About This Book

Chicken Soup for the Soul has a slam dunk with its first sports book in years, and its first on basketball, with the Orlando Magic's very own Pat Williams, well know author and motivational speaker. Pat has drawn on his basketball industry connections to compile great stories from on and off the court. Fans will be inspired, surprised, and amused by inside stories from well-known coaches and players, fascinating looks behind the scenes, and anecdotes from the people who make it all possible — the fans. Some interesting words of wisdom from Pat for athletes and anyone looking for motivation are included. A slam dunk for anyone interested in competitive sports.

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From NBA Legends to President Obama: Five ways basketball’s greatest skills define us off the court

Inspired by stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Pat Williams

President Obama is just one example of what can happen when the lessons learned on the basketball court translate into success in every aspect of life, a correlation to which millions of basketball players around the world can attest. Many of the NBA’s biggest stars say their success has more to do with the way lessons learned on the basketball court have defined their character off of it. Inspired by contributors of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball, here are five ways basketball legends (and even our own President) used their b-ball skills to achieve their goals:

1. Dream. "As a young man, I dreamt about becoming a great public speaker, even though I suffered from a severe stuttering disability. Though I could barely put two words together, let alone speak a full sentence, I was able to overcome those handicaps because I had a dream," as Director of Community Affairs and former Chicago Bulls star Bob Love recognizes. The starting point for achieving any goal is desire. You need to really want the goal to achieve it. While basketball stars make it look easy, they all had a dream.

2. Prepare. UCLA coaching legend John Wooden believed, "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." Make a plan for the course you need to follow to accomplish your goal. By creating a blueprint of what must be done to achieve your goal, the goal is more likely to become a reality. Also review the plan over and over each day as it will help you begin with the end goal in mind.

3. Focus. "This was one of times when I felt that there was no way — I don’t care what kind of defense they played or who they put in front of me — there was no way they were going to stop me from getting to that goal," recounts Chris Paul after giving his best performance on the basketball court in honor of his grandfather’s memory. Many basketball legends, like Paul, achieved their goals because of an intense focus, a concentration on their objectives. Visualize your dream and say affirmations based on your goals until your impossible dream doesn't seem so impossible to you.

4. Be Passionate. No one speaks passion like our own President who has triumphed in spite of significant obstacles. As Steve Kirschner, North Carolina Director of Athletic Communication, tells it, "Obama looks bigger on TV, but he’s 6’2" and his is very slender. But, as we were all witness to, he has a huge presence and commands the room, whether it’s at the podium or on the hardwood." Obama followed his principles and his passions, which guaranteed him a place in the White House. Like Obama, you can achieve you goals if you have the enthusiasm and energy to make it happen.

5. Work hard. Hard work is a crucial part of achieving your goal. NBA Hall-of-Famer Dolph Schayes knows quite a bit about hard work. After a cheap shot that left him with a right fractured wrist, Schayes had to learn how to play left-handed. "Practice may not make perfect, but hard, meaningful work surely pays off! My left/right capabilities made my drives to the basket nearly unstoppable," he writes. Having the willpower and strength internally will force you to do the hard work in order to achieve your goal.

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