Personal Quotes From Coach Ronn


There are lots of great quotes around from great coaches and others who have influenced my coaching and my life in general.  I have published these before (See: ).

Now, I’d like to share some of my own original quotes published through my writing or public speaking in my more than 56 years of basketball playing, coaching, consulting and writing.


Sports are a great metaphor for life. The dynamic of how we deal with our participation in sports mirrors how we live our lives.

Whenever I teach coaches or am speaking with a group of players, the first topic I will cover is philosophy. I want everyone thinking that attitude, focus, communication and discipline determine so much of a team's success. Without these things, how can there be a coaching philosophy that will hold up to the test of having players who play at their best level, the team playing at its best together, or enjoying the best season you can have?

My Philosophy On Conducting My Life: "The right thing to do is to do the right thing."  (From, The Prophet’s Way, by Thom Hartman. I have since taken that statement as a maxim for living my life.)

My Philosophy On Playing The game: The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win. Winning doesn't just happen. You must set goals. You must prepare. You must be in condition and be
disciplined. You must be fundamentally sound and you must play good defense. With these things in place, only then will you be able to perform at your peak. That takes the right attitude and a determined focus. (Focus keeps you on the line and your goal in sight. Attitude determines your speed along the line in reaching your goal.)

As I am a role model, so are you (coaches/parents).

Take responsibility for being the best player you can be. Do not do yourself the disfavor of judging yourself against others. All players are not equal and each has his/her own growth curve in basketball, as in anything else. Attitude is the "mother" of skill. Judge if you are giving your fullest with the skills you have today. And ask yourself today if you are improved over yesterday. Ask that honestly of yourself every day. Ask that of your life. Are you growing, not only in the game, but as a person as well?

Your circumstances do not create your state of mind, rather, your state of mind creates your circumstances. You make choices. You get results. If the results are not acceptable to you, examine and change your choices.

If all coaches understood and cared for the humanity of each of their players, sport would not be so screwed up as it is, children would grow to be responsible citizens, and just maybe, the world could be a better place. The coach can be a tiny ripple in the pond of life, creating so much more than being "just a coach".

Be a ray of light in representing what sports should be all about. While the NBA and WNBA work hard on their images, there are still too many players who think it's okay to womanize, carry guns, abuse women, etc. For so many players at all levels, it is still about "me", rather than "we", and at the pro levels, getting a large paycheck.

If how we conduct ourselves in sports can be a metaphor for how we conduct our lives, then those who conduct sports need awareness and skills to be role models and guides for our youngsters to be able to comport themselves as good citizens.

When I speak to coaches, especially young coaches, I counsel them to seek balance in their lives; seek balance between all the different parts that make up who you are; seek balance between the ego and the rest of your life. Become successful on all fronts. Remember this - we’re about being and becoming, not just about what we do for a living.

Guiding youth to be the best they can be requires that coaches or parents be aware at all times of how they’re being perceived.

I feel that by coming from love and compassion, rather than from trying to be better than one another, we could teach a valuable lesson in cooperative living.

If I show you at least one thing which could help take you to a higher level of coaching, parenting, playing, would the journey hold value for you?

My philosophy of teaching (Basketball On A Triangle) is based on a triangle with a broad base of discipline and fundamentals and the apex being defense.

The role of the mentor is to teach and guide the student to a higher level of understanding and skill, no matter what the field of interest may be.

As adults, who are our role models? How have they affected our choices? And, now as decision makers and role models, how do our children perceive us? We are always role modeling for the next generation; SO, we are the figures our children will model themselves after.

If we’re not happy with the results we’re having, perhaps reviewing our choices could put things into better perspective. I read recently, “if we’re not happy with the results, we need only to change our choices”.

Accepting responsibility for “who we are,” means examining our choices at every turn.

I find it interesting that we define in our consciousness who we wish to be by the choices we make at any moment. “Who we are” then, is seen in the results we manifest. And, if our ‘highest thought’ is love or peace, how might this change a result? How might it change our life? Our world? The future?

The journey of 1000 miles begins with opening our minds to the possibilities for change and then being courageous enough to take the first step.

Success in anything requires a concept, a plan, a setting of intentions, goal setting, focus and direction, hard work and a willingness to work hard to achieve the dream.  Success truly is a dream come true!

Everything about successful teaching is about paying attention to details.  It’s the little things which are part of discipline for both the teacher and player.

A teacher can make a big mistake thinking that all players are capable of grasping the same lesson at the same pace as every other player.  It doesn’t happen in the classroom so why should we assume the playing floor is somehow different?

The teaching-coach will always try to bring a player to his/her highest level.

Discipline is the common denominator for playing success.

The teaching-coach must build discipline for oneself first.  The players will judge the leader’s character early on.

Teaching defense is easier than teaching offense.  Players can be less skilled offensively and yet play decisive roles in their team’s success if they will learn how to play defense well.

(To be continued….)