As a former player and now coach, it’s hard to explain the feeling and atmosphere surrounding tournament time. The opportunity to compete in a game, when all the hours and sweat have come down to that one moment, is nothing short of spectacular. But I have a challenge for you this year: Don’t just watch these moments. Instead, study them.
Creating positive places in your life is often not easy. But it’s something you have to strive to do, even if the only positive place you can create is the space between your ears. That space is the most important. But once you’ve taken care of that space you have to try to make some other places as manageable, as positive, as perfect as possible for yourself. People who have positive places to go to, and established routines to follow, can get so much more accomplished.
Why do so many players prepare for the season like they are playing the lottery? Why do we look at our future and hope something good happens? Instead, create a dream for your future, map out your direction, and create the discipline you need to develop championship habits.
When athletes say “It’s just not fun anymore” they mean that they are failing, either individually or as a team (or both), to produce results commensurate with their training efforts. To have fun in sports, your training and your efforts and your diligence and your striving must show up in the performance of the skills for which you trained. If your performance does not reflect your training, don’t expect any fun.
THINK THE GAME
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To this day, when I hear TV commentators discuss at halftime the “adjustments’’ some coach is making in the locker room, it makes me laugh. Sure, every once in awhile there is some strategy or different technique that can be employed, but what mostly happens is a coach gets in your face and reminds you what sports are all about. It comes down a lot more to doin’ things than to talkin’ about ‘em.
From as far back as I can remember sports were my passion. More specifically, basketball was my passion. I loved being a kid and letting my imagination run wild. Day after day I would go out to my driveway and beat the best players in the world in epic one-on-one battles. Those blacktop wins pushed me towards the beginning of basketball obsession. This obsession continued to push me throughout high school and into the early stages of my college career.
Slumps happen. They are as inexplicable as they are inevitable. Often we have no idea how they happen or why they stop, and usually it seems to be outside of our control. For me, it happened in one of the most important games I ever played in college. It was our conference championship game, and if we won, we would earn a berth in the national tournament.
Do you ever feel like your performance in games is consistently inconsistent? That you’re putting in the same hard work at practice every day, yet some days you play really well and others you don’t play well at all? If that’s you, you’re not alone. If that’s not you, don’t worry—the frustration is coming soon!