Season after season, teams called “great” get four or five or even ten victories a year by only a few points over teams called “mediocre” or “bad.” Think about that.
You’ve got to think hard about that to realize what it means. A few points, a couple of plays, a missed rebound, a loose ball, a low percentage shot someplace instead of one more pass and a higher percentage shot. Such a tiny thread in 32 or 40 minutes of basketball separates championship teams from those that struggle to win even half of their games. And yet, have you ever wondered how some some people win consistently (by a few points) while others lose consistently (often only by a few points, too)? If so, look no further.
The ability to be consistent is what separates a good player from a mediocre one. Mediocre players are the ones always pointing out the times they do something good, but good players expect to perform certain tasks over and over again – routinely. Things that are do-able, you do, over and over again, every time. Good players have an every-time kind of pride, and that is what coaches call ‘consistency’. That, not 360’s and slam-dunks, is what separates ‘good’ from mediocre, and winners from losers.
Great teams often beat bad teams by only a few points. That’s one turnover, a tip-in somewhere, and a free throw made or missed one way or the other. That’s a tiny defensive lapse tucked away someplace in a fold of the game that the fans never even saw. Such a tiny thing in a whole game of basketball is all that separates good from bad; and yet, some people win consistently (by a few points) while others lose consistently (often, only by a few point too).
There is only one way to ensure ‘good’ playing. Be consistent. Develop a ridiculous attention to detail; to doing things right, to make every practice count, to concentrate on every shot. It’s not easy to be consistent, because that’s what good is.
Excerpt from Dick DeVenzio’s critically acclaimed book, Stuff! Good Players Should Know.
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