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.
When athletes say “It’s just not fun anymore” they mean that they are failing, either individually or as a team (or both), to produce results commensurate with their training efforts. To have fun in sports, your training and your efforts and your diligence and your striving must show up in the performance of the skills for which you trained. If your performance does not reflect your training, don’t expect any fun.
THINK THE GAME
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It was the 2007-08 basketball season, and I was going into my junior year at Emmanuel College. We had graduated five seniors from the previous year—a loaded team that not only won the most games in program history, but had also made the school’s first ever conference championship appearance. Riding that wave of success our head coach left, leaving myself and one other teammate as the two lone holdovers from the previous season. In our first scrimmage of the year, we squared off against North Georgia and emotions began to run high. After that game, coach pulled me aside and gave me three nuggets that changed the way I have approached leadership. I hope they can have the same impact on your leadership game as they did mine.
You will probably never again be in a position to delight and honor your special friends and family the way you can as an athlete or performer. The phenomenon of acknowledgment is so strange it’s almost funny. Let me give just one example.
To this day, when I hear TV commentators discuss at halftime the “adjustments’’ some coach is making in the locker room, it makes me laugh. Sure, every once in awhile there is some strategy or different technique that can be employed, but what mostly happens is a coach gets in your face and reminds you what sports are all about. It comes down a lot more to doin’ things than to talkin’ about ‘em.
From as far back as I can remember sports were my passion. More specifically, basketball was my passion. I loved being a kid and letting my imagination run wild. Day after day I would go out to my driveway and beat the best players in the world in epic one-on-one battles. Those blacktop wins pushed me towards the beginning of basketball obsession. This obsession continued to push me throughout high school and into the early stages of my college career.