Don’t Run From A Fight- Stand Your Ground

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Pat Riley on planting your feet and standing firm

December 1

by Steve Gilbert


“Some place, some time, you are going to have to plant your feet, stand firm, and make a point about who you are and what you believe in. When that time comes, you simply have to do it.”
- Pat Riley quoting the last words he heard his father speak

When Pat Riley was a young boy, his father would send him with his older brothers to play in pickup basketball games. The games were rough and that intimidated Pat and he would come home crying. He wanted nothing to do with playing in them.
 
When his brothers finally balked at taking Pat with them, their father stepped in.
 
“I want you to take him down there because I want you to teach him not to be afraid,” Pat wrote in his book, The Winner Within. “That there should be no fear. Teach him that competition brings out the very best and the very worst in us. Right now it's bringing out the worst, but if he sticks with it, it's going to bring out the best.” He then looked at his nine-year-old, teary-eyed son and said, “Pat, you have to go back there.”
 
Years later as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Pat took his team into the famed Boston Garden to face the Celtics in the NBA Finals. The Celtics over the years had routinely beaten the Lakers in important games. Before the deciding game, Pat shared the story above with his team and finished with this:
 
“I thought I was never going to be able to get over being hurt and afraid,” he told his team. “But I eventually did get over it. And before too long I was sending other kids home to their garages to lick their wounds. That's what the Celtics and Boston Garden are offering up today.”
 
Today, face whatever it is that scares you. Face what it is that is holding you back from going after what you want. Stop running from it. Turn around. Plant your feet. Look that challenge square in the eye and fight.
 
Win Your Day!
Steve Gilbert

Reprinted with permission 

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