Monday, January 23, 2012

Does Winning a Championship Make You a Champion?

Posted by Lee Miller | Monday, January 23, 2012 | Category: | 0 comments

Every where I turn- either on TV, the radio, on the internet,etc., people are talking about who will be a Champion- AFC Champion, NFC Champion, Super Bowl Champion, BCS Champion, NCAA Champion, State Champion. So many people have opinions and express them on talk shows, news reports, message boards, and broadcasts- like, if you win a championship, it suddenly defines that you are a new person or you have a new status or even it places you in the top tier of people in your given sport. I have heard over the years that Charles Barkley, Dan Marino, Karl Malone, and others that did not win a “championship” were in a lesser category because they were not a Champion- as defined by our society. But, is that true? If we suddenly snap our fingers and close our eyes and give them a ring, would people talk about them differently? Would they have a different legacy? Would they be elevated and viewed differently?

So, that is my question today- DOES WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP REALLY MAKE YOU A CHAMPION? When I started thinking about this, I wanted to know the definition of what the term “Champion” meant. And, here is what I found:


a person who has defeated all opponents in a competition or series of competitions, so as to hold first place: the heavyweight boxing champion.

anything that takes first place in competition: the champion of a cattle show.

an animal that has won a certain number of points in officially recognized shows: This dog is a champion.

a person who fights for or defends any person or cause: a champion of the oppressed.

a fighter or warrior.

As you can read- all of the terms are something that must be earned, something that was sought out, dreamed about, acted upon, and success attained. You had to earn the title of Champion- it was something that required action and earning capacity- 100% of the required work had to fall on the shoulders of the participants and then the title was given to you.

We all have a picture in our mind of Muhammed Ali or a prize fighter after a boxing match-exhausted, dripping sweat, and puffy swollen eyes, being held up on the shoulders of his entourage, holding the belt that defined him as a Champion high above his head. But, my question remains, was he any less of a Champion before that moment- that moment when the official counted to 10 and held his arm up?

That is the way society views the term CHAMPION. Thank God that is directly opposed to the way that our Creator defines the term CHAMPION. Check out God’s definition in 2 verses but, spelled out throughout the Bible- it is amazing:

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation (CHAMPION) has come: The old has gone, the new (CHAMPION) is here!

Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

Amazingly, we are viewed as a Champion in the eyes of the true King. How amazing that by grace this is given to us through God’s son who did all of the work for us- died the death we should have died- so that we would be elevated to the status of CHAMPION! You, me, and everyone if we are in Christ, are Champions- we have already won the prize, the ring, the title belt- our names are written on the palms of His hands-are you kidding me???

So, for Charles Barkley, Dan Marino, Karl Malone, and everyone of us that believe and are a new creation- we can live with that freedom that we are a Champion and our prize is so much greater than any trophy or ring could symbolize, so much greater than anything that could be said on ESPN by critics, and so much better than any history book could define. We are a CHAMPION in the eyes of the Most High, the one who created ESPN and the history books-and that is eternal.

My encouragement is for you to go live your week from the mindset that you are a CHAMPION and are loved far more than you could ever ask or imagine! Go bless and serve and love every single person you come in contact with this day and every day and live life knowing that you can live your days as a CHAMPION!

Have a great day!

Drew Maddux
Tennessee Director
Elite Hoops

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting to the Next Level

Posted by Lee Miller | Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | Category: | 0 comments

When I direct camps, clinics, team trainings, or one-on-one workouts, I always start with the same question…”Who wants to play at the next level?”  Ninety (90) percent of the hands will rise quickly.  This could be the high school varsity level, collegiate level or professional level.  It’s easy to set the goal and say “I want to play at this certain level”, but it’s very difficult for players to understand how much work, effort, and determination it takes to achieve this goal.  Roughly five (5) percent of players at the high school level will go on to play at the Division I level.  So how hard do you have to work, and what’s the successful formula to achieve your full potential and goals?

The first step for today’s players is to simply stop playing 5on5 all the time.    I understand how much fun competitive play is, but players must devote time daily to improving their individual skill set.  Almost every team, at every level, runs some variation of a motion offense.  This means no matter what position you play or how big you are, you will find yourself in every position on the floor.  Bigs will end up out on the wings, and guards will eventually find themselves in the post.  All players are called upon to handle the basketball, pass the basketball, and shoot the basketball on all areas of the floor.  Your skill set will determine how efficiently you can make plays on a consistent basis.  For example, scrimmage for a couple hours and you may be able to perform a shot fake and going to your left 4-5 times.  Work-out individually on this move, and you can perform 30-40 times.  Which way do you think is the best way to improve a weakness or better a strength?  Repetition and discipline are the keys.

The second step is to learn to love the process of getting better.  Basically, becoming mentally tough.  You have to work on your athleticism and body, and be in great shape to play the game of basketball.  This requires the weight room, running wind sprints, individual daily work-outs, practice and games.  Players must learn to love the weight room, love and want to win every wind sprint and never take a day off from skill set development.   Again, the fun part is the games.  The hard part is all the effort it takes to get better daily.  Learn to love these areas and players will see their game improving rapidly.  When you do have the opportunity to run scrimmages and play in games, you will be able to perform at a higher level.

The final step is simple.  Never settle for how good you are now.  The goal is not to be the best player on your team, the best player in your city, or the best player in your state.  Every player’s goal should be… To be THE BEST THEY CAN BE.   This requires a daily commitment and constant development.  Taking no days off.   You will never reach this goal, as every player can always improve in some area.  ALL PLAYERS.  If you take off, I promise there are thousands of players working on their game at that specific time.  Remember, five percent of players have the opportunity to play Division I.  Here is a formula for success to follow:  One hour and a half developing your body, athleticism, and getting in superior shape, one hour and a half individually developing your skill set, and one hour and a half playing 5on5.  I understand this sounds like a lot.  I also understand how many player s are playing in today’s basketball world, and how many players have the same goal you do.  You simply have to out-work other players.

I wish every player the best of luck in reaching their goals in the game of basketball.  Every player can achieve whatever goal they set out to achieve.  They simply have to be disciplined, be dedicated, and be committed to hard work.

James Lee
Elite Hoops 
South Carolina Director
"Release Your Potential"