Needless to say, 2020 was unlike any other year that any of us can ever recall. Of course, the Coronavirus pandemic and the political climate in the US were major causes for many of us all to feel like that. But we each had our own situations that made 2020 a year to remember.

For me, there were a variety of things that made 2020 so unique. With regards to my business and my blog, I made a major shift in 2020. At the beginning of the year, I embarked on a few different projects early in the year – a coaching course, a membership site to help students with their essay-writing skills, writing my first fiction book (followed by a second one in the series and a prequel), and starting a podcast. Because I was starting all of those projects, something had to give. That something was my blog.

However, as the year went on, I missed it. I missed the weekly writing of the posts and then posting and alerting people on my email list about my new post. I missed writing about topics that interested me and that I thought would interest you. And I missed the interaction with you about the posts I had written.

In May, I started releasing my “Great Quotes for Coaches” podcast episodes each week, so at least I was communicating with an audience in that way, along with alerting my email list to the release of each episode. But it just wasn’t the same as writing a blog post about a topic that I found important, inspirational, or impactful in some way. I missed the blog posts.

So, I have decided to start writing them again. I plan to start releasing a new blog post every Friday again. And while they will be similar in nature to the old posts, there will be some wrinkles to the posts this year. Those wrinkles stem from the expansion of the focus of my business and of my creative endeavors.

In November, I transitioned my website from Great Resources for Coaches to SlamDunk Success. I realized that my audience was far greater than just coaches, so I wanted my website and company to reflect that. However, one thing that was still the same was my desire to help people achieve the success they seek.

So what exactly is SlamDunk Success?

While SlamDunk Success is the new name of my company and website, it’s much more than that. I decided that for this post I would talk a little bit about what I see as success and then why I felt that “SlamDunk Success” would be a good name for what I do and what I intend to do in the future.

For those of you who are somewhat new to our new group, here’s a short history:

I have been a teacher, coach, and/or athletic director for the last 30+ years. I started writing and speaking on character-based coaching topics about twenty years ago. My original company was called “Coach with Character.” I wrote books and booklets, created presentations, and started a blog. I also became a speaker with a company you may have heard of called Proactive Coaching.

After a few years building Coach with Character, I decided that I needed to change the name of it to “Great Resources for Coaches” to better reflect what I was doing. I did that about four years ago.

Over these last few years, though, I have continued to expand what I do and the audience that I serve. This last year, I started doing more for athletes, students, parents, and leaders in general. So in the summer I decided to change the name to SlamDunk Success, as I felt it better explained what I try to do – help people become the best that they can be.

For the second half of my coaching career and most of my writing and speaking career, I have embraced John Wooden’s definition of success – “Success is a peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

While I had always embraced the concepts in that definition, I had not heard those actual words until well into my career. When I read it, I thought, “That’s it! That’s what success truly is, and it’s how we should define it.

Too many people, especially in the athletic world, look at success based on winning and losing. If you won, you were successful. If you lost, you failed. I hate that concept. I had many teams I coached that on some nights that we lost, we played the absolute best we were capable of playing, and I felt like we had succeeded. We just played against a more talented opponent. I also had nights where the team I coached was more talented and won the contest, but I felt we were not successful because we did not achieve our potential.

In Wooden’s definition, though, your success is determined simply by doing all that you can to become the best you’re capable of becoming. If you can look in the mirror and honestly say to yourself you did that, then you were successful, no matter what some scoreboard says. In this definition, you are the one who determines your level of success because only you know if you did everything that you could to become your best.

For quite a few years now, my focus has been on helping people become the best that they are capable of becoming. From the coaches I speak to in clinics, courses, and 1-on-1 calls to athletes of all types to the kids I coach in the game of basketball to my students in my English classes and my essay-writing programs to the parents of athletes and English students to adults needing help with their communication skills and to leaders of all kinds, my goal is to help people become the best they are capable of becoming.

A SlamDunk!

The “SlamDunk” in SlamDunk Success comes first from my life in basketball. While I was never able to execute a slam dunk with a basketball, I fell in love with that move because of my hero when I was in high school, Julius Erving, better known as “Dr. J.” Dr. J was the first famous dunker. He elevated the slam dunk to new heights, and he brought a whole new audience to the game of basketball because of it.

Through the years, the term “slam dunk” has come to mean something bigger than just a person jamming a basketball through a hoop. It has become synonymous with a sure thing, an automatic, something that is absolutely going to happen, or something that can’t miss. If something in your life is a “slam dunk,” it is a guaranteed success.

When I was deciding on a name for my company that was now focused on more than just coaches, I ran through a variety of ideas, none of which felt right. I then thought about how I had started using the term SlamDunk in other aspects of my business and my life. I thought, “Well, I could incorporate this thing that has been such a big part of my life into the company name.”

I realized that in each endeavor for each group of people who I serve, my biggest goal is their success. I thought, “Why not combine the “SlamDunk” that has meant so much to me with the “Success” that I am trying to help others achieve?”

And just like that – “SlamDunk Success” was born.

My goal is to continue to build this site and the various things that I do to help people achieve the success they seek. Of course, helping coaches succeed will still be a major component of all that I do. But I will also be working to help athletes, basketball players, students, parents, communicators of all kinds, and leaders in all walks of life find success in whatever way they are hoping to find it. I will do this in a variety of ways – this blog, books, in-person presentations, Zoom calls, videos, podcasts, courses, membership sites, and whatever other ways and methods present themselves as being helpful to my audience.

I want to thank you for joining me in this endeavor. I am excited to have you here, and I look forward to serving you. While I have adopted John Wooden’s definition of success that I discussed above, I have also long believed in the mantra, “Success is a journey, not a destination.”

I love the concept in that quote that you don’t arrive at success and think, “Well, I’ve made it. I’m done.” It just doesn’t work that way. Success is the process. Success is a never-ending journey that you are always on.

So as we start down this road together, I want to wish you a successful journey. I know it’s going to be a SlamDunk!