Listen carefully, boys and girls.” Teachers, instructors, and other authorities might as well add, “or you won’t get to hear what the nice, boring man is saying.” What a warning. The precise reason you are not listening carefully is that you have no interest in what the nice, boring man is saying. But how often do you hear this sort of thing? How often do you have to put up with it yourself? In my opinion, the whole problem is one of definition.
Game shots. Game speed. Game spots. High intensity. Quality over Quantity. Have a plan. You’ve heard it before, especially if you’ve attended one of our courses. You know what to do and how to maximize your improvement. But what shouldn’t you bring to the gym when you’re training?
Few athletes are overjoyed at the thought of conditioning. It’s tough. It’s demanding. It causes pain. But everyone has to do it. Conditioning is crucial to success in every sport. The best technique and the most ability won’t help you win if you are too tired to use them. Most everyone realizes this so I don’t plan to spend any more time on the obvious. To be a champion, get in great physical condition.
Do players like playing for you, or do they dread coming to practice every day? Are you even aware of how they feel about you? Are you pursuing a career where you will one day be a character in their athletic horror stories or the hero that changed their lives? I am sure you have heard the quote from Billy Graham before, “One coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime.” If we assume that this statement is even partially true then you, as a coach, have been empowered with one amazing task and one amazing burden.
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To become a champion, it is necessary to practice, to the fullest extent possible, with the idea that you are playing against champions in big games that really matter. Often you may find yourself in practice playing against a second-teamer or a smaller, weaker player. So you let down, or you play carelessly, or you do things that work there but won’t work against a star.
Don’t waste time nearly every weekend this summer trying to get seen when you are not yet good enough. Get good first, then get seen. Play pick up with players that are better than you, do things you don’t get to normally do on your team. Stretch yourself to do things others won’t.
During the course of any athlete’s season, there will be many adverse circumstances to deal with. To many athletes, these circumstances come as a big surprise and cause great distress. Their performance suffers. They “would-a” won or they “could-a” done well, but the circumstances…
You sit on your couch watching big shot after big shot and quietly hope to one day play on that stage with the announcers shouting your name through television screens across the country. One Shining Moment, right?
Problem is, your habits just don’t match your dreams. Your hustle is fake. You went to the gym and maybe got a few shots up. But your Instagram game is strong.