Attitude means a lot of things these days. Sometimes, by itself, it means a bad attitude. Sometimes it means a way of carrying yourself with self-respect and flair. It means different things to different people. So here, let’s talk about what it means to have the right attitude, the right way, or the best way, to carry yourself and to approach your sport and your life.
You don’t win games or better your performance with positive talking. Saying you are going to win isn’t going to make you win. It may be better than walking around saying you are going to lose, but saying anything isn’t the answer. Games are won and lost on the court by performers, not by talkers.
It’s that time of year when many basketball athletes start saying something along the lines of, “I’m going to do better next year.” With the best intentions they enter the off-season thinking how they learned some gold nuggets from mistakes, trials, and tribulations of the past season and how they “won’t let them happen again.”
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.
THINK THE GAME
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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.
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.