One was about his youth football coach:
"Coach Graham used to ride me hard. I remember one practice in particular. "You're doing it all wrong, Pausch. Go back! Do it again!" I tried to do what he wanted. It wasn't enough. "You owe me, Pausch! You're doing push-ups after practice." When I was finally dismissed, one the assistant coaches came over to reassure me. "Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn't he?" he said. I could barely muster a "yeah." "That's a good thing," the assistant told me. "When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you."
This is a different look into criticism and how we take it. I often think it's because someone doesn't believe in me, but is a great perspective.
The second quote:
"There's a lot of talk these days about giving children self-esteem. It's not something you can give; it's something they have to build. Coach Graham worked in a no-coddling zone. Self-esteem? He knew there was really only one way to teach kids how to develop it: You give them something they can't do, they work hard until they find they an do it, and you just keep repeating the process."
I like this. This is why we want our kids to be good at something. It is important for them to know they are loved beyond "doing" anything, but once a kid takes off at something, it can really build confidence. I remember learning the Rachmaninoff "Prelude in C# Minor" for my Senior Piano Recital. I honestly didn't think I could do it. But, after MUCH practice and hard work, I was able to get it down. I remember thinking, "if I can do this, I can do anything!"