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.
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…
THINK THE GAME
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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.
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.