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The "Doctor" is in!


Sport provides such fertile ground for life lessons. There is immediate feedback constantly. You made the shot or missed it. You completed the pass or it was incomplete. You won or lost. The scoreboard is just the start to all the statistics. AND...

Since we can't participate and evaluate at the same time, there's always a coach. One of my favorite coaches is Glenn "Doc" Rivers in the NBA. In a Netflix series called "The Playbook" he and 4 other amazing coaches give us their take on "A Coach's Rules for Life".

Doc starts his episode by saying he's human and he will make mistakes. Every decision he makes will be what's best for the team. It may not be what's best for him or individuals on the team. If it's good for the team, it's the best choice.

He also says we won't always have the education for every situation. Your strong character and values will pull you through.

"Doc" Rivers Rules for Life

1. Finish the Race

Whatever you choose as a goal in life, see it through. We must not view what we've chosen to do in life as tortuous. If you want something different, go do it!

2. Don't be a Victim

Don't live at the affect of someone else's dream. Feeling bad for yourself is wasted energy. Being someone's victim is selling yourself short. Other people don't deserve to be allowed to take away your dream.

3. UBUNTU (Ooo-BOON-too) is a way of life

"I am because we are and we are because I am." -UBUNTU Philosophy

Life is a team game. We have to learn from other humans how to be human. A person is a person through other people. I can't be all I can be unless you are all you can be. We must not be threatened by others because the better they are the better I can be. We can't go it alone. It's not "me"'s "we"!

4. Pressure is a Privilege

Lean into the friction of the situation. You've worked hard to be in this position. Embrace it. Run towards it!

5. Champions keep Moving Forward

Put your heart on the line. To accomplish anything you've got to sacrifice getting your heart broken. It's deciding to get back up after getting hit over and over until you win. If you've decided it's something worth all you've got, the only way to go is all in!

BONUS "Coach's Rules for Life"

Dawn Staley

  • Bring your own ball
    • Show your intention to be included
  • Growth takes place outside your comfort zone
    • Lifelong learning is a journey
  • Create a home court advantage
    • Culture cultivates support
  • The 24-hour rule
    • No matter the outcome move on after a day
  • What is delayed is not denied
    • Have patience and determination to persevere

Jill Ellis

  • Mountain tops are small the air is thin
    • It's rented space, you must climb again
  • Hold fast, stay true
    • When the "sea" is rough, lean into your core values
  • Risk is opportunity
    • Follow passion over paycheck
  • Be true to yourself
    • Don't live in the shadows; leaders are brave
  • If you want to heard, make a statement
    • Own your big purpose

Coaches don't coach to who their players are, they coach to who they can be someday. This series is worth your time!

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This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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