By Seth Busetti

Why do we respond so well to pre-game pep talks? Something in our spirits needs to be encouraged that we DO have what it takes, we ARE good enough. The pre-game pep talk isn’t about X’s and O’s; that’s done in the previous practices. The greatest coaches use this time to provide some much needed encouragement. Chicago Bulls coaching legend Phil Jackson commented, “This is not a good time for deep left-brain discussions. It’s the moment to calm the player’s minds and strengthen their spiritual connection with one another before they head into battle.”

Similarly, line item budgets, balanced checkbooks, or debt repayment strategies, these are the X’s and O’s of the family budget game plan. You know enough of this already and the game is about to start. Money will be earned, bills will be paid, and life isn’t slowing down. Game on! So here’s 6 motivational tips from some of the greatest coaches. Now go out and turn your winning money game plan into a victory!

  1. Consistency is Key. One of most rewarding stages in a financial transformation is to see yourself transition from making the same mistakes over and over again, to making the same successful choices over and over again. It takes time and repetition to break out of old ways of thinking. Legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi says it this way, “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” Success is all about building that winning momentum.
  2. Build Healthy Roots. P.J. Fleck turned an underperforming Western Michigan college football team into a winner, taking a 1-11 team in 2013 to the Cotton Bowl in 2016 with an impressive 13-1 record and a top 15 ranking. Coach Fleck instilled in his team a principle he learned from TEDx speaker Greg Bell about how giant timber bamboo grows its root system underground for three to four years before farmers see any shoots pop out of the ground. But once the bamboo reaches the surface, it can grow more than a foot at day. This is how family finances work too. The first step is to build the strong foundation, create a healthy money paradigm, and focus on growing the stable base. The visible growth will happen though, and when it does, watch out!
  3. Get a Chip on Your Shoulder. Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese has an amazing winning record of 471–143 (.767) to date. The Baltimore Sun recounted a pre-game pep talk in 2015 where coach Frese literally placed a salt and vinegar flavor Pringle potato chip on the shoulder of each of her players, a sensory reminder of the disrespect her team had been getting. Her assistant coach commented, “Brenda will be the only coach in the country that’s a No. 1 seed and make her team feel like they’re the underdog.” Is this how you’re acting on your financial game plan? You’ve got to believe that credit card companies and student loans are disrespecting you. Your friend wants you to foolishly spend some money that you’ve got set aside for charitable giving? That’s disrespecting your plan. Telemarketer? Disrespect. Whether you are in debt repayment mode or filthy rich and doing a reverse tithe (giving 90% of your money away), you’ve got to have the focus and intensity that nothing on earth will interfere with the good you are doing.
  4. Embrace Obstacles. Alabama swimming head coach Dennis Pursley has a long, decorated career coaching at the collegiate and Olympic levels. In a series of publications for Swimming World Magazine, coach Pursley expounded on 26 attributes of a champion. #14 is handling adversity and overcoming obstacles. I can’t say it any better than him. “It is through encountering and persevering through obstacles that we develop the strength of character necessary to achieve anything of significance. In this sense, obstacles can actually be opportunities to grow. It is also precisely because of our perseverance through these obstacles that our achievements are meaningful and rewarding. An accomplishment that is not difficult to achieve is usually not an accomplishment of much value.”
  5. You Got This. For years, Aly Raisman has been the de facto leader and inspiration for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team. Teammate Gabby Douglas recounted a moment from the London team final to NBC, “…they put me up on beam, I was just so nervous. I looked at Aly and I was like, ‘Aly, I don’t think I can do this. I need to tell someone that they need to put somebody else in,’ and I was so nervous. She’s like, ‘Gabby, shut up! You’ve been fine, your beam has been solid in training, just go out there and don’t think about it, don’t stress yourself out.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, okay.'” In your money plan, sometimes that’s just what you need too. Whatever happens, happens. Start investing. Cut up the credit card. Ask for the promotion to better use your skills. Ask to go half-time to be with your family more. Have you done your research and prayed about it? Then go. You got this!
  6. Be Bold! The great Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne was able to masterfully encourage his teams, reaching to their cores and drawing out the raw confidence needed to win: “And don’t forget, men—today is the day we’re gonna win. They can’t lick us—and that’s how it goes. … The first platoon men—go in there and fight, fight, fight, fight, fight! What do you say, men!” Your financial goals are yours. Nobody can win this for you. But you do have what it takes. Say these things to yourself everyday. Give yourself a pep talk. You know what you have to do, so do it!

You will not just pay off debt, you will destroy it!
If anybody tries to tempt you to overspend, punch them in the teeth.
You are exceptional with money. Wise and patient. Strategic, not hasty.
Your savings account will be HUGE.
The only thing bigger than your retirement account will be your generosity.
You are the rich friend.

We know you’ve got this, but we also know the star players have a coach. Tom Brady has Bill Belichick. Michael Jordan had Phil Jackson. Rocky Balboa had Mickey Goldmill.

We want to be your coach. Send us an email or give us a call to learn more about how we can help you reach your money goals, so you can live your life goals.

Here are some more of our blogs that you might like:

Tips for Budgeting Rookies

Are You Free to Realize Your Dreams?

Beyond Debt Free

10 Tips for the Debt Repayment Grocery Budget


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