There is a lot of talk in sports about underdogs. Either you are the underdog and you’re supposed to lose or the other team is the underdog and you’re supposed to beat them. For all that talk, every sports fan knows that underdogs often upset favorites.
I’m tired of seeing players blame everyone around them for their average or below-average success. If you’re difficult to coach (and your coach cares) don’t expect to get more playing time. Before we dive into the heavy material, let me get this out of the way: COACHES HAVE FAVORITES!! Of course they have favorites! Their favorites are the players they can trust—on and off the court.
Confidence is what comes along after you have trained diligently and learned to perform flawlessly. A lot of people seem to think you can get confidence through some gimmick or mental technique. Your confidence level mirrors your skill level, and that’s as it should be. There’s nothing much more foolish than the confident chatter of a mediocre performer going into battle against a champion.
As a former player and now coach, it’s hard to explain the feeling and atmosphere surrounding tournament time. The opportunity to compete in a game, when all the hours and sweat have come down to that one moment, is nothing short of spectacular. But I have a challenge for you this year: Don’t just watch these moments. Instead, study them.
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Creating positive places in your life is often not easy. But it’s something you have to strive to do, even if the only positive place you can create is the space between your ears. That space is the most important. But once you’ve taken care of that space you have to try to make some other places as manageable, as positive, as perfect as possible for yourself. People who have positive places to go to, and established routines to follow, can get so much more accomplished.
Why do so many players prepare for the season like they are playing the lottery? Why do we look at our future and hope something good happens? Instead, create a dream for your future, map out your direction, and create the discipline you need to develop championship habits.
When your harmless superstitions and rituals get you to the point that you are trying to have a bad day in practice (so you will play well in the game the next day) or trying to miss in warm-ups (so your game shooting will be on), you must realize that you have gotten carried away in your thinking. You have become not merely a bit superstitious, but allowed something other than your preparation, give you confidence. A mind does seem to have the tendency to bring about the things it believes in; therefore, you need to realize that you are causing your own poor performances by a faulty way of thinking.
When a young athlete wakes up to instagram, eats with snapchat and falls asleep next to youtube, then their whole paradigm of what a basketball player is becomes what is captured in a loop of video. The hero is someone who can make others fall, a hero is someone who puts someone on a poster, and the loser … never be the loser who get’s made fail-famous in a video.