Champions Notebook

The following concepts were taken from Coach Ryan Renquist’s “The Notebook of Champions” that he uses as his Players’ Notebook at Walsh High School.

What Do I Want in a Player?

  • I want a player who is willing to make a commitment to being as good as he can be each time that he plays.
  • I want a player who is willing and ready to do what has to be done to make a positive contribution in the most difficult of games.
  • I want a player who competes in each game as though there is nothing he will ever do that will be more important.
  • I want a player who more than anything, wants our team to be the very best that it can be.
  • Is this too much for me to demand of you?
  • Is this too much for you to demand of yourself?

Next Play:
The Most Important Play is the NEXT Play! Whenever a player makes a mistake, he must immediately forget about it (except for the part that educates you).

Thank the Passer:
The scorer is the one the fans will recognize. We will recognize the passer. We will thank the passer by pointing at him.

Stand Up for a Teammate:
When a teammate comes out of the game, we will all stand up from the bench to congratulate him on his performance.

Don’t Look at the Scoreboard:
When a player knows what the score is, he changes the way he plays. We strive towards dominating each possession. We will let the final score take care of itself. Players need to pay attention to the time, but they don’t need to pay attention to the score.

Sprint To The Bench:
Players will sprint to the bench on every time out and end of the quarter situation. We will sprint to the locker room at the end of the first half and at the end of the game.

Fallen Teammate:
When a teammate hits the floor, we help him up.

Make Eye Contact:
When two people on this team are talking to each other, they will both look at each other in the eyes.

Hand the Basketball to the Referee:
We will make every effort to hand the basketball to the closest referee.

We ACT, We Don’t REACT:
Don’t concern yourself with things you can’t control like how good or bad a team is. We create the outcome of the game by doing what we do to the best of our ability.

Dominate your Opponent:
We want to create a nightmare for our opponents by dominating them for 32 minutes. When our opponents step off the floor, we want them to think, “I NEVER want to play the WALSH EAGLES again.”

The Fist:

  • Five fingers held together in a tight formation, a fist, is far more effective and powerful than five fingers held outstretched and alone.
  • In basketball, the five individuals on the court must act as one, as a fist, in order to achieve the success that they could not find acting as five independent players.
  • Each separate finger that makes up The Fist symbolizes a fundamental quality that renders a team great. We will emphasis five terms: We Play Hard, We Play Smart, We Play Together, We Play Aggressive, We Communicate. Each one of these traits alone are important. But all five together are tough to beat.
  • Instead of giving high fives or patting one another on the back, we will give fists.
  • When teammates show each other their fist, we remind one another of the five terms that will bring us together and allow us to be the strongest that we can be.
  • WE PLAY HARD: We give maximum effort at all times and in everything we do. We take charges, and are eager to dive for a loose ball.
  • WE PLAY SMART: We know our assignments and make wise decisions.
  • WE PLAY TOGETHER: Five people working together can achieve much more than five people working independently.
  • WE PLAY AGGRESSIVELY: The most aggressive team will get the majority of the calls.
  • WE COMMUNICATE: We make eye contact with each other whenever someone is talking. We talk at all times when we are on the floor.


A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. In the end, leaders are much like EAGLES… they don’t flock, you find them one at a time.

“What you do; how you do it; and who you associate with on a daily basis will determine your image and your impact!” Kevin Eastman

“Surprisingly for some, research conducted by the Leadership Research Institute has shown that in times of crisis, people gravitate toward the person of highest character, not necessarily the person who is in charge or even the person they believe to be the most competent. Rather, people will tend to build a relationship with and follow the person they view as the most trustworthy, who cares the most, and who is willing to always do the right thing.” Tony Dungy

“Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It’s being able to take it as well as dish it out. That’s the only way you’re going to get respect from the players,” Larry Bird

“Instead of asking, how can I lead my company, my team, or my family to a higher level of success? We should be asking ourselves, how do others around me flourish as a result of my leadership?” Tony Dungy


Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.

“Good talent with bad attitude equals bad talent,” Bill Walsh

“You don’t play against opponents, you play against the game of basketball,” Bob Knight

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind,” William James

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be,” Abraham Lincoln

“Nothing is worth more than this day,” Goethe

“Your life is either a celebration or a chore. The choice is yours,”

“If you’re a positive person, you’re an automatic motivator. You can get people to do things they don’t think they’re capable of.” Cotton Fitzsimmons

“If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page.” Mark Houlahan

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong attitude.” President Thomas Jefferson

“What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player,” John Wooden

“Life is like a basketball, it just keeps bouncing up and down.”

“I treat every day like it is my last day with a basketball,” LeBron James

“Everything negative — pressure, challenges — are all an opportunity for me to rise,” Kobe Bryant

“Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group. It enhances everybody,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“Once you are labeled the best you want to stay up there, and you can’t do it by loafing around. If I don’t keep changing, I’m history,” Larry Bird

“I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end,” Larry Bird

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *