Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Setting Achievement Standards

Muggsy Bogues, Michael Jordan, determination
Muggsy Bogues, 5'3"
NBA's Shortest Athlete Ever
In setting your personal and team's achievement standards, closely consider the following two questions:
  1. What do you want to achieve?
  2. Realistically, what can you achieve?
The first question, what do you want to achieve, takes into consideration the physical athletic talent that you and your teammates possess.  
  • How athletic is your team?  
  • How big, strong, and fast is your team?  
  • What is your team's competition?  
Answers to some of these questions may change over time as you and your team develop.  But answers to others will not.  For example, you will never have control over being in the most challenging league or division. 

The second question, realistically what can you achieve, takes into consideration the motivation and commitment of you and the people who surround you.  Ask yourself, 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Quote of the Week, from Coach John Wooden

"It's the things that you learn after you know everything that count."  - Coach John Wooden to Bill Walton

Coach John Wooden, Bill Walton
Coach John Wooden and Bill Walton
Bill Walton, Coach John Wooden
Bill Walton and Coach John Wooden

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

7 Habits of Successful Athletes: A Team-Building Activity

multi-sport athlete, Bo Jackson, Bo Knows
Bo Jackson, multi-sport athlete
Here's a fun, quick activity to do with your teammates.  It doesn't matter which sport you play -- give it a try!  You'll understand the inherent advantage multi-sport athletes have over sport-specific athletes.

1.  Have all athletes on the team read the article found at this link:
(A portion of the blog post is found below.)

2. Then ask athletes to work in small groups substituting words, phrases and terminology from the blog post to make the writing specific to your sport.

3. After each group has essentially re-written the article so that it fits your sport, have athletes re-read the new version out loud, with one group reading the first paragraph aloud, the next group reading second, etc. The leader of the activity should stop at any point to discuss ideas and concepts that are most important to the team or the coach.

4. At the conclusion of team's reading, have the team discuss major themes of the blog post and how they relate to specifics of your team's strategy.  Ask athletes also how each theme relate to specifics of athletes' individual goals.

Highlights from the blog post follow: 
7 Habits of Successful Shooting Guards  
By Shelby Turcotte

As I reflected back on 15-plus years of competing in basketball I couldn't help but think that a quick checklist would be helpful. The principles I outline below can be applied to any shooting guard regardless of height, speed, shooting ability, or athletic giftedness.

Know Where You're Best
As simple as it sounds, one of the biggest differences between high-level shooting guards and "good" shooting guards is often a difference of understanding. Good shooting guards take whatever the defense gives them. High-level shooting guards find ways to get the shots that they're best at. Put yourself in the positions on the court where you're most successful. If you like receiving the ball coming off of the left wing, find ways to set yourself up there more often.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Killer Instinct is Born by Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, dunk, Dwight Howard
Kobe Bryant dunks on Dwight Howard
Zero. That’s the number of points I scored the entire summer while playing in Philadelphia’s Sonny Hill Future League when I was 12 years old. I didn’t score. Not a free throw, not an accidental layup, not even a lucky throw-the-ball-up-oops-it-went-in basket.
My father Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and my uncle John “Chubby” Cox were Future League legends in their day. My father as a 6-10 point forward and my uncle as a 6-4 point guard.
I was putting my family to shame!
I considered maybe just giving up basketball and just focusing on soccer. Here’s where my respect and admiration for MJ was forged. I learned that he had been cut from his high school team as a freshman; I learned he knew what it felt like to be embarrassed, to feel like a failure. But he used those emotions to fuel him, make him stronger, he didn’t quit. So I decided to take on my challenge the same way he did. I would channel my failure as fuel to keep my competitive fire burning. I became obsessed with proving to my family — and more importantly to myself — that I CAN DO THIS.
It became an obsession. I learned everything about the game, the history, the players, the fundamentals. I wasn’t just determined to never have a summer of zero again, I was driven to inflict the same sense of failure on my competition as they unknowingly inflicted on me. My killer instinct to score was born