incessant maintenance of highest standardsOn May 4th, 2013, the Chicago Bulls won Game 7 over the Brooklyn Nets in the 1st round of the NBA playoffs. With 3 starters out to injury and former UF Gator great Joakim Noah playing with ankle issues, the Nets had both home court advantage and a clear cut advantage
in talent.

Thibodeau, the Bulls coach, insists on

“..the incessant maintenance of the highest standards….
He looks, sounds and demands of his players as if every day is Sunday.
Noah was the beneficiary of those demands Saturday, and how often must Thibodeau
have angered or frustrated him over the last three years with
his relentless insistence on effort and attention to details?
It could not have been easy. It had to be humbling.
In the end it would separate him….”

— Ian Thomsen, INSIDE
THE NBA, Sports Illustrated online

When you are willing to accept nothing less than the best from yourself and from others it is amazing how much people find deep within themselves that they did not know they had.Amazingly enough, there are those who occasionally push back, saying that insisting on high standards is somehow being mean or too tough. Whether it is a misguided desire to be nice or popular or a fear of having to push one’s own limits as well, lowered expectations are the ultimate betrayal for they hold people back, sabotage them from discovering their true greatness.

It is “the incessant maintenance of the highest standards, the relentless insistence on effort and attention to details” that builds champions and lays the foundation for superior performance.

Closing quotes:

“The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win.”  — Vince Lombardi; 1913–1970, American football player, coach, and executive. He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total league championships in seven years, including winning the first two Super Bowls following the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. The National Football League’s Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

“Like steel, men are tempered and strengthened by the fiercest fires of the furnace of adversity.”