Who Calls You Out?

by Kenny Eller on November 23, 2010

It was Saturday afternoon.  Less than three days ago.  A slight overcast watched from a distance.

My brother and I had just finished playing two games of one-on-one.

He had just beaten me twice.

After walking together to get some water, we sat on the steel criss-cross patterned, green bench, just to the side of the asphalt basketball court we had just played against one another on.

We were the only people there.

He asked me, “When you play Jordan are you going to give it everything you have?  Are you going to be totally exhausted when you’re done?”

He knew I hadn’t given the games my all.

He said, “You should beat me every time right now.  You’re taller.  You’re in better shape.  You’re a better shooter.  But I don’t think you even beat me 50% of the time.”

He questioned my defense, “You should be able to stop me from scoring, but your defense….”

He didn’t even finish.  He didn’t need to.  He had made his point.

He was calling me out.

Hearing all of that bothered me.

My competitive spirit rushed out from the depths of my being and said, “I CAN DO ALL OF THAT!”

He responded, “Well, you should.”


A couple of posts ago I wrote about my advantage.  I wrote about my support system and how it has so much to do with my success.  Him calling me out was just another example.

I knew when he was saying it.  I knew when my mind and tongue were forming my response.  I knew the whole time he was right.

My brother wasn’t calling me out to make me feel bad or to make me doubt my game.

He was calling me out to make sure I make the most of my abilities each and every time.

He was calling me out so that I never take a day off.

He was calling me out so that I always prepare by giving my all.

He was calling me out because he cares.

Who Calls YOU Out?

Who cares about you so much that they will speak up, even if uncomfortable, to help you maximize your potential?

Who will shake you and help you see your abilities even if your vision is clouded?

Who will encourage you when you need motivation?

Who will be honest with you?

Who will help make you better?

Who will be selfless?

Who will call you out?

Preparing for “WHEN” not “if” I play Michael Jordan

As the months have gone by, I’m hearing more and more “when’s” and less and less “ifs” from people when referring to the my match-up with MJ.

With each step, the day that I stand in front of the man I watched play so many games, saw on so many commercials, gets closer.

The day that I take all of the work I’m doing now and put it into action against the guy who got me into basketball, could happen anytime, but will surely happen in nine months time.

My brother calling me out reminded me of that.

He reminded me to prepare for WHEN, because it IS going to happen and I surely don’t want to waste my opportunity.

Are You Preparing For When?

Are you preparing for when you are the CEO, or your blog reaches thousands of subscribers?

Are you preparing for when your passion project reaches its end and becomes a reality?

With any goal it’s hard to always stay motivated.  It’s difficult to always give your all.

When I think about the difference between Michael Jordan and most every other basketball player though, his ability to give everything, every single time, made him the greatest ever.

Mike Jordan didn’t take nights off.  He took every single moment and prepared for WHEN he would be the greatest.

We all should do our best to do the same.

Going Forward

I can’t wait to get my brother back on the basketball court.

I can’t wait to do everything possible to shut him down and dominate him.

He wouldn’t have it any other way.

Who calls YOU out?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim Kerkvliet November 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Well…. I have gotten to know Bob Eller a little bit and have learned that he can be very intuitive and insightful. You are very blessed to have him as a brother and one who is willing to call you out. My wife Steph is willing to call me out when needed and I am very thankful for that. When I was coaching, we would get a team t-shirt each year with motto on the back of the t-shirt. One year we went with the motto of “All Out, All Game, All of the Time”. It caught on with every player on the team. That was the year we won a State Championship.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm

You’re right! I am very blessed to have him as my bro!

That’s good that Steph does that! We all need it from time to time!

OK, I LOVE that motto, “All Out, All Game, All of the Time”!!!! I think it’s time to break it back out!

Thanks Jim!!!!!


Mark Powers November 24, 2010 at 4:27 am

Kenny! Fantastic post . . . one of my me vs. MJ favorites! I do have a couple of friends that will call me out in certain circumstances. One that comes to mind critiques the hell out of nearly every blog post. Another is critical of the rhythmic and sonic choices I make on music albums that I record percussion on. Your post makes me value those more, and realize that I could probably use more of that in other areas of my life.

When I stop to think about my heroes (musically and otherwise), you’re absolutely right– they don’t take nights off. Thanks a ton, man- Happy Thanksgiving!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 24, 2010 at 8:38 am

Thanks Mark! I appreciate the love bro! :-)

I do think there is a major difference between hypercritical and calling out. In my example, my bro wasn’t breaking down how I dribbled, or shot, and he even stopped when he began talking about my lack of defense. His goal was to, in my mind, speak to my lack of effort. To get me to push harder and never let up. Not to point out every single part of my game that was lacking.

Hypercritical can, in my view, sway quickly towards negativity. It becomes more about what you’re doing wrong, than the big picture of what you’re after as your goal.

Sorry to go on a tangent, as I’m sure your friends care and aren’t being hypercritical…just want to make sure! :-) I’ve got your back! 😀

Again, thanks for all of the support! Much appreciated! Thank you too for the Happy Thanksgiving wishes! I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving too!!!!


Kellie Kowalski November 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

My Dad used to always call me out whenever I tried to quit anything. Drove me nuts at the time, but I’m very grateful for it now.

Staying motivated is pretty difficult. Well, for me anyway, since I tend to get super motivated and then it trails until I get really motivated again.

You are probably one of the most motivated people in the blogosphere Kenny! Awesome post.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Staying motivated is tough for everyone! :-) That’s why we need positive, supportive people to at times call us out and get us back on track!

Thanks for all the support! Thank you too for the kind words…I need to be motivated! I have to be ready against the greatest ever!!! 😀


Eric | Starcraft 2 Strategy November 27, 2010 at 10:30 am

I think you should give yourself credit for taking his criticism for what it was – calling you out – and not getting defensive. I know a lot of people (myself included) who would have defended themselves til the end instead of appreciating the criticism for what it was – a message that he knew you could do better.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Thanks Eric! Thanks for stopping by! :-)


Laurie November 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Kenny, this is fantastic! Siblings are some of the best caller-outers in the world. I’m so blessed to have a sister who is very different from me, who is my best friend in the world, and who calls me out on a regular basis. We do it for each other….we are each other’s best critic and best cheerleader, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Cheers to you and your brother!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Thank you for the kind words Laurie! Sounds like you and your sis have a great relationship too! So valuable!

Thanks again! I appreciate the support!


Erin Wilson November 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm

A friend called me out yesterday, and I’ve been pissed ever since. Because he’s right, of course.

I see a trend happening here 😉


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller November 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Haha, sounds like a good friend! 😀

Thanks for stopping by Erin!!!!


Yvon Bayonne December 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Kenny, I didn’t see that post.

I only have one thing to say… Great!

Off course it appeals to me because I’m a baller but… your words are so true! I mean, you’re blessed to have such a brother. I know better because I also have a precious one.
I’ve been struck by the WHEN part.
I guess that it’s now a lesson learned, and you’re not going to settle for less? Because after all, we’re talking about playing MJ one on one…!!!


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller December 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Thanks Yvon! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Yeah, I do have a great brother. Things have been showing me over and over again lately to give whatever I’m doing everything I have. Too prepare for When!

Thanks for the continued support! Means a lot!


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