Attitude means a lot of things these days. Sometimes, by itself, it means a bad attitude. Sometimes it means a way of carrying yourself with self-respect and flair. It means different things to different people. So here, let’s talk about what it means to have the right attitude, the right way, or the best way, to carry yourself and to approach your sport and your life.
It’s that time of year when many basketball athletes start saying something along the lines of, “I’m going to do better next year.” With the best intentions they enter the off-season thinking how they learned some gold nuggets from mistakes, trials, and tribulations of the past season and how they “won’t let them happen again.”
Game shots. Game speed. Game spots. High intensity. Quality over Quantity. Have a plan. You’ve heard it before, especially if you’ve attended one of our courses. You know what to do and how to maximize your improvement. But what shouldn’t you bring to the gym when you’re training?
Few athletes are overjoyed at the thought of conditioning. It’s tough. It’s demanding. It causes pain. But everyone has to do it. Conditioning is crucial to success in every sport. The best technique and the most ability won’t help you win if you are too tired to use them. Most everyone realizes this so I don’t plan to spend any more time on the obvious. To be a champion, get in great physical condition.
THINK THE GAME
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To become a champion, it is necessary to practice, to the fullest extent possible, with the idea that you are playing against champions in big games that really matter. Often you may find yourself in practice playing against a second-teamer or a smaller, weaker player. So you let down, or you play carelessly, or you do things that work there but won’t work against a star.
Don’t waste time nearly every weekend this summer trying to get seen when you are not yet good enough. Get good first, then get seen. Play pick up with players that are better than you, do things you don’t get to normally do on your team. Stretch yourself to do things others won’t.
I’m tired of seeing players blame everyone around them for their average or below-average success. If you’re difficult to coach (and your coach cares) don’t expect to get more playing time. Before we dive into the heavy material, let me get this out of the way: COACHES HAVE FAVORITES!! Of course they have favorites! Their favorites are the players they can trust—on and off the court.
Confidence is what comes along after you have trained diligently and learned to perform flawlessly. A lot of people seem to think you can get confidence through some gimmick or mental technique. Your confidence level mirrors your skill level, and that’s as it should be. There’s nothing much more foolish than the confident chatter of a mediocre performer going into battle against a champion.