Buster Olney chronicles Meyer’s life in How Lucky You Can Be: The Story of Coach Don Meyer.
Don Meyer coached college basketball at Hamline University (Saint Paul, Minnesota), Lipscomb University (Nashville, Tennessee), and Northern State University, compiling 923 wins in 38 years. Olney tells us that Meyer required his players to take notes when he spoke to them. During the team meeting after Lipscomb won the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) national championship in 1986, Lipscomb player Richard Taylor wrote the following in his notebook: “There’s more worth in the struggle (italics mine) than the championship.”
It’s true. The struggle takes you beyond what you think is your best to what is your best. And according to UCLA legendary basketball coach John Wooden, when you get there, that’s success. Wooden said, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
But you can’t get there without the struggle.
For Richard Taylor, Don Meyer’s lessons extended beyond the basketball court. Olney writes, “In the years after he graduated, Taylor kept all of his notebooks in a bookcase behind his desk at work, and from time to time, he would pull them out and look through them and discover words that fit a challenge he happened to cope with that day. He was convinced that the best academic experience he had at [...] Lipscomb – the best preparation for his personal and professional future – was playing basketball under Meyer.”
Don Meyer taught his players how to compete. He taught them how to be competitors. That’s what his coaching was all about.
And today, as he lives with cancer, Don Meyer teaches, encourages, and inspires people at speaking engagements and coaching clinics.
Now get out there and struggle. It’ll be good for you.