Many years ago, when I played sports, I learned numerous valuable lessons that stuck with me.
For whatever reason sports resonated with me.
Looking back, I was passionate about sports. I believe that passion is primarily why sports served as a medium for me to learn so many lessons. It was important to me.
I vividly remember my coaches, challenging times, frustrations, fun, and successes. And I have been able to apply many of the lessons I learned to other areas of my life.
I realize not everyone feels the same way. But for those players that are passionate and impressionable, I want basketball to have a positive impact on them. Just like it did for me.
I remember many coaches that were impactful when I played. Sometimes I wish I was more like them. But experience tells me I have to be myself. Players know if you fake it. So I have come up with my own ways to emphasize what I feel is important and hopefully make a positive impact.
One thing I do each year is document the core values I want to emphasize. I try to emphasize these things at every practice, game, and teaching opportunity.
Here’s the list of values I’ll be emphasizing with my youth teams this season. Maybe it will give you some ideas to make an impact on your players.
7 Aspects of Teamwork & Character
Teamwork and character will be a MAJOR emphasis for the Tigers basketball program and all our players!
The definition of teamwork is: cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interests of a common cause.
The definition of character is: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
We’ll constantly work on learning what it takes to truly excel and succeed both in sports and life.
Here are the primary aspects of teamwork and character we will focus on:
1. Trust / Honesty – I believe honesty is one of the most important character traits — for all aspects of life. Be someone that can be trusted and counted on. As a team it’s very important for us to trust each other. It’s very important for your coach to trust you. It’s not always the easiest path but I know you’re strong enough to always be honest. Always! Make it a habit and part of who you are, for life!
2. Kind / Thoughtful — I know you are tough as nails and a relentless competitor — but remember to be kind. Always. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be a good friend. And help each other.
3. Positive Attitude. Who wants to be on a team with mean or negative players? Nobody. Make yourself and your team better by bringing positive energy and attitude. And remember this quote: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Having a positive attitude is an important aspect to success.
4. Communication. We all know communication is an important aspect of teamwork and getting the results you want. So become a great communicator. Work to improve your communication skills. There are many aspects to communication — how/when you talk, how you listen, your eyes, your hands, your facial expressions, and your body language. This is all important.
5. Discipline. If you’re going to do a job, do it right! To be a great teammate and get better as an individual, you should focus on preparation and training. Be responsible, be disciplined. Don’t let your teammates or yourself down… they are counting on you to be disciplined, always.
6. Mindset of learning. We want our team to have culture of learning. You will make mistakes… that is part of learning. Learn from mistakes without fear. You will be challenged, asked to think, and be presented with new ideas. Embrace the “mindset of learning”… it will make you and your team better.
7. Relentless effort. Last but not least, relentless effort is critical for teamwork and can make a huge difference in your level of success. This applies to everything… laser focus and attention when coach is talking, hustle in practices, aggressiveness in your moves, working in drills, trying to improve your skills, rebounding, defense, and so on. You should “be proactive” — take the initiative. Bring relentless energy. Be resilient (never give up). No excuses. Always have the mindset to “do more than what is expected of you”.