I used to run a basketball camp called the 87% Basketball Camp. Coaches would, on occasion, see a player wearing a T-shirt with that name and almost invariably their comment would be,
“Hey, what’s this 87 percent stuff? You gotta give 100 percent, Man.”
Often they took it a step further. “You gotta give 110 percent.”
Do you think 110 percent is enough? Some coaches demand 150 percent, others want 200 percent. I look for the athlete who gives an honest 87 percent, who knows it, and who is constantly trying to add 2 percent here and 2 percent there.
As division one strength and conditioning coaches my boss Ray Eady and I had not intended to create what has become known as the go-to conditioning drill to get basketball players into game ready shape. All we wanted was for them to stop running and testing the mile run as part of their pre-season conditioning plan.
If you aren’t trying to improve your communication skills and trying to have more of an impact on the atmosphere you are playing in, you are neglecting a big part of sport. Good, intelligent communication is important in just about everything, not just sports. This is a very broad and important subject about which many books have been written, but I am going to touch on just a few ideas for you to consider. The essential point to understand is that it is necessary to make a constant effort to improve your communication.
There is one decision I feel confident no player will regret; that the greatest honor bestowed upon a player is to be remembered as a great teammate. I was a good teammate, but if I could go back and change one thing, I would have pursued being the greatest teammate ever.
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Mediocre players use this time to rest, to complain, to limp, to frown at referees, to look around at the crowd. The problem is that many talented players use the time when the clock is stopped for the same purposes. But there is an endless number of valuable things a good player can do while the clock is stopped if he is thinking and really trying to be as much of an asset to his team as he possibly can.
I have studied champions at every level, and a few things have become obvious. Champions do simple things really well and have a ridiculous attention to detail. After examining these championship characteristics, I have put together what I believe are ten steps, essential, to athlete success. By themselves, these habits are not special. What is special, and very rare, is finding an athlete, that will close the gap between knowing these steps are essential to success and actually doing them, CONSISTENTLY.
All sorts of things always go wrong. Big deal. We know that. That’s the given in the athletic algebra. The only unknown is you. It is apparently human nature to blame someone or something for failures and inadequacies. Typically, almost everyone blames the president or the governor or the mayor or the principal or the boss or the teacher…for whatever may have gone wrong. Athletes and fans, for the most part, do little to lift themselves beyond this phenomenon of “scapegoatism.” It’s always someone else’s fault, never yours.
This blog post is specifically for those athletes who want to be the best they can be as players and leaders. If you want to be an effective leader it is crucial to first lead yourself. Learning the following five habits to lead yourself in practice will not only earn the trust of your teammates and coaches but it also will give you confidence in yourself.