Practice Cutting Nets

In 1974 Digger Phelps, the Notre Dame basketball coach, was preparing his team to meet the perennial national champion UCLA Bruins in a basketball game.  UCLA was the overwhelming favorite.  The gamblers had "taken the game off the boards," because everyone knew Notre Dame did not have a chance.  Everybody, that is, except Digger Phelps and his team.

He prepared them in an unusual way.  On Monday after practice, he had his team go to the ends of the courts and cut down the nets.  If you know anything about basketball, you know that the only time that action is taken is when there's been a very significant game involving a championship or a victory over a heated rival.  On Tuesday at the end of the practice session they went down to the ends of the courts and cut down the nets.  They repeated that action on Wednesday and by Thursday those players had gotten to be downright good at cutting down the nets.  By Friday the nets were brought down with true professionalism.  Saturday afternoon, when the game was over and UCLA had gone down in defeat, the Notre Dame players cut down the nets with even more passion.  They had accomplished their objective.

Obviously, I'm not going to even mildly hint that cutting down the nets was the reason they won the game, but consider this: They were able to cut down the nets because all week long they had planned to win.  All week long they had prepared with exciting, hard-working practices, to win.  All week long, as they cut down the nets, it was being more and more firmly established in their minds that yes, they really were going to win and this is what would happen when they did.  That's sound preparation.  Whatever your objectives in life, plan to win, prepare to win, then you can expect to win - which means I really will SEE YOU AT THE TOP!

Zig Ziglar is known as America’s Motivator.  He authored 33 books and produced numerous training programs.  He will be remembered as a man who lived out his faith daily.