“My father made me who I am. He gave me a basketball and told me to play with the ball, sleep with the ball, dream with the ball. Just don’t take it to school. I used it as a pillow, and it never gave me a stiff neck.” – Shaquille O’Neal
Good morning peeps, meditation done.
Quote for the Day:
“My father made me who I am. He gave me a basketball and told me to play with the ball, sleep with the ball, dream with the ball. Just don’t take it to school. I used it as a pillow, and it never gave me a stiff neck.”
Shaquille O’Neal nicknamed Shaq, is a retired American professional basketball player who is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. Listed at 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and weighing 325 pounds (147 kg), he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. O’Neal played for six teams throughout his 19-year NBA career.
His individual accolades include the 1999–2000 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award,15 All-Star game, selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, and three NBA All-Defensive Team selections.
He is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year (2000); the other players are Willis Reed in 1970 and Michael Jordan in 1996 and 1998.
He ranks 7th all-time in points scored. 5th in field goals,13th in rebounds, and 7th in blocks. Largely due to his ability to dunk the basketball, O’Neal also ranks 3rd all-time in field goal percentage (58.2%).
Shaq was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016
In addition to his basketball career, he has released four rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum. He has appeared in numerous films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq’s Big Challenge and Shaq Vs. He currently hosts The Big Podcast with Shaq.
When I was a child I would sleep with a football, surrounded by pictures of my beloved Manchester United Heroes, Alex Stepney, Stuart Pearson, Gordon “Gillette G two” Hill, Stevie Coppell, The Greenhoff brothers Brian and Jimmy, Gordon McQueen Martin Buchannon, Sammy McClroy, Lou Macari etc., but pride of place was 2 huge posters hung on my ceiling of Edson Arrantas De Nascimento or Pele as he was better known, staring down at me in his respective Santos and New York Cosmos kits.
I must have driven our neighbours Grace and John Hulse and my mum and grandma mad as a child because I was constantly kicking my ball against the wall in the drive, for hour after hour, day after day. I was an only child and if I wasn’t playing football or cricket with the Price brothers I would be on my own with my closest friend my football.
As I grew older I got a paper round and would kick and dribble my ball for the whole of my round as I had read that Bobby Charlton had done this when he was a kid. This was quite difficult whilst trying to read the sports sections of every paper, receiving many a ticking off from Mr Elsey, the owner of the local newsagents, as his customers were complaining that there papers were late and had all ready been read. Never mind, paper round completed, breakfast scoffed, it was off to school to get there early to begin playing playground football with a tennis ball. Assembly and lessons were in my eyes an unnecessary nuisance and got in the way of our epic playground football matches, with fellow participants Slim, Baldy, Mossy and Pubes (I was just called Adj, you will be pleased to know!). My record was 34 goals in one game/day and 17 goals in one break.
Birthday’s and Christmas’ were easy for my mum and gran to know what to get me for a present, a pair of new football boots and the latest Manchester United tracksuit or football kit for Christmas and a new pair of cricket boots and cricket bat for my Birthday in April just in time for the start of the cricket season.
I used to treat my football boots with the ultimate care, I read in Pele’s autobiography ‘My Beautiful Game’ which my mum got me for Christmas in 1974 and she wrote “To my little Pele lots of love Mum” in the inside cover, (the book is still in my bookcase in my room now) and Pele says in it that a footballer needs to treat his feet like a concert pianist’s hands and his boots should fit his feet like white silk gloves around a pianist’s fingers
On a Saturday before the game on Sunday mornings I would polish my boots for hours. My favourite pair were my Puma ‘Kings’ which were the same as the boots Pele used to wear. I would first put polish on them with a duster, then brush them vigorously until they were so shiny that I could see my face in them and then I would put dubbing on them to make them water proof and finally I would put Vaseline on them and let the Vaseline soak into the leather over night to make the leather really soft and supple and in the morning I would give them one last polish, they would not be as shiny as when they just had polish on, but they would have a sort of dull, matt shine on them, which I loved.
We used to get fined if you turned up with dirty boots, which was never a problem for me, as mine were never dirty. I could not believe some of the other boys, when they would take their boots out of a polythene bag, and their boots would still have the mud on them from the week before and their boots would stink, because they had been left damp in a polythene bag all week. The smell and look of the boots would make me want to throw up and I used to think to myself how can you expect to play well if you have got dirty boots?
Preparing your boots the night before a game helps focus your mind on what you are going to do in the game. If you are sloppy in your preparation you will be sloppy in your play.
‘Fail to prepare, Prepare to Fail’ as the old adage goes, which I totally believe in.
Now my sporting days are over I have the same sort of focus on my yoga. My yoga mat has replaced my football, although I do not actually sleep with it, but it does have pride of place in my bedroom and I do like to travel everywhere with mine. When I place my yoga mat on the floor I line it up perfectly with the lines on the wood flooring. If my mat is not aligned properly to start with how can I expect to align my body properly in the poses? I place my feet and hands carefully on the mat, with no little shuffles in between. I try to explain to my students that if you shuffle about in between when placing your feet and hands in the poses it is a bit like mumbling when you speak and adding ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ between each word you speak. You need to articulate your words precisely and clearly when you speak and it is the same with the placement of your hands, feet and body on your mat in yoga.
Yoga is so much more than improving peoples health and fitness, it improves the Mind, Body and Soul and as I say regularly yoga teaches us to deal with failure everyday, through trying to achieve all the different poses or asanas. You may never get to succeed in achieving some of the poses, but the important thing is the journey, rather than the goal.
If you would like to have more clarity in all aspects of your life in 2017 why not come on my yoga retreat in Morocco from Saturday March 18th to 25th.
Introduce yoga into your life or strengthen your daily practice why not come and join me at the the new five-star luxury destination in
Introduce yoga into your life or strengthen your daily practice why not come and join me at the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort the new five-star luxury destination in El Jadida Morocco
Click Here to find out more
The location is amazing.
It is a truly unique coastal destination resort, less than an hour drive south of Casablanca and set in a region abounding in contrasts that has preserved all its authenticity.
Rooms and suites overlook the lagoon, the golf course, the swimming pool and the patio, plunging down to the sea from the terraces and offering a 180-degree view over the Atlantic Ocean. The view will take your breath away.
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Have a tremendous Tuesday peeps
Breathe, Believe and Achieve
Be Happy, Healthy and Wise
Keep on Winning Smiling and Living the Dream