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.
Every young athlete seems to be interested in increasing speed and quickness. This makes sense. Speed and quickness are two of the most important ingredients in athletic success.
There are several basketball skills that are hard to measure including ball-handling, passing, rebounding and defense. But in order to track improvement, some method of measurement is necessary.
THINK THE GAME
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For the first six weeks of the 2008-09 basketball season, many expected Laval Lucas-Perry would become eligible and be named Michigan’s starting point guard. As a freshman, however, even with his year of experience on the bench as a transfer, that was more difficult than he expected, and it became a position ceded to other players as Lucas-Perry played off-guard, primarily as a shooter.
If you want to instruct in a way that is really going to help your basketball team, you need to instruct before the bad thing happens, before the play takes place. In basketball, this opportunity—or failure—happens frequently.
Welcoming unfairness is one of the most useful principles in the life of any athlete. Champions don’t want to be put on an equal plane with others, they welcome the opportunity to show what they are made of under all sorts of conditions.
Basketball is a thinking game but, as a coach, one of your major responsibilities is to take as many situations as possible out of thought processes and turn them into quick reactions requiring no thought at all.