Friday, June 27, 2014

To Isaiah Austin,




     Isaiah Austin, as you may know, was medically forced to stop playing basketball due to a genetic heart disease called Marfan Syndrome. He would have been drafted by an NBA team, and yes, probably would have signed a lucrative contact. It is best when faced with a loss, or road block that forces you to change your goals to take inventory on what was lost, what you have, and where can you go from here. I will say to Isaiah Austin that you have a lot, and you can go a long way.

     Isaiah, you will have a degree from Baylor University, one of the finest higher institutions of learning in this country. You would have been selected from one of the lowest probability of employment in the world. It only used to be picks from this nation when I was growing up dreaming of what you would have accomplished. There are close to 5400 college basketball athletes, in America, playing for what you would have accomplished, and there are only 60 draft picks, and from those 60 picks some of those will not make a roster. You now have to add on all of the professional teams around the world. That works out to a less than 1% chance of being drafted.

     Isaiah, you can look to the future, and it is my understanding the NBA is considering hiring you once you finish your degree program at Baylor. There are many avenues you can take with your experiences, already, in your very young life. Reach out to those who guided you, and some that may be of help. Keep moving in a positive direction, and lament in your disappointment briefly, but see the positives in your new direction. Also, be patient.

     Some of us have never experienced real pain and adversity at your age, and true character is measured not from when things are going well, but how you react when adversity takes over.

     Finally, reflect, but don’t dwell, and I will leave you with this, as told to me by several mentors; when you are driving through hell, don’t stop to get out and linger, keep going.

I wish you the best, and make your life excellent.

-Sports Philosopher
 (4 photos)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

No One Did It Better






































Meet Sports Philosopher:


     Chris Powers, is; a high school science teacher, an 18 year basketball coach, a 17 year active basketball player, a graduate student in educational leadership, a biomedical science degree holder, a midwesterner living in the south, and a fan of excellence in sports or life.  He aspires to be a college basketball coach, an educational leader, a published author, and a competitive swimmer. He recently started a non-profit organization called Coop Basketball AAU for kids who can not afford to play on the high profile travel teams.
     Most of all, once his powerful play called life is over, he just wants to contribute a verse.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Mick!

"During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 time and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball."  
-Mickey Mantle

















Tuesday, June 24, 2014

That Skyhook!






































Meet Sports Philosopher:


     Chris Powers, is; a high school science teacher, an 18 year basketball coach, a 17 year active basketball player, a graduate student in educational leadership, a biomedical science degree holder, a midwesterner living in the south, and a fan of excellence in sports or life.  He aspires to be a college basketball coach, an educational leader, a published author, and a competitive swimmer. He recently started a non-profit organization called Coop Basketball AAU for kids who can not afford to play on the high profile travel teams.
     Most of all, once his powerful play called life is over, he just wants to contribute a verse.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Remember Jim Courier? Good Stuff






































Meet Sports Philosopher:


     Chris Powers, is; a high school science teacher, an 18 year basketball coach, a 17 year active basketball player, a graduate student in educational leadership, a biomedical science degree holder, a midwesterner living in the south, and a fan of excellence in sports or life.  He aspires to be a college basketball coach, an educational leader, a published author, and a competitive swimmer. He recently started a non-profit organization called Coop Basketball AAU for kids who can not afford to play on the high profile travel teams.
     Most of all, once his powerful play called life is over, he just wants to contribute a verse.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rocky! Rocky! Rocky! Yo.



          I felt like Rocky the morning. I got up before 6, had some eggs, and did some road work. Except the eggs were cooked over easy, had a side of bacon, and I walked down the pavement to get the paper. It’s a stretch but I am seeing the parallels.    


Meet Sports Philosopher:

     Chris Powers, is; a high school science teacher, an 18 year basketball coach, a 17 year active basketball player, a graduate student in educational leadership, a biomedical science degree holder, a midwesterner living in the south, and a fan of excellence in sports or life.  He aspires to be a college basketball coach, an educational leader, a published author, and a competitive swimmer. He recently started a non-profit organization called Coop Basketball AAU for kids who can not afford to play on the high profile travel teams.
     Most of all he want to contribute a verse once his powerful play called life is over.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sports Philosopher: Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up

Sports Philosopher: Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up: My all time favorite, Jimmy V. The speech still chokes me up to this day. "If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full d...

Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up

My all time favorite, Jimmy V. The speech still chokes me up to this day.

"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, your're going to have something special."

-Jim Valvano














Meet Sports Philosopher:


     Chris Powers, is; a high school science teacher, an 18 year basketball coach, a 17 year active basketball player, a graduate student in educational leadership, a biomedical science degree holder, a midwesterner living in the south, and a fan of excellence in sports or life.  He aspires to be a college basketball coach, an educational leader, a published author, and a competitive swimmer. He recently started a non-profit organization called Coop Basketball AAU for kids who can not afford to play on the high profile travel teams.
     Most of all, once his powerful play called life is over, he just wants to contribute a verse.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

He's the First, and Not the Last

Sports Philosopher's Facebook Post
"Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity that we absorbed the loss."
- Doug William Super Bowl QB

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sports Philosopher: Hoop Dreams: A Father's Day Miracle

Sports Philosopher: Hoop Dreams: A Father's Day Miracle: I have been living with my wife and step son for the past 12 months. They have been finding out how I operate and things I do and say. Ne...

Sports Philosopher: Win one for the Gipper

Sports Philosopher: Win one for the Gipper: Sports Philosopher's Facebook Page Link Sports Philosopher on Twitter Link

Win one for the Gipper

"One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it."


- Knute Rockne

          I tend to follow that quote when I hear people say things, and then I watch the things they say and do when they forget what sounded good at the time. Remember, I don't claim to be innocent of these hypocritical inconsistencies that I find others committing, but it reminds me to be consistent with a given philosophy or alter my perceptions. Altering ones perspective on how to attack something or think can also mean growth and improvement. Whether it is character, or even coaching strategies that evolution of the mind is an important aspect of life. However, I love the classic uniforms that I grew up with, and still think some things should be similar if not the same, but there are things that are just done that needs to be looked at again. +College Football Bowls vs. having a tournament that encompasses more than 4 teams might be that, but I feel I am violating something that is beyond any one normal writer can influence. I loved bowl games growing up, however I spent 42 years of my life excepting a championship game that was voted on or computed so I'll take the baby steps. One thing I can say is that the champion wasn't as important for the kids who didn't win as the journey was that they took throughout the season. Are we changing that or are we just altering the journey?
          For the younger folks reading this quote, Knute Rockne was a great football player and coach for The University of Notre Dame. He was immortalized already in college football lore, but most recently in the speeches given in the movie Rudy. Whatever is thought about a rival college like the +University of Notre Dame  or any professional team that may be despised as an enemy, I feel that each coach and player should be judged separately and not begrudged as a person other than just an enemy team. To change a phrase, hate the jersey not the person wearing it. I have missed a lot of good perspectives or other ways of thinking by ignoring the success or even failure of the coaches or players I have faced.


Picture by Curt Sochocki



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Sports Philosopher on Twitter Link

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sports Philosopher: Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy

Sports Philosopher: Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy: Sports Philosopher Facebook Page

How to Get Away With It

          Do you have anyone giving as sound advice as this quote? For those who are not athletically inclined, and still wish talk smack to somebody just remember the following.

          "Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." 
-Jack Handy

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A True Brother

           
These two might know what I mean.
          On my brother’s birthday, I wanted to cover what kind of brother he was towards my pursuit of excellence toward my athletic expression, which is basketball. My brother is two years older than me. My father was an exemplary shooter, and he admitted to me that one thing that he was the weakest at was ball handling. He passed on the basics of shooting to my brother and me. Also, at a very young age Bobby was sent to a basketball camp, and learned a series of dribbling drills. My father had my brother demonstrate them to me. In essence my brother became one of my best instructors as well as providing me with someone to compete with in the backyard. 
          When I was a freshman, my brother, father, and I entered a district wide father/son three on three tournament in which we won and became the only team to do so in that category of that tournament because there were some heated feuds that caused the bracket to be cancelled in the future.
My best friend, and brother.
          As it were, when Bobby was a senior, he and I made the varsity basketball team. I was a sophomore, and was given a starting position at 2 guard within the first month of the season. My brother rarely saw playing time. In fact, the sin against the unwritten rules of school basketball was not to either start, or worse; play a senior in the last home game of his/her career. It was a meaningless game, but my brother never got in the game. He never took off his warm up clothes. My brother in neither my direction nor anyone else spoke not one complaint. As I reflected on that game, I felt a bit ashamed that I didn't realize my brother had not seen the court. To this day I wish I had walked off the court and pulled him to the scorer’s table. He was always supportive of my success, play, and practice. He chauffeured many days to the basketball gyms and courts, as well as school. The only emotion he showed in my direction was love. In that senior/last game I shot an airball for the tying three point shot in desperation. I got several jeers from classmates but my brother, just gave me a hug. In fact, two years later when my senior year came around, he was front and center at one of the biggest wins of the programs history in our high school. He traveled 2 hours from Western Michigan University to watch our regional championship, and when we won he was there with the same hug that was there during defeat.
          However, my brother excelled at tennis as well as soccer. He received a scholarship for tennis. He also runs a successful tennis program in the Portland School District. From what I understand it is not just one grade level but several. Those kids are lucky to have him, as I was. He still lives in our hometown, which is a 14-hour drive from my current spot. If I had someone I wanted to talk to or get help from, there couldn't be a better person than him growing up.
          Continuing, Bobby transcended what seemed to be any big moment in my life or his. He kept me very grounded which made huge moments, in popular opinion, seem a little ho hum, and not in a bad way. That is why he always seemed bigger than life to me, but probably understated to others. It isn't a landmark birthday, he has been 39 for 5 years, but if it were the biggest birthday of his life by most peoples’ standards, Bobby would have a way of making it just as important as everyday of any life may be, with the consistency that each moment of his and others’ life requires.
          Growing up in Michigan our hero was Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson. Like Magic, Bobby wore number 32, and to me, if I was in the worst possible emotional state, Bobby was magic. He was magic in the sense that problems started to melt away when he was in the room No offense to Magic, but now that his basketball career came to an end and his highlight time on ESPN has waned, although still reviewed, when I see Magic I think more of my brother than ever. Bobby has taken that persona and the only thing I would like to give him on his birthday is the health to outlast any critical emotional support my family or I may need. Sounds selfish on my part, but my brother made sure I came before him and I am just used to being selfish 
, because he demanded that I be that way in his company. He wouldn’t expect presents from me for any occasion it was always enough for him to see that I was happy and safe. Am I writing this because I forgot to get my brother a card with someone else’s words on it? Yes.


Happy birthday Ba.

Sports Philosopher: Learn to Play the Clarett

Sports Philosopher: Learn to Play the Clarett: Watching the ESPN 30 for 30 episode called "Youngstown Boys" I saw a story that I see almost every day. Kids, like Clarett, grow u...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sports Philosopher: Pursuit of Happiness

Sports Philosopher: Pursuit of Happiness: I wanted to comment today on something that has affected me for 20 years since being exposed to the event. In 1998 I moved to the Carolinas ...

Pursuit of Happiness

     I wanted to comment today on something that has affected me for 20 years since being exposed to the event. In 1998 I moved to the Carolinas with virtually the only few dollars I saved, and no planned employment. However, a local department store saw it prudent to grant me a store credit card. The first thing I bought was a tie for my new sales job. As I looked for the tie one popped out that immediately meant something to me regardless of color. It was a Jimmy V Foundation tie, and due to his touching speech at the ESPY Awards in 1993, I immediately bought it, and to this day I wear the tie. (16 years later for the arithmetically challenged). The message of Jimmy Valvano’s foundation is “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” It has personified what I hope has defined my trips through adversity, and will define how I live however long I have left on this Earth.
     I have seen a lot of friends and mentors dedicate an exorbitant amount of their time and life going after a goal they feel will make them the person they were meant to be, and what will help make them live a happy and fulfilling life.

It allows me the forum to ask you and myself:

• What in your life do you feel you want to accomplish?
• What in your life do you feel, if you could be involved in, would bring you worth, satisfaction, and help you continue your pursuit of happiness?
• Can you reflect on the things on which you gave up, the reasons you stopped pursuing them, and contemplate either; why it is justified, or how could you have accomplished them?
• Do you blame others for your failures or do you take the accountability that you demand of your leaders and counterparts?