KU Affirmations Defeat Cinderella Davidson – The Affirmation Spot for Monday March 31, 2008

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“Life is good. Things are going my way. The people around me are noticing a difference in me and I am noticing a difference in myself.” (repeats 3 times)

“Life is good. Things are going your way. The people around you are noticing a difference in you and you are noticing a difference in yourself.” (repeats 3 times)

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Jayhawks UnstoppableThe power of affirmation turned out to be slightly stronger than the magic of Cinderella Sunday afternoon in Detroit. The Kansas Jayhawks defeated 2008’s Cinderella Davidson 59-57.

As reported in the Kansas City Star, KU coach Bill Self has been delivering a powerful affirmation to his team: “You are unstoppable!”

In an outstanding article titled For KU’s Bill Self, This Moment is Everything, Kansas City Star writer Joe Posnanski wrote:

“To understand how much today’s NCAA Tournament game means to Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, you first have to understand this: Every single day, in one way or another, he tells his players that they are unstoppable.

Every day. Sometimes he yells it during practice. Sometimes he tells them in the locker room before the game. Sometimes he announces it on a bus ride. Sometimes he just pulls a player aside, wraps an arm around the player’s shoulder, whispers it in his ear. Always, though, the message remains.

You cannot be stopped. You cannot be blocked out. You cannot be screened. You are too strong. You are too tough. You are too fast. You have come too far. You have worked too hard. You have sacrificed too much.

You are unstoppable!”

In a year when the NCAA tournament’s big shots wound up on top of the heap, this tournament was not without its incarnation of Cinderella. Tiny Davidson College came into Sunday’s game against the Kansas Jayhawks with 25 straight victories and consecutive victories over “major conference” champions Georgetown and Wisconsin.

For most of the game Sunday, it looked as if Cinderella might punch her ticket to next week’s Final Four in San Antonio. A host sharp shooters led by tournament phenom Stephen Curry and a tenacious defense kept the top-seeded Jayhawks baffled and off balance all afternoon.

Kansas was sparked by senior Sasha Kaun who scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds. At times, Kaun seemed to be the one Jayhawk really willing to mix it up with the scrappy Davidson team. 

In the end, the Jayhawk nation was forced to hold its collective breath while Davidson’s Jason Richards launched a potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. The shot was wide left and KU survived its toughest challenge of the tournament. 

Kansas became the fourth and final #1 seed to advance to next weekend’s Final Four – a first since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979. #1 seeds UCLA, North Carolina, and Memphis all comfortably advanced to college basketball’s biggest weekend. That set the scene for perhaps the most history-rich Final Four ever assembled.

Kansas coach Bill Self, who had led Kansas, Illinois, and Tulsa to a combined five Elite Eight appearances without a Final Four appearance, finally cleared that hurdle Sunday and reached the Final Four.

At least for another week, Self and his team are, indeed, unstoppable!

You’re unstoppable too! It doesn’t mean you always win or that you are perfect, but you have within you a tremendous power to aspire to and be more than you are. As Bill Self says, “You have worked too hard. You have sacrificed too much. YOU are unstoppable!”

Be positive Be peaceful Be prosperous!

Ray

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Rock Chalk, Jayhawk. KU! – The Affirmation Spot for Friday January 4, 2008

Today’s affirmation is:

“My ability to believe is the only limit on my success.”

mangino_orange_bowl.jpgIn one of the great rags to riches sports stories of the year, the Kansas Jayhawk football team completed a storybook 12-1 season last night with a 24-21 “upset” over perennial power Virginia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl.

 The story is truly inspirational. It about a group of under-recruited players who came together as a team and created something greater than the sum of its parts.

As a proud KU grad, I normally have to wait for basketball season to have something to cheer about. Not since 1969 had KU even played a football game in January or in a major bowl. Never  in 100+ years of football had the school won 11 games in a season. Never had a KU team made it to a BCS bowl game.

2007 was different. The Jayhawks began the season with big blowouts over lesser opponents. Many criticized the non-conference schedule as soft and it took the poll voters time to believe in this team. I understand because it took me until last night to really finally believe in them.

Surely, many thought, they will start losing when they reach Big 12 play. Only the Jayhawks kept rolling along. Piling up win after win against teams used to counting KU as a sure victory on their schedule. “Well,” the non-believers argued, “they didn’t have to play Oklahoma, Texas, or Texas Tech.” True enough. The KU schedule benefited from not having to play these teams.

The problem with all this naysaying is that many KU fans can remember when there were no sure wins on the football schedule. They played “lesser” opponents and struggled or lost to them. A game against KU was an opportunity to pad the statistics for the Nebraskas, K-States, Oklahomas, and Texas’ of the world.

This year the Jayhawks beat K-State for the third time in four years after 11 straight losses. They pummeled Nebraska 73-39 in a game that surely sealed the fate of Nebraska coach Bill Callahan.

Sixth year coach Mark Mangino was simply following the game plan of mentor and former Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder. Play the games your scheduled to play and win them. Beginning in 1989, Snyder created another Kansas football miracle when he took the lowliest football program in college football history – K-State – and turned them into perennial contenders for Big 8, Big 12, and even national titles.

And now the student has achieved something similar down the road in Lawrence. There is another Kansas college football miracle in the making.

One word characterizes this year’s KU team – BELIEF. They believed in themselves and each other when no one else did. The pollsters did not believe. The media did not believe. Even many KU fans, myself included, were slow to believe.

But Coach Mangino, his coaches, and the players never stopped believing in themselves. That is the key to every success we ever have in life. Every great endeavor attracts a chorus of naysayers telling us it cannot be done. If you undertake an endeavor, you can count on it. As long as WE BELIEVE, anything is possible.

Afterall, people told the Wright Brothers they would never fly. People said TV was a fad. People said we could never go to the moon. People said KU could not beat a team like Virginia Tech. People are often wrong, but our belief that we can acheive some goal is never wrong.

As you begin to pursue your goals in 2008, you may encounter the naysayers. When you do remember the KU football team and keep believing.

Be peaceful Be prosperous.

Ray

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A Little Christmas Inspiration – The Affirmation Spot for Christmas Day 2007

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Today’s affirmation is:

“My dreams, however big I make them, belong to me. No force on earth can keep me from achieving them.”

I was looking for an inspirational story for the Christmas Day post and I found one closer to home than I expected. Dreams and pursuing them are a frequent topic on this blog. Belief and confidence are powerful companions when pursuing dreams, but they are empty without action.

Sometimes we need a reminder, even from an eleven-year-old, that the best way to catch a dream is to stop talking and do something about it. The eleven year old, in this case, is my nephew, Dakota Zinn. He has a dream and he is taking action on it.

How about you? The new year is coming. What are your dreams for the new year? Are you willing to take action on yours the way Dakota has.

The following article and photo are copyright The Lawrence Journal-World. Article by Kristi Johnson and photo by Nick Krug.

Dakota Zinn, 11, of Lawrence, is a fan of the Topeka RoadRunners hockey team and is so inspired by the sport that he is working to try to get a ice rink built in Lawrence.

Dakota Zinn, 11, of Lawrence, is a fan of the Topeka RoadRunners hockey team and is so inspired by the sport that he is working to try to get a ice rink built in Lawrence.


What’s a boy to do when he wants to play hockey in Lawrence?He could go to Overland Park, where Kansas University’s ice hockey club plays. Or, if the weather would stay cold enough, long enough, he could play on a frozen pond.But, if he’s like 11-year-old Dakota Zinn, he might try to get an arena built here in town. Dakota, a sixth-grader at Langston Hughes School, envisions an ice arena where youths and adults could play ice hockey and where KU’s hockey team could play. He also would want to offer open skating hours for the community and facilities for parties.And Dakota’s adamant on one point: No alcohol allowed. He has seen fans act up at Topeka RoadRunners hockey games and he wouldn’t want to see the same at his arena.“I’d rather be safe than have people there being crazy,” Dakota said.And just because Dakota is 11, don’t let that fool you. He’s taking this idea seriously.“He’s making business cards and he’s making T-shirts for all his friends,” Dakota’s dad, Rod Zinn, said. “He’s already got businesses calling him up.”Dakota thinks his age actually helps him. When adults pitch an idea, he said, it’s easy to ignore them. But when a kid has an idea, he said people take notice.

“When kids do it, they say, aw, it’s so cute,” Dakota said.

Dakota’s plan to build the Extreme Ice arena has become a family affair. He has drawn up building plans with the help of his dad, who works for Landplan Engineering. Dakota also has written surveys and fliers to get the word out. Some of the help there has come from his mom.

“We’re behind him and we’re along for the ride,” Rod Zinn said.

Dakota and his dad estimate that the arena would cost about $3 million, a cost the family’s not planning to cover alone. So Dakota also has been working to attract donors. He has even worked out different tiers for donors. For instance, a donation between $1 and $50 would get a donor a free puck signed by a hockey player.

Dakota’s dream of an ice arena has consumed much of his time the past few weeks, Zinn said. He said Dakota was sick last week, which he attributed to late nights spent working on ice arena plans.

Dakota became a fan of hockey only recently, and he doesn’t even play the sport yet. He has played other sports, such as football and baseball. But he got hooked on hockey when his dad got tickets for the Topeka RoadRunners’ home opener in September.

They had so much fun that his dad wrote a letter to the team’s owner, Mary Magdalene Lorang. She was so touched by the letter, Zinn said, that she gave his family season tickets.

And now, Dakota wants to play hockey. But he doesn’t want to leave town to do so.

He thinks having an ice arena or some other youth sports center in town is essential to attracting families with children.

“I think it’s going to become a city for older people to retire unless we get more stuff for kids,” Dakota said.

Originally published at: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/dec/25/boy_looks_score_ice_rink/

Be peaceful Be prosperous

Ray

 

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