Notebook of Champions

Today, I am posting some resources to use as handouts or presentations for your athletes.

The bullet points in the post are taken from Ryan Renquist’s “The Notebook of Champions” Building Success One Victory at a Time (Eighth Edition) for his team at Walsh High School in Walsh, Colorado.

I have also included a download link at the bottom of this post if you are interested in seeing his entire notebook.

Perhaps these thoughts will give you some inspiration to modify these and make them your own for your team.

What Do I Want in an Athlete?

I want a player who is willing to make a commitment to being as good as he can be each time that he plays.

I want a player who is willing and ready to do what has to be done to make a positive contribution in the most difficult of games.

I want a player who competes in each game as though there is nothing he will ever do that will be more important.

I want a player who more than anything, wants our team to be the very best that it can be.

Is this too much for me to demand of you?

Is this too much for you to demand of yourself?

One of the most important benefits of sport’s participation is the relationships that are formed. Players make lifelong relationships with their teammates, coaches, managers, fans, opponents, and everyone who helps manage the games (maintenance crews, scorekeepers, bus drivers, athletic directors, principals, superintendents, and even the referees). In today’s technological world, networking is very important. Through sports participation, athletes have a far greater network than those who do not participate.

“Good talent with bad attitude equals bad talent,” Bill Walsh

Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind,” William James

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln

“Nothing is worth more than this day,” Goethe

“Your life is either a celebration or a chore. The choice is yours.” Unknown

“If you’re a positive person, you’re an automatic motivator. You can get people to do things they don’t think they’re capable of.” Cotton Fitzsimmons

“If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and every day you have the opportunity to write a new page.” Mark Houlahan

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong attitude.” President Thomas Jefferson

The average American will meet 10,000 people in their lifetime. If we each change the lives of 10 people, and they change the lives of 10 people, and they all change the lives of 10 people, and so on, in 5 generations, the 30 people in our family will have changed the lives of 300,000 people. Lives can be changed anywhere, and by anyone. Admiral William H. McRaven, Commander, Navy SEAL.

Many years ago, a large American shoe manufacturer sent two sales reps out to different parts of the Australian outback to see if they could drum up some business among the aborigines. Some time later, the company received telegrams from both agents. The first one said, “No business here…natives don’t wear shoes.” The second one said, “Great opportunity here…natives don’t wear shoes!”

The Wolf Inside Submitted By: Cullen Hair, 2012

An old man is telling his grandson about a fight that is going on inside himself. He said it is between two wolves.

One wolf is evil: anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego…

The other wolf is good: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith…

The grandson thought about it for a minute, and asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old man simply replies, “The one I feed.”

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. In the end, leaders are much like EAGLES… they don’t flock, you find them one at a time.
“What you do; how you do it; and who you associate with on a daily basis will determine your image and your impact!” Kevin Eastman
Leadership is like gravity. You know it’s there, you know it exists, but how do you define it?
“Surprisingly for some, research conducted by the Leadership Research Institute has shown that in times of crisis, people gravitate toward the person of highest character, not necessarily the person who is in charge or even the person they believe to be the most competent. Rather, people will tend to build a relationship with and follow the person they view as the most trustworthy, who cares the most, and who is willing to always do the right thing.” Tony Dungy

“Instead of asking, how can I lead my company, my team, or my family to a higher level of success? We should be asking ourselves, how do others around me flourish as a result of my leadership?” Tony Dungy


By: Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize
the impact of ATTITUDE, on life.
ATTITUDE, to me, is more
important than facts.
It is more important than the past,
than education, than money, than
circumstances, than failures, than
successes, than what other people
think or say or do.
It is more important than
appearance, giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a
company… a church… a home.
The remarkable think is we have a
choice every day regarding the
ATTITUDE we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past… we
cannot change the fact that people
will act in a certain way.
We can not change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play
on the one string we have, and that
is our ATTITUDE…
I am convinced that life is 10%
what happens to me and 90% how
I react to it.
And so it is with you…
We are in charge of our


Ultimately, it’s the humble superstar that most guys seem to admire and want to emulate. Humility is a quality worth desiring.

If we are really humble, after a game you won’t be able to tell whether we’ve won or lost. Or whether people are saying nice things about us or criticizing us. A truly humble person is constantly deflecting praise to their teammates and recognizing others for their efforts.

Many of our losses are designed to humble us and shape us into the people we want to be. We have to let those times do their work on us.

Chuck Tanner, the manager for the 1979 world champion Pittsburgh Pirates, said, “You have to play everyday like it’s Opening Day.” In baseball, it is easy to get excited about opening day. The stands are packed. The locker room is filled with optimism about the upcoming season. We have to capture that Opening Day Enthusiasm and release it before every practice and every game.


A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in the nest of a backyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.

All his life the eagle did what the backyard chickens did, thinking he was a backyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.

Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.

The old eagle looked up in awe, “Who’s that?” he asked.

“That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” said his neighbor. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth–we’re chickens.”

So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.

Click this link to download the entire Notebook of Champions

3 comments for “Notebook of Champions

  1. Larry Cox
    March 2, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Great stuff! Did I miss the link for the Notebook of Champions? I can’t seem to locate it.

      March 2, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Thanks Larry. I was my fault, I left it off. The link is now at the bottom of the post. ~ Brian

  2. Richard Swanson
    March 8, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself – less.” C.S. Lewis

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