The referee blows a call. So what? The other team cheats. Big deal. None of these external events needs to change who you are, how you act, what you are proud of…
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.
This subject is crucial. It’s everything. With the right attitude you can overcome any obstacle, surmount any fate. You lost the big game. So what? You know what that means.
If you have everything in perspective, you realize that losing a game, any game, is not the end of the world. It’s the same if you win the big game. So what? You haven’t gained eternal life. You won a game. You win some, you lose some.
Read More: Learning How to Lose
So, what’s so important about attitude? Having a great attitude or the right attitude means understanding the big picture, realizing and having a special sense about winning and losing games and playing games and how you act and how hard you work and how you relate with teammates and how you respond to the coach and how you react to negative events. It’s all there.
With the right attitude, you don’t need the perfect blueprint. You don’t need to be able to anticipate every tiny detail or every incident that might come up in a game, because your attitude prepares you in general, for everything, and therefore you are fully prepared for anything.
If this sounds like double-talk, it isn’t. A great attitude, the right attitude, is nothing more than a way of seeing yourself with a kind of self-pride and nobility; that vision, that feeling dictates what you do in every situation.
Once you have this special attitude about yourself, the whole range of things that can happen externally doesn’t matter much.
So someone tries to draw you into a fight, plays dirty, or taunts. So what? That’s his problem. He doesn’t see the big picture. He isn’t filled with pride. He doesn’t have the vision. Because when you have it, you rise above all that. You let yourself be amused by those things, perhaps, but you don’t get drawn into them.
The referee blows a call. So what? The other team cheats. Big deal. None of these external events needs to change who you are, how you act, what you are proud of.
Attitude is internal. It is, therefore, not the clothes you wear but the feeling you have wearing them. It is, therefore, not winning every championship but the way you go about playing the games, competing, trying, striving.
Are you yelling and screaming at a referee or umpire? What does that say about your attitude?
You may think it shows that you are a great competitor who got a bad call, but what it really says is that you let someone else determine your mood, you let someone else decide your actions, you let someone else decide your cool.
Watch More: What is True Mental Toughness?
If you were an artist that would be like giving someone else the brush and the paint and letting that person decide what would go on your canvas. How stupid. If you’re an artist, you grab the brush, you choose the paint, you make the picture.
Why let someone else have control over who you are? Why not have more self-pride than that? Why not be more competitive than that?
Yes, competitive. If you are a real competitor you don’t let others control you. You decide how you want to act. Do you want to walk out onto a field and kick dirt and throw things? Then why wait till the umpire makes a bad call? Why not do it before the game or between innings? Or after? Why wait for a cue from an umpire? Why let the umpire control you?
THINK THE GAME
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Reacting to calls and external events is not attitude and it’s not competitiveness, it’s weakness. Instead, take pride in deciding for yourself what you do, how you act, how you respond. You have the ability right now, while sitting down and reading a book, to decide how you want to react to situations you will face this year and for the rest of your career.
How will you respond to taunts, to criticism, to bad calls, to punches, to cheaters, to fans, to reporters?
Why leave it up to others?
As an athlete, as a proud athlete, I would never want others to think they are in charge of my actions. I want it to be clear to everyone—fans, teammates, opponents, everyone—that I am the grand decider. I decide.
What attitude have you decided upon?
Attitude is pride. It’s toughness. It’s cool. It’s baaad. You name it what you like. Just make sure you have it. Attitude. The toughness to make your own decision, the pride to act the way you have decided to act, to be what you decide to be…under every circumstance they can throw at you.
—Excerpted from the book, “Think Like a Champion.”
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PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.
We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.
Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.