What Coach Don Meyer Taught Me

By Stephanie Zonars

Coach Don Meyer’s presence made you want to sit up a little straighter.

As a counselor at his Lipscomb basketball camp (the largest basketball camps in the nation at that time), I remember one day in particular.

We had just eaten lunch in the cafeteria and he took a few moments to address the whole camp.

With his own unique style of interspersing nuggets of wisdom between recording reminders to himself on his handheld dictaphone, he told us something I have never forgotten.

None of us are too good to pick up trash.

Might seem an odd lesson to teach at a basketball camp, but it’s completely indicative of what Coach Meyer was all about: developing servant leaders.

And to this day, when I see a piece of trash I hear him reminding me to pick it up.

Coach Meyer won 923 games and 1 NAIA National Championship. But he coached a lot of champions.

The following is an excerpt from my new book, Wisdom for the BusyCoach—Volume Two:


You don’t have to win a championship to be a champion.

—Don Meyer [Tweet That!]

Most BusyCoaches define a champion as the individual or team that comes in first place. Yet only a few teams finish the season with a win. In fact, many compete for years and never win a championship.

The dictionary defines a champion as a fighter or warrior. Champions keep fighting no matter what the scoreboard says. Champions battle through all the uncontrollables of competition (and life) by focusing on what they can control. Champions fight for a higher value or purpose. Champions never, ever give up.

All competitors strive for championships, and many become discouraged when they don’t achieve that goal.

Remember, hoisting a championship trophy isn’t the only way to become a champion.

But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.
—2 Chronicles 15:7



What Coach Don Meyer Taught Me appeared first on Life Beyond Sport.

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Stephanie Zonars helps coaches build and maintain championship cultures through her business, Life Beyond Sport. Teams at Penn State, Notre Dame, West Point and over 65 other schools have built stronger trust, communication and teamwork through her workshops. Stephanie spent three years on staff with the Penn State women’s basketball team, assisting the team to back-to-back Big Ten Championships. An author of four books, she now serves as Assistant AD of Marketing & Promotions at Cedarville University. Learn more at LifeBeyondSport.com.

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One Comment;

  1. Jesus Patino said:

    I also learned that lesson and many more. Every time I see his name I get I little sad that is gone, but I feel bless that our path cross. As I continue my journey he is a big part of who I am and hope I touch the lives of msny as he touched mine