Coach Drake
  
Coaching and mentoring athletes in 40 years of winning seasons, Steve Drake has taught his players how to achieve victory on the court. Best known for his teams’ appearances in championships and college tournaments, Coach Drake’s skill in motivating high-level performance goes unquestioned. 
 
Those who know Coach Drake say his approach to basketball is the same as his approach to life. Some even call it a system. It’s this system that brings about an optimal perspective, a premium quality in any life endeavor. Coach Drake has used this so-called system to coach youth and college athletes in a variety of settings, including the Gaza Strip where he worked with more than one hundred Palestinian kids. 
 
Athletes and coaches say Coach Drake’s approach to the game taught them to find their excellence where no one else had ever shown them to look-- within themselves. During the 2003-2004 seasons at San Jose Christian College, a small California school among titans in its conference, a small forward playing for Coach Drake held her own among some of the fiercest competition the game has seen. And when this player had to change gears altogether and pull duty as point guard, she knew where to find her excellence then, too. 
 
Coach Drake’s ability to change lives began with his Midwestern roots. Born in Kansas City, Missouri and growing up in Merriam, Kansas, Coach Drake recollects a wonderful childhood where he spent summers at his grandparents’ small Missouri farm. Starting off collecting eggs laid by the chickens, he remembers aspiring to work with the hogs, the most difficult job on the property. It was hard work, but the payoff was an extra piece of his grandmother’s dessert. For Coach Drake, this translated to an early understanding that hard work earns sweet rewards. 
 
Looking back over his 57 years, Coach Drake remembers an active, happy family with loving parents. As years passed, however, his mother began to face struggles with depression. Although challenging situation for any family to face, Coach Drake didn’t shy away. As with the other challenging situations in his life, Coach Drake tapped into his inherent gift. That gift is his ability to acknowledge the beauty of the gifts before him-- as well as the opportunities that lie within them. It’s this skill that helped his mother gain optimism over her outlook. 
 
Finding opportunity in any situation seems like a simple enough approach to life, but it’s one that’s too often overlooked. Recalling his coaching tenure with the small school that others in the conference wanted to play for the easy W, Coach Drake says most of the teams he’s headed up weren’t forecast as winners by outsiders. It’s not a view the coach ever bought into. Operating from the standpoint that it’s easier to beat five individuals than it is to beat a single team, the school that was supposed to be the easy win for others resulted in upsets and defeated senior nights for other schools. 
 
Winning boils down to understanding the game. And chances are the game can look quite promising when it’s looked at with the right perspective. With an approach that goes beyond accolades for performances on the hardwood, business leaders find Coach Drake’s strategies in building winning teams as effective off the court as they are on. 
 
Coach Drake has engaged his optimal perspective to work in entrepreneurial ventures, to manage million-dollar budgets, and to connect with others through roundtables.  In his first book, My View From Center Court: Nothing Beats Winning, Coach Drake shares his determination and enthusiasm to help readers build their own winning teams. 
 

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“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of knowing you made the best effort to become the best you can be”
Coach Drake
 
 
 
 
 
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