Charlie Adams

This Coach’s Motivational Quotes Will Help Your Recruiting

kevin ollie motivational speech

(Flickr – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)

Your work ethic will have a huge impact on the success you have in recruiting and in life.

Kevin Ollie, the head coach of the national champion UConn Huskies men’s basketball team, told the media at the Final Four last season that when he was growing up in Texas he would get up at 4 in the morning, before the sweltering heat, and mow lawns.

And it taught him a great lesson about working hard. Ollie’s Ollie work ethic led to a scholarship to play for UConn and a long career in the NBA. He didn’t play a lot, but teams kept signing him because of his work ethic and example he set on and off the court. Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Foreman told the Chicago Tribune: “We were a real young team, and we were struggling when we signed him. Kevin brought a veteran presence every day to practice. You got a real base of who he was. Rock, rock solid. Those kinds of guys are invaluable.”

Remember that last line.

“Those kinds of guys are invaluable.”

You may not be a blue chip recruit, but if you are known as a hard worker who sets a great example every day, there are coaches out there that realize how important you would be to the culture of their team.

Ollie has always been real big on motivational quotes and living by them each day. When he was featured on ESPN.com as No. 10 of the top 50 coaches in college basketball, he shared his top 10. These are my favorite:

  • Greatness is never on discount. Success is never on sale.
  • Greatness begins when selfishness ends.
  • Be phenomenal or be forgotten.

For that last one, I don’t think he means to try to be a superstar, but to be so significant in the lives of others that you are always remembered.

  • The three E’s

Effort. Energy. Enthusiasm. Do you bring all three? Every game? Every practice? Every day?

  • Take care of your 24.

Everyone has the same amount of time in a day, and we’ll never be able to change that. It isn’t how many hours we have; it is what we each do with them.

  • I’m not chasing national championships, national championships are going to chase us.

Sometimes when we think about connecting with college coaches it feels like a one-time transaction: Here I am, let me join your team, great, thanks. But that’s not what college basketball is about. That’s not what any college sport is about. It’s about getting motivated and learning from role models like Kevin Ollie, and transforming your life through the sport you love to play.

That’s why, if you’re thinking of playing in college, you should set up a one-on-one evaluation.


Former sports anchor Charlie Adams writes weekly on recruiting and motivation for NCSAMotivational speaker Charlie Adams was a sports anchor for 23 years in markets such as New Orleans and South Bend, where he saw many families struggle with the recruiting process because of a lack of education on the subject. His son was a college athlete, his oldest daughter is a freshman college swimmer, and his youngest daughter is very involved in AAU travel team basketball as a 6th grader. Charlie’s new motivational program in 2014 is ‘More Than a Miracle,’ which explains how the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team was able to stun the Soviets and then take the Gold. For more information you can reach him at charlie@stokethefirewithin.com or go to StokeTheFireWithin.com

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Charlie Adams