Coaches have different styles. There are many ways to accomplish the same goal. I do not presume to know the very best ways to coach. But I hope many coaches will find the following somewhat unusual approach to be useful. Emphasize execution, not conditioning.
Mental toughness is what you choose to put your focus on. You can let your feelings dictate your actions which in turn will dictate your identity. Or you can choose for your identity to impact your actions.
I invented the term LONHOBIRAT some time ago to indicate what I thought was most important about shot selection. It means, get a Lay-up Or a shot with No Hand up, On Balance, In your Range with Adequate Time to shoot. The word covers most of what is important in selecting shots but, over a period of time, I found myself changing my own way of teaching shot selection.
Everybody knows that it’s painful and hard to wake up at 6AM and get to work. We know it’s difficult to make 500 shots every day in a shooting workout. It’s painful and difficult to get in the weight room and tear up your body to build new muscle. It’s difficult and painful to study for a test. It’s difficult and painful to sacrifice your lesser desires for greater desires: to sacrifice sleep and hanging out with your friends.
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Playing on a team with great morale is one of the very best experiences life has to offer. And playing on a team racked with dissension is one of the worst. There are a lot of ways to build team morale but the methods are not as important as the desire.
I have worked with youth basketball camps for 14 years now: 8 years running my own and 6 years with PGC Basketball. It is one thing to organize and run a camp and another to choose one for your own children. Having kids approaching the age range for these camps, I had to stop and ask myself, “What do I really want in a basketball camp for my kids? What is it that makes a good basketball camp?”
Being a student is a lot like being an athlete. To be the real thing you emulate the stars. Too few, however, are making any effort to emulate outstanding scholars. Plus, we don’t see many outstanding scholars on TV on Saturday afternoons…or do we?
Spirit is noise. A successful team must practice in a noisy, spirited atmosphere; otherwise, the players won’t work up to their potential, they won’t inspire each other, they won’t energize each other. Given the natural ebb and flow of anyone’s personality, feelings, and energy, you can expect every individual to experience some down time or at least some not-exactly-at-your-best time during the course of a practice. But this is much less likely to happen in an atmosphere where special efforts are being made to uplift each other.