This post is the second in a 5-part series dedicated to team themes. In each post of the series, I am covering two themes and a few quotes in support of those themes.

For many years I have established, taught, and developed team themes with my teams. Whether it be our team’s core covenants, values, & standards, Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, or just random life lessons that I believe are important to discuss with our kids, I have chosen various themes that we focused on throughout the season. For our discussions of those themes, I always had quotes supporting them.

As it is now graduation time, I thought this would be a good time to do these posts because all of the themes and quotes that you will see in these posts make up the ten sections of my gift book for graduating seniors called Inspiration for the Graduate. The book is an excellent gift for coaches, teachers, and parents to give to graduating seniors. While the book covers the themes in more detail, and it has more quotes supporting the themes, these posts will give you a glimpse into what the book is like.


Most of us think of poise as controlling one’s emotions while maintaining a calm demeanor and a self-assured dignity. The person with poise can maintain a sense of composure when things are not going well or as planned. While this ability is extremely helpful for individuals to be able to achieve their goals, it is crucial for success in any team or group setting.

When teammates see others reacting to stressful situations with poise, it gives the rest of the team the confidence it needs to deal with the situation. Conversely, when teammates see one another displaying anger, temper, or frustration, it ratchets up everyone’s anxiety. Be a person who shows poise in the midst of chaos.

“The key to winning is poise under stress.” Paul Brown – NFL Football Coach

“People ask me what makes a great skier. It takes the gift; but besides the gift, it takes that availability of the mind, which permits total control of all the elements that lead to victory — total composure.” Jean-Claude Killy, French Olympic & World Cup Champion Skier

“The only way to maximize potential for performance is to be calm in the mind.” Brian Sipe – NFL Quarterback

“Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis.” C.J. Redwine – Author


Enthusiasm is a critical component of anyone involved in any worthwhile endeavor, and it is critical to success for someone to possess enthusiasm for whatever they are involved in. From school to sports to work, those with enthusiasm bring more to the experience, both for themselves and for others.

Enthusiasm is catching. When people on a team or in any group see and hear others displaying enthusiasm, it spreads to all involved. When people choose to be enthusiastic, they up their own output, and they help spread excitement to others in the organization.

Put your heart and soul into all you do and let it show to the world around you. You, and the people who you touch in your life, will be glad you did.

“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You have to set yourself on fire.” Reggie Leach – Professional Hockey Player

“The successful man has enthusiasm. Good work is never done in cold blood; heat is needed to forge anything. Every great achievement is the story of a flaming heart.” Harry Truman – President of the United States

“Merit begets confidence; confidence begets enthusiasm; enthusiasm conquers the world.” Walter Cottingham – Former CEO Sherwin-Williams

“I am the greatest builder in the world. I am the foundation of every triumph. No matter what your position is, I can better it. My name is enthusiasm.” Anonymous

This is just a sampling of the kinds of themes you can use with your teams and a glimpse of some of the ideas you can talk about with your teams when discussing these themes. Next week I will cover the next two themes in the book – Confidence & Perseverance.

As I said above, each of the ten themes in this series is discussed in my gift book, Inspiration for the Graduate. There are also many more quotes in support of each of the ten team themes covered in the book. Also, the first page is set up for you to write your own personal message to your graduate. The cost of the book is just $7.95 plus shipping, or you can get a 10-Pack Bundle for just $70.00 plus shipping. Click here to order Inspiration for the Graduate.