How do you Motivate Winners?

Motivational Keynote Speaker Marilyn Sherman learns from coach

Visualize your success!

I recently attended a luncheon of professionals in the hospitality industry where I would love to speak.  Alas, it wasn’t me speaking at the luncheon, it was the first year head coach of the local university basketball team, Dave Rice.  Apparently he had one of the best first year records of a college head coach and he spoke of his plans for the future.  Once I took off my ‘Why isn’t it me up there on stage?’ hat and put on my ‘What can I learn from this guy?’ hat, I got excited.  I can learn from any speaker, even if it’s what not to do.  For this luncheon, I learned a new strategy to an old idea.  When Coach Rice was asked what contributed to the success of the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, he mentioned several things – recruiting, a solid program that he inherited, and mock interviews.  Mock interviews?  Yes and I loved this idea!  He said during the season, he holds mock interviews where he poses as a reporter and interviews the players.  Here’s the scenario.  He asks “So, you’ve just won the league championship.  What did it take for you to get here?”  The players one by one articulate in their own words what they think it takes to win a championship.  The PLAYERS say things like ‘We had to work together as a team’, ‘We had to communicate clearly’, ‘We had to be resilient after a loss’.  What I love about this idea is that it’s not the coach who tells them what it takes to succeed, it’s the players that are understanding what they’ve been learning and articulating it.  Talk about an empowering exercise!  Then, I’m sure, if things don’t go exactly as planned, coach Rice can just remind them of what the players said about what it takes to succeed.

I guess this resonated with me because it’s a lesson that we could all use, not just in sports but in business and in life in general.  If you want to be a winner, imagine you have already won, make a list of what it took, then do what’s on the list!

Thanks coach.  I’m going to go interview myself!

Motivational keynote speaker, Marilyn Sherman


Marilyn Sherman, CSP is a Front-Row Leadership Expert helping people get out of the balcony and get a front-row seat in life. For over 20 years she has inspired audiences with topics on Visioning, Goal Achievement and having a No More Excuses attitude! Check out her fun, dynamic style at

Marilyn Sherman, Owner UpFront Presentations - Helping people get a Front-Row seat in their life!
9030 W. Sahara Ave #444
Las Vegas, NV 89117

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  1. Brilliant idea Marilyn!  I love the idea of starting the conversation at the point of already achieving what you’ve been going after!  Testing 1,2,3…

  2. Marilyn, what an incredible take-away having his team articulate their win! Love it. So glad you shared.

  3. Ditto! This is great! I’m going to share it right now. And I love your honesty when you said you said you took off the “why isn’t it me” hat. Love you to pieces, Marilyn!

  4. Marilyn, RIGHT ON!!!  I’ve always heard that people will be more inclined to do what THEY decide to do – rather than what someone else tells them to do.  And thank you too for taking us inside YOUR shoes as you made the decision to hear what you could learn from this guy!!!

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