Alan Stein is a keynote speaker, author, and veteran basketball performance coach. He teaches proven strategies to improve organizational performance, create effective leadership, increase team cohesion and collaboration, and develop winning mindsets, rituals, and routines. Stein is the author of Raise Your Game: High-Performance Secrets from the Best of the Best, a book about strategies used by corporate teams and sports teams around the world.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I had a wonderful childhood with two very loving and supportive parents. Most of my childhood memories revolve around sports and physical activity – from traditional sports like basketball and soccer to unconventional sports like skateboarding and martial arts. My participation in sports shaped who I am today by reinforcing values like respect, discipline, accountability, and work ethic. 

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

How important it is to live in the present moment!

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

I try not to view recommendations as good or bad or right or wrong… but rather discern whether it is the right fit for me. With that said, the popular mindset of ‘you gotta grind’ and ‘rise and grind’ and concepts like ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ are constructed I philosophically oppose. 

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I went through a divorce several years ago. Part of that process involved seeing a therapist. While painful and sad at the time, it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world, as I emerge with a much higher sense of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. 

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

I’ve always been very disciplined and have placed a high value on my morning routine… which greatly increases the chance I will Win the Day!

What is your morning routine?

I wake up when my body/mind feel rested (I never set an alarm)… which is usually around 6 or 7 am (I am naturally an early riser). Within the first 30 minutes of waking up, I make my bed, follow a guided meditation on the Headspace app, drink some water, and do some light stretching. Then, depending on the day… I either transition directly into a workout… or I hunker down in my office to get some work done!

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

My daily meditation practice has drastically improved my mindfulness, awareness, and ability to be still and present. 

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

Prioritize what is important and stay fully present while working on it!

What book(s) have influenced your life the most?

Leading with the Heart by Coach K, Success is a Choice by Rick Pitino, and The Success Principles by Jack Canfield are the first 3 that come to mind… but keep in mind I’ve read hundreds of books!

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

I sure do! Here are my top 3:

“Are the habits you have today on par with the dreams you have for tomorrow?”

“If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you will keep getting what you’ve been getting.”

“It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity that never arises than unprepared for one that does.”