Uncategorized Sep 25, 2020

Earlier this year I told you I would not be writing posts on a regular basis like I had for the last 5 or 6 years. I had a variety of projects that I knew were going to be taking a lot more of my time and attention, and I knew that the weekly posts and videos would have to be put on hold for a while.

I have missed writing and sending posts. While I have still been writing just about every day, I have not been writing about the various topics that I normally choose to write about in my posts.

Also, I miss the connection with you, the audience. I have loved writing things over the years that have spurred you to reply with comments or to create more questions and discussions on your part. 

While I have sent a reminder to my email list about my new podcast episode every Monday for the last couple of months, that is different than writing a 1,000-2,000-word post of content intended for you to read and ponder.

So I have decided to start posting on a...

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No Justice, No Change

This will be one of the most difficult posts I will ever write and probably the longest. It is about such a highly charged, emotional topic that is in our face every night, and I don't want to say the wrong thing. As I read and hear so many people weighing in on the George Floyd murder, the protests that followed it, and police brutality issues around our nation, I keep struggling to come up with my own take on it all.

The problem is I am so afraid I will do it wrong. I am so afraid I will anger people by saying something that I shouldn't, even though I didn't know it was something that shouldn't be said or said in the way I say it. I don't want to be insensitive to others' feelings and situations.

I have written and spoken a few times before about my fear of ever making someone mad. This has never had anything to do with any racially charged situation. It's just my own "wanting to please everyone" nature and my overly warped feeling of wanting everyone to like me.

Because of those...

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Apologies from a Former Member of the Grammar Police

Yesterday, I watched a video of a guy who I follow in the writing and online business world in which he blasted all of the people in "The Grammar Police” for taking aim at the trivial matters that they take aim at in other people’s writing. Numerous thoughts and responses came to my mind as I first read his email about it and then watched/listened to his video.

My first response was, “I’m sorry.” As an English teacher in various venues over the last 35 years, I have been a staunch member of what has come to be called, The Grammar Police. Whatever you call me or those who, like me, tend to point out mistakes in other people’s writing, I understand your frustration with us. Who the heck are we to point out your mistakes?

I get it. I get where those of you who struggle with us are coming from. It’s not easy finding out you’re not perfect as a writer. Nobody likes a critic. Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote comes to mind –

It is...

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2020 Graduation Address

So there I was on a walk with my dog, and I was listening to an audiobook version of a book that was written way back in the 1930s. In it, I heard a story about the author receiving a letter from someone who had heard the author give the Commencement Address at that young man's college graduation some 30 years before. The graduate told the author in his letter that the author's words were so powerful and so inspirational that they set the young man on a journey that led him to all the success that he achieved and caused him to have a great impact on many other people by becoming a United States congressman.

In the course of about two more steps, it hit me - "Oh my gosh. This year's graduating class won't have an opportunity like that. They won't be hearing messages like that this year."

And then I thought, "What the class of 2020 has lost this year is unfathomable." I also realized that the final words of encouragement and...

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Lucky to Have You?

I follow a variety of people on Twitter. Most are in the coaching and athletic world. It is the world that I have inhabited for the last 30+ years. It is a world I am passionate about.

But my passion in that world is about helping kids have the best experience possible. Sure, I want to win games and championships like everyone else. But I don’t get nearly as passionate about those things as I do about helping kids have the best athletic experience possible.

I read a lot of tweets and posts from people who seem to share those same ideas on school and youth athletics. They realize that, while we all want to win and that is our goal every time we step into our competitive arenas, we are here to provide so much more than that for our kids.

I don’t personally know most of the people that are writing these tweets and posts, so I don’t know for sure if their actions follow their words. And people who don’t know me don’t know if my actions follow my words...

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Better Days Ahead?

As we navigate uncharted waters unlike anything we have dealt with in our lifetimes, a variety of thoughts, feelings, and emotions continue to hit us all in various ways. For me, it seems like every day we hear stories that bring out these emotions. Some are downright scary, some gut-wrenching, and some filled with hope and joy.

“Hope and joy? What the heck are you talking about, Scott? People all over the world are dying from a disease that we have no cure for and no vaccine for. We are all stuck in our homes. When we do venture outside, we need to wear masks, stay 6 feet away from each other, and avoid touching things without first sanitizing them in some way and then sanitizing them again when we get home. I don’t see the hope and joy in any of that.”

To be honest, I don’t see hope and joy in any of those things either. Those are the downright scary and gut-wrenching things. Those are the things that are filling us all with fear and dread, not hope...

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Are You Ready for the New Reality of Coaching Kids from a Distance?

Check out that title again. I don't believe I just wrote that. I don't want to believe it. I hope it's not true. And yet, I fear that it may be our reality for some time as we move forward.

Now for those of you who know me personally, you know I am not a "gloom & doom" guy. I am upbeat, energized, enthusiastic, and excited for life. I am a "glass is half-full" person through and through.

So for me to write that title took some effort. 

But here's the deal. I really believe that this new reality that we are going through right now is with us for more than just a few weeks. As I sit here typing this, my wife is sitting 10 feet away from me online posting lessons and grading assignments from her high school Spanish students - on a Sunday afternoon. Many of you taught your classes this past week through your computers for the first time ever.  This is not what you had in mind when you decided you wanted to teach. 

This is CERTAINLY not what you had in mind...

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Are You Like I Was? This is for You

See if this isn't something similar to how things went for you in the early stages of your coaching career or if this isn't similar to where you are now on your coaching journey.

In my first teaching and coaching job, I was 21 years old. I was teaching high school English at an all-boys Catholic school in the suburbs of Chicago. I had 3 classes of seniors. They were 3 & 4 years younger than me.

I had to IMMEDIATELY create a positive, loving relationship with them while at the same time create distance between us, so they saw me as an adult who commanded their respect.

"YIKES!" I thought. "How the hell am I going to do that?! I'm only 21 frickin' years old!" 3 months before that I was a college senior doing what college seniors do. I was more like a big brother to them age-wise. There were no courses in college labeled "Create Distance from Your Kids When You're 3 or 4 Years Older than Them." 

While I was an athletic, fit man and a fairly big...

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Leap Before You Look

 

"Hey, Scott, I think you have that title backwards. I think you mean 'Look before you leap.' Because, you know, that's just good advice to always look before you jump into something.”

No, I didn't make a mistake. And yes, the phrase, "Look before you leap" is certainly good advice when thinking of someone literally leaping off of some type of ledge or platform onto a landing site of some sort. You definitely want to know what you are about to leap into in terms of the environment, surroundings, and dangers associated with them.

However, there is a problem with the statement, “Look before you leap.” The problem is too many of us (myself included all too often) take this line to an extreme and use it in far more situations than just literally jumping off of one spot onto another one. Too many of us apply this as a metaphor for all aspects of life. I have come to realize that sometimes it is better to do a version of the opposite – ...

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