Preparing for An Elite Journey

coinsThe fall season is an exciting time for basketball coaches.  As students go back to school, many programs are conducting individual skill workouts and implementing their off season strength and conditioning programs.  It is also a time for coaches to plan for the upcoming season and look for ways to give their teams a mental edge.  Last season I contributed five articles to encouraging coaches to utilize leadership books or engage in book studies with their teams.    

In my first article,  “Success is Not Random”, I introduced An Elite Journey: A Young Man’s Leadership Story.   CJ Hardy’s (main character) basketball journey transforms, when he learns the difference between a fixed and growth mindset.  He also starts to write his goals down and develops a game plan for success.  In the second article “Leadership is a Choice”, I explained how CJ evolved beyond just an athlete – to a leader both on and off the court.  CJ learns that leadership is not just for seniors.  In the third article, “Decisions Define Your Destiny”, I discussed the importance of integrity and being consistent with your goals and actions.  CJ  faces off the court decisions that could ultimately affect not only his character, but the destiny of his team.  In the fourth article, “Team Team Team”, I wrote about importance of being a great teammate and surrounding yourself with outstanding people.  CJ learns the important lesson, that “nobody makes it alone.”  In my fifth article “Excellence: The Desire to Be the Best,” I wrote about the difference between desiring perfection and striving for excellence.  CJ is motivated by his father’s words, but he is falling short of his best self.  He continues to compare himself to others while expecting perfection.  Only when CJ sees excellence close up and reads more about his father’s story, does he finally prepare himself mentally to be his very best.  

Last season I worked with various teams, coaches and programs, and most recently I worked with Michigan Elite 25 and Competitive Edge Skating. We focused much of our time introducing what an Elite Journey looks like for an athlete, team, and/or an entire athletic program.  An Elite Journey begins when one takes full responsibility for his decisions, actions, and circumstances.  One concept I have introduced recently is – The Elite Journey Rope – which symbolizes an athletic career and provides perspective on how short an athletic career actually is, and the responsibilities that come with having big dreams.  The rope helps illustrate how the decisions we make today – truly affect our destiny.

Another concept I have introduced is an Elite Journey Challenge Coin.  Challenge coins are not a new concept and are often associated with the military.  The Elite Journey Coin is designed to be a physical reminder of the five choices we have on our path — to becoming our best self:

  1. Education:  Knowledge is Power
  2. Leadership:  Leadership is a Choice
  3. Integrity:  Our Decisions Define our Destiny
  4. Team:  Nobody Makes it Alone
  5. Excellence:  When You Compare – You Despair

Athletes either place the coin on their bedside table, carry it with them wherever they go, or keep the coin in a prominent place to help guide their choices.  Coaches, in particular, know the importance of having your goals, mission, and vision in places of proximity.

I am really excited about the positive feedback that I have been receiving about my book, speeches, and presentations.  Check out what people have been saying:

“An Elite Journey is loaded with countless critical lessons for life and its inevitable challenges.  I recommend this book to all regardless of age or pursuit.”  Greg Kelser former NCAA champion, former NBA player, current motivational speaker and sports broadcaster.

“We are using Elite Journey: A Young Man’s Story with our Leadership Council class. The students have really enjoyed it and like the fact the story relates to real world. The questions at the end of each chapter are thought provoking and create great discussion. It has been a great tool to help our student-athletes develop leadership skills.”

Bryan Masi, Northville High School Athletic Director

Coach Massucci is a dynamic speaker with a concise message.  He engaged our players to discover their “best self” and that being E.L.I.T.E. is a process that needs to be developed. Elite Journey is easy for my players to relate to, especially the the main character and his development throughout the story.  Coach Steve Norgrove: Boys Basketball Stoney Creek High School

If you are interested in purchasing an individual book, please go to, or if you are interested in multiple book purchases for your teams or challenge coins, please contact me directly at [email protected] for discounts and coin purchases.  Individual coin purchases are not available through the website just yet.

Lastly, if you or any of your athletes are interested in joining the Elite Journey Class, which is simply a text group which receives positive messages from my book via text — see the directions below.  This is one way text and you can unsubscribe at any time. (No Cost)

Using your phone and go to where you would compose a text:

  1. Type in 81010 in the number part of your text.
  2. Type the message @eji100 (In the message text box)
  3. Hit Send
  4. You should get confirmation you are in the group.

I wish you all the luck in the upcoming season!


One comment

  1. “An Elite Journey” is an excellent book. It is also a great read for middle school and high school athletes. (Getting middle/high school boys to read can be difficult, but they will love this book.) I highly recommend that coaches, parents, and athletes read Mike’s book, no matter what sport you are involved in. The story flows freely, and the messages in it on leadership, teamwork, and striving for excellence are powerful. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book. You won’t be disappointed.

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