John Wooden (1910-2010) was a highly revered basketball coach at UCLA. He was famous for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players. Wooden was unhappy with the dictionary definition of “Success” (the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like) and decided to come up with his own.
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming”
John Wooden never placed an emphasis on winning. He firmly believed that if his players performed to the best of their abilities, results would look after themselves. He often referred to a poem by George J. Moriarty titled ” The Road Ahead or the Road Behind”.
The Road Ahead or the Road Behind
George J. Moriarty
Sometimes I think the fates must grin as we denounce them and insist, The only reason we can’t win is the fates themselves have missed. Yet, there lives on the ancient claim – we win or lose within ourselves, The shining trophies on our shelves can never win tomorrow’s game. So you and I know deeper down there is a chance to win the crown, But when we fail to give our best, we simply haven’t met the test Of giving all and saving none until the game is really won. Of showing what is meant by grit, of fighting on when others quit, Of playing through not letting up, it’s bearing down that wins the cup. Of taking it and taking more until we gain the winning score, Of dreaming there’s a goal ahead, of hoping when our dreams are dead, Of praying when our hopes have fled. Yet, losing, not afraid to fall, If bravely we have given all, for who can ask more of a man than giving all within his span, it seems to me, is not so far from – Victory. And so the fates are seldom wrong, no matter how they twist and wind, It’s you and I who make our fates, we open up or close the gates, On the Road Ahead or the Road Behind.
Nice to see the late Jim Stynes being honoured today with a “Presidential Distinguished Service Award for The Irish Abroad”. One of Irelands most famous emigrants, Jim Stynes was more than just a sports star. His achievements on the playing fields of Australia were legendary. He played 244 games in a row for Melbourne Football Club between 1987 and 1998 — a record for the most consecutive matches that still stands in the AFL — and he won the Brownlow Medal(Player of the Year) in 1991( The first non Australian born player to do so).
But, it is for what Stynes achieved and became a part of after his playing career finished that won the hearts of Australians and many more besides. He helped establish an organisation known as The Reach Foundation, which is a network of support groups for young people. Ten years after retiring from the game he returned to his former club, then in financial trouble. He helped to save the club he loved. His widow Sam and the couple’s two children Matiesse and Tiernan are due to fly to Dublin next month to carry out his last wishes and scatter Jim’s ashes in the Wicklow mountains.
If you want to learn more about the Jim Stynes story check out the brilliant documentary “Every Heart Beats True”
The world’s view on smoking cigarettes has changed dramatically over the last century. The habit was once considered to be cool, sexy, good for your health, and widely enjoyed by many people. It was promoted by sportsmen, and advertised all over television. No one could be seen acting in a movie without a lit cigarette in their hand! Today, smoking is considered to be a nasty addictive habit that can kill you and those around you. You wont find them advertised anywhere – nor will you see anyone smoking inside a public building.
Each day over 3,000 children smoke their first cigarette. Of the 3,000 teens who started smoking today, nearly 1,000 will eventually die as a result of smoking.
Before you light-up for the first time, consider the effect your decision will have on you and your future. And if you are already a smoker………it’s never too late to quit.
“Sport doesn’t care where you’re from, if you’re a man or a woman, tall, thin, big or short. Sport doesn’t care how you got here, how much money you make, what you believe in or not. It doesn’t care if you have two legs, one leg or wheels. Sport only cares that you’re here to take part and give your all to win.”
Last evening heralded the opening ceremony for the Paralympic Games. Today, the action begins. The Paralympic Games are a celebration of what extraordinary people can do rather than what they cannot. If you get the chance in the next 11 days, tune in and watch. It should be a combination of amazing sport with incredible stories of human spirit, endeavour, and achievement.
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