Pat Riley - "Showtime"

Here are some of the notes I took while reading "Showtime" by Pat Riley. The book (and the notes) are over 20 years old but still very relevant:

There are significant moments in every person’s life – and in every team’s life – when breakthroughs occur. If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.

Somewhere, someplace, sometime, you’re going to have to plant your feet, make a stand, and kick some ass. And when that time comes, you do it!!

Once you’ve been around sports long enough you see how success spoils some performers. To stay on top you have to develop an attitude that defines excellence as always wanting to do better. When you understand what it is to sustain greatness and championship form, then complacency is something that isn’t part of your life. You don’t allow it.

The key to success isn’t great talent. The key to success is to learn how to do something right. Then do it right every time. Do it the same way every time.

Our philosophy is that you reach a championship with hard work, good organization, and a minimum of distractions. (What is distracting you? Can it be postponed or eliminated for the remainder of the quest?)

The privilege of calling yourselves champion is on the line.

Effort is what ultimately separates average players from impact players and the one year champions from teams of lasting greatness.

The ones who can really separate themselves from the pack are those who understand what it takes to sustain excellence. To get a way from a “to have” mentality. “To have “is something we develop early in life. To have power, to have prestige, to have a car, to have a house, and all those other things that we feel we need. And then you understand later in life that those things don’t mean anything. When you experience them you realize that the only thing left is to be the very best. You prioritize “to be” instead of “to have.”

We have one advantage that most teams don’t have. We have the work ethic. We have worked so hard, given so much to be a good team. As long as we don’t let up in that area we’ll be all right. This is the time for everyone to reach inside and give a little more. This is the time for each one of you to try and get better individually. As long as we concentrate there is no limit to what we can do.

Teamwork is the essence of life. It makes everything possible from moon landings to the building of cities to the renewal of life. And a good team multiplies the potential of everyone on it, whether the team consists of a family, a school, a business, or a basketball team.

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