This post is the third 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 them.

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.


Confidence comes from a few different sources. It takes preparation and success to have confidence become a part of one’s character. The truly confident person is prepared. He realizes that any future success is only going to occur by preparing properly for the chance to create the outcome he seeks. He realizes that, while hope and prayer have their merits, the only sure-fire way to create the best chance at success is to prepare for it. The truly confident person carries himself with a quiet, peaceful inner confidence that says, “I have prepared well for this, so I know that I can perform well.”

The other quality that breeds confidence is success.  Those who have experienced success before generally feel confident that they can achieve it again. Interestingly, these people’s confidence may carry over into other areas of their lives where they have not had success before, but because they understand the importance of preparation for success in one realm, they can see its value in all of the realms of their lives.  But again, it all comes back to preparation.  The prepared person is a confident person.

“Confidence comes from being prepared.” John Wooden – College Basketball Coach

“Valor and confidence grow by being daring; fear and failure by holding back.” Unknown

“The biggest mistake an athlete can make is to be afraid of making one.” L. Ron Hubbard – Author

“Basketball is just something else to do, another facet of life. I’m going to be a success at whatever I choose because of my preparation. By the time the game starts, the outcome has been decided. I never think about having a bad game because I have been prepared.” David Robinson – NBA Basketball Player


Perseverance is about staying the course when things get tough.  It is having the mental toughness to fight through difficult circumstances. It is having the ability to recover quickly enough from some mistake to get oneself back on the road to success.

As you make your way through life, understand that there will be problems along the way.  Don’t let the problems stop you from moving to where you want to go.  Get back up quickly, dust yourself off, and attack your situation with the same determination that you had before your setback.  Not only will you be showing perseverance, but you will also be another step closer to the goal you are seeking.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to success is always to try just one more time.” Thomas Edison – Inventor

“The man who wins may have been counted out several times, but didn’t hear the referee.” H. E. Jansen

“The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in one’s determination.” Tommy Lasorda – Major League Baseball Manager

“Giving up reinforces our sense of incompetence; going on gives you a commitment to success.” George Weinberg – Psychologist 

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 – Winning and Losing & Adaptability.

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.