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Becoming a True Champion Chat

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Definition of True Success

The willingness, perseverance, and commitment to go through a process that allows one to achieve personal, family, and/or group goals; the kind of goals that many view as impossible to accomplish.

And to do so with solid character and integrity, the kind of character and integrity that beseeches one to do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do. This is regardless of the outside pressure to do otherwise.

Finally, the willingness and resolution to reach out to others in order to teach them how to do the same.

It is this kind of success, true success, which brings with it

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Downers Grove Reporter Article on Kirk Mango & "Becoming a True Champion"

(Photo courtesy of Mark Busch at
the Downers Grove Reporter)
I would like to thank the Downers Grove Reporter and Janice Hoppe for taking time to acknowledge my work on Becoming a True Champion and with athletes through the inspirational speaking presentations I have been giving at Downers Grove South High School. It was a pleasure being interviewed by Janice and I am honored just to be recognized.


Downers Grove Reporter article link:
Physical Education teacher inspires students

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kirk Mango on 90.9 WDCB FM Radio “The Sports Doctor”

Please join me and host Dr. Weil on his radio show The Sports Doctor for our discussion on the inspirational speaking presentations I have been giving in order to help make a difference for athletes. Other topics may include: my forthcoming book Becoming a True Champion, success in sports, raising college athletes, and generally anything related to sports and athletes. I am excited about appearing on his show again and would appreciate any time you might give to listen. Below I have included the date and time of the show and an on-line link for those unable to tune into 90.9 WDCB FM in the Chicagoland area.

I would be honored by any listener feedback. Thanks!!!

2nd Upcoming Radio Interview on
The Sports Doctor

Who: Author Kirk Mango

Where: 90.9 WDCB FM Radio

When: Thursday December 10th, 2009
6:30 p.m. Central Time

What: Making a Difference for Athletes

If you missed the show here is the mp3 link: Kirk Mango on the Sports Doctor
(Just click on the link above and then and give it some time to start. It does seem to take a little while due to its mp3 origins.)

Forthcoming Book Website Link: Becoming a True Champion

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Paralympian Lloyd Bachrach From “Yes You Can!” Endorses Becoming a True Champion

Great endorsement from paralympian and inspirational speaker Lloyd Bachrach ( Yes You Can!). Here is what Lloyd wrote after reading Becoming a True Champion:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Steve Weatherford From the New York Jets Endorses “Becoming a True Champion”

I was happy to receive an enthusiastic endorsement from Steve Weatherford, current punter for the New York Jets. Here is what Steve had to say after reading Becoming a True Champion:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Inspiring Athletes From Within: A personal attempt to make a difference

It is in my continuing efforts to publish Becoming a True Champion (BATC) that it dawned on me how important group and team motivational speaking presentations could be in delivering the principles of athletic success I so desperately want to encourage in athletes.

You see, in addition to BATC, I have gathered and/or written a fair amount of inspirational material for my blog (The Athlete's Sports Experience: Making a Difference), that I felt could truly help athletes achieve higher levels of excellence in sports; maybe even inspire them to reach beyond the “normal” limitations that traditionally hold others back from accepting difficult challenges.

After much introspection, I decided on four important concepts (for my presentation) that I felt were necessary if I ever expected to be successful at reaching inside athletes to help them discover the power they have within. To truly do this, my presentation would have to:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Team Sports and Consistent Performance

Often I hear team sport athletes talk about how difficult it is to perform their skill set in competition on a consistent basis. I have frequently witnessed many of them (team sport athletes, and even entire teams) ride a wave of inconsistency playing well one night and completely opposite the next.

It is during this up and down performance rollercoaster that I find myself asking questions like, What if?, How come?, Why is that so? and Is there a better way? As a former athlete, coach, and teacher, it is simply part of my nature to ask such questions.

So what is it that seems to make it difficult for many team sport athletes to achieve the consistency that eludes them? In order to try and answer that question it might be best to take a look at sports where consistency is king.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

High School Inspirational Speaking Presentation a Success

This past Monday, I had the wonderful opportunity to present my thoughts and ideas to the DGS High School Volleyball Program on how athletes (or anyone for that matter) can achieve success through very adverse conditions. Basically, how people “beat the odds” and become one of those rare groups of individuals able to surmount what others believe to be impossible.

There were approximately 60 athletes present along with the coaching staff and all seemed involved and interested in the activities and stories I used to support my thoughts.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Title Change For BATC

After much deliberation my coauthor and I have decided to make a change in the title of our book. The purpose of this change is to bring more focus and direct more attention to the larger market for which Becoming a True Champion was written. Now the title speaks loudly about its purpose just as the book itself speaks directly to whom it will benefit. Our new title:

Becoming a True Champion: Achieving Athletic Excellence From the Inside Out

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If You Live To Be 100!!!

If you live to be 100 years old you will spend the first 50 years of your life doing many things.

You will spend the next 50 years doing more things and reflecting on all of those things that you did in your first 50 years.

Toward the end of those 100 years of fruitful living you will spend a good deal of time continuing to reflect and evaluating those 100 years of life.

So, make sure you spend time doing things that are worth reflecting on and that bring value to you and to others.

It is in so doing you will find happiness in a life that was truly worth living.

Monday, July 06, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: Interview With One of College Baseball Elites!!!

Interview Chat with Louisville University Cardinal baseball player Phil Wunderlich. Phil is a standout player and the #1 hitter for the Cardinals. His outstanding play helped Louisville make it to the Super Regional of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championships.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Interview With a National Gymnastics Champion, Elite College Ball Player, & Major League Ball Player

(Picture from
USAG Website)
In keeping with my purpose of giving young athletes, parents, and coaches valuable information about youth sports, I have planed several interview chats with some highly successful athletes. These competitors have been through it all.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Process Over Outcome: Has America Forgotten?

The first half of this post’s title takes direct aim at something I have spent a good deal of time referencing in many of my articles pertaining to youth sports. What I would like to do here is step back from that environment for a moment, taking a look at this idea of process over outcome, and the loss thereof, as it relates to the “big picture” – our society as a whole. Before I go ahead with my rant on this topic, it might be a good idea to define these two terms as they pertain to the relationship I am about to draw between them and what I see as a shift in American ideals.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Things Your Kids Didn’t Learn in School And Our Current Sports Environment

In perusing the internet, talking to colleagues, and sharing information from within the teaching and coaching profession, I come across interesting bits and pieces of information that force reflection. One such piece was recently emailed to me by a colleague and it is one I have seen circulate on the internet from several different sources.

It is claimed by some to be a piece from a speech Bill Gates gave to a group of high school students. However, it actually comes from the teachings of Charles J. Sykes, author of Dumbing Down our Kids and 50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Top 50 Of All Time At Northern Illinois University

I was surprised and humbled by a phone call I received from a former professor, Dr. Hubie Dunn, at Northern Illinois University this past Thursday night. He had called to inform me of my selection by the Northern Star (the NIU official newspaper) as one of the Top 50 of All Time who have competed for the Huskies. I was in even more shock when he told me that I was chosen #8 on a list of athletes that included the #16th round pick in the 2009 NFL draft Larry English and former NFL player and Heisman trophy candidate LeShon Johnson. This is in addition to other current/former NFL players, basketball greats, and a slew of other well-deserving athletes from a variety of sports.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Open Chat Discussion on Issues in Youth Sports Today

I recently made contact with an individual who is also concerned about the current youth sports environment. So much so he created a website called Repairing Youth Sports to express his concerns. This prompted an invitation to him for an open chat, to be held here at my blog this Tuesday evening at 8:00pm central time, to discuss whatever issues come up in relation to that topic. Hopefully the exchange of ideas between everyone present will benefit all. Hope to see you there.



Saturday, April 18, 2009

A “What If?” for Coaches

What if you were able to gain specific information about the athletes under your direction that gave detailed insight into their personality strengths and weaknesses, how they think, react, are motivated and inspired? The type of information that would give you the ability to interact with them at their best level of understanding, allowing you to reach inside each athlete and pull out the potential they have within. Do you think this type of information might help you to create a team environment where everyone on that team thrives? Where leaders can be chosen based on who brings the best leadership skills to the table, and where goals become a mere end result of a process rather than the brass ring that few can reach. If any of this has sparked your interest, then stay with me as I introduce you to Pam Brooks, a certified behavior analyst from Arizona.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


WHAT: Live Chat
WHO: Kirk Mango
WHEN: Sunday Afternoons: 4:00 – 5:00 pm central time
Tuesday Evenings: 7:00 – 8:00 pm central time
Randomly: Evenings throughout the week & afternoons on weekends
WHERE: Right here at The Athlete's Sports Experience: Making a Difference

I have been working on an interactive way to make immediate and direct contact with those interested in my new forthcoming book Becoming a True Champion, published articles on my blog, sports and youth sports issues, high school and college sports experiences, coaching, and /or anything else pertaining to issues within any of these environments. My search led me to a website called Chatroll. This site gives individuals an option to embed a live chat window within a blog, something I have just updated my blog with and will use to discuss various topics sports and youth sports enthusiasts might be interested in.

So as to keep discussions centered and focused, I would like to present a list of topics that I have practical knowledge of and experience with, and that will help with direction.

Topics of Discussion

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Organized Functional Training: A Format for Success

If you are an athlete wanting to become better, more successful, maybe even of state or national caliber, you will likely find a multitude of things, or pieces of the puzzle, that need to be addressed in order to reach the level of attainment you are seeking. It can become overwhelming if you do not create for yourself an organized and functional way of handling all that must be done. I know for myself, I kept moving forward by following a specifically organized schedule of training created from a thought process that focused on organization and functionality. This training schedule, and thought process, was something I added to and adapted as I moved up the learning curve toward objectives and goals I had set. And it was something I followed with religious vigor. My purpose was to make sure I “covered all bases.” I just was not willing to leave anything up to chance.

Friday, March 06, 2009

In Case You Missed It!!! Kirk Mango on "The Sports Doctor"

Those of you who may have missed my interview on Chicago's WDCB FM radio show "The Sports Doctor" can click on the link below and listen to the show in its entirety. Your interest and feedback are welcome.

Link: Kirk Mango on The Sports Doctor

(The Link can take a minute or two)

Friday, February 27, 2009

40+ High School Athletes Suspended: What’s Changed? Part II

In Part I of 40+ High School Athletes Suspended: What’s Changed? I discussed the situation from which the title of this blog was created and referenced an earlier time to show some comparison. In this installment, I would like to actually answer the question posed in the subtitle, What’s Changed?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

40+ High School Athletes Suspended: What’s Changed? Part I

Recently reported by Dana Kozlov on Chicago CBS local news, and in Bob Sakamoto’s article 43 York athletes suspended, was a story concerning the recent suspension of 43 high school athletes for breaking their school athletic code. It happened on December 31st, 2008 (New Year’s Eve) where underage athletes were attending a “drinking” party. According to the CBS news report, area residents claimed that the homeowner, a mother in the Elmhurst community, had been home during the party with one resident describing paper taped to the windows and that kids were told to keep the party a secret.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kirk Mango "Live" on The Sports Doctor

Please join me and host Dr. Weil on his radio show The Sports Doctor for our discussion on several aspects of my book Becoming a True Champion, success in sports, raising college athletes, and generally anything related to youth sports. I am excited about appearing on his show and would appreciate any time you might give to listen. Below I have included the date and time of the show and an on-line link for those unable to tune into 90.9 WDCB FM in the Chicagoland area. Additionally, I have included a link to the book’s website which also details this information.

I would be honored by any listener feedback. Thanks!!!

Upcoming Radio Interview
The Sports Doctor
Who: Author Kirk Mango
Where: 90.9 WDCB FM Radio
When: Thursday February 19th, 2009
6:30 p.m. Central Time
What: Becoming a True Champion

Listen in On-line: Kirk Mango Interview

Forthcoming Book Website Link: Becoming a True Champion

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Part II: Consistent High Levels of Performance: How It’s Done

As discussed in Part I: Consistent High Levels of Performance: How It’s Done, many athletes set long-term goals that encompass what they want to accomplish by the end of a season, in high school, college, and/or even beyond, but how many set daily training goals that they vehemently and relentlessly pursue? And how many, once they can consistently and easily accomplish those, challenge themselves further by increasing their expectation of how well these daily training goals are performed? Maybe even combining two or three skills into a group of skills relative to how they will be used when competing, thus, demonstrating a true commitment toward mastery and reaching one’s potential. From what I have gleaned through my experiences as an athlete, coach, teacher, and parent of two club/high school/collegiate athletes, there are not many athletes who have these types of expectations.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Part I: Consistent High Levels of Performance: How It’s Done

In my blog Four Attributes That Lead To Athletic Greatness I discussed, in detail, attributes that athletes need in order to achieve greatness. It was in that article I alluded to the idea of being able to achieve elevated levels of performance on a consistent basis as one way athletic greatness is demonstrated. I am certain that many athletes, no matter what level, can remember a time, or times, where they felt they had competed at peak levels. In the “zone” you might say. However, how many can remember doing it regularly or most of the time? How many can truly consider themselves one of those rare individuals their teammates count on to give their best and perform at their best, consistently? Easy to assume you can, much tougher to actually go out and do both.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Club or High School Sports: Why do I have to choose?

It has only been recently, within the last decade or so, that some high school athletes are choosing to play their favorite sport exclusively for their club team, forgoing the experience of high school competition altogether. The purpose behind this centers on the idea that the training offered through a club atmosphere is needed in order to reach higher competitive levels, and the scholarship that some seek. Whether this is true or not (something I won’t debate here), either choice will bring positives to the table for the high school age athlete. Nevertheless, as it is with most choices one makes, there is almost always something one loses along with the objectives that one gains. This holds especially true in the case of an absolute such as playing solely for one program to the exclusion of the other.


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