Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This Isn't Figure Skating

There are no points awarded for style in basketball. Sometimes players and even coaches forget this from time to time. Players want to look cool for the crowd and their friends instead of playing basketball. Coaches will undervalue a player who looks awkward or unorthodox while getting the job done instead of realizing they do the task time and again. It doesn't matter how it looks if it is effective.

So remember basketball isn't ice skating...there are no style points award.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pointing the Finger

There is a classic saying that goes like this..."When you point a finger at someone, three are pointing back at you." Of course that means you should examine yourself closely and objectively before you chose to blame or point a finger at someone else.

Terrell Owens is the ultimate finger pointer. It is never his fault. He led the league in dropped passes a couple years ago, but that wasn't his fault. He has played with great QB's but yet they are never doing their job good enough. How many times has he taken responsibility for anything? I would guess never. He does no wrong in his own eyes.

Pointing fingers at each other will tear a team apart faster than anything else. Players have to be responsible for doing their job. It is up to the player to put a focused effort on display every time they take the field or court. No one can make you try your hardest. It is up to the individual to know what his best effort is and not to let himself or the team down.

The world loves to blame other people. It seems like taking the blame is the worst thing in the world to some people. Things rarely get done if people are blaming others. Things go much better when people will step up and admit mistakes they have made. Things get fixed that way and then the next time when someone else messes up they remember when you took responsibility for the last mistake and more often then not they will follow your lead.

Quit blaming others...if you are going to place blame then place it on yourself!

Cuttino Mobley Retires

Cuttino Mobley's career has been forced to end due to a heart condition that was found during his physical which happened because of a recent trade. Here is the story from ESPN.

As a coach, one of the worst things that you can imagine is a player collapsing on the court. Although most coaches are required to know CPR or have an athletic trainer on duty it is still a situation that no coach ever wants to be put in.

One of my classmates collapsed during a track practice my freshmen year. Our athletic trainer responded quickly but was in the school and not on the track since we only had 1 athletic trainer for the whole athletic department. He was revived on the track and then taken to the hospital where he eventually died. I believe he had the same heart condition as Mobley, Reggie Lewis, and Hank Gathers. His condition went undiagnosed until it was too late.

I bet Cuttino never thought being trading would save his life. Looking back that might have been exactly what happened. Life brings surprises when you least expect them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jimmy V

This is Jimmy V week on ESPN. ESPN uses it to raise money for the Jimmy V Foundation. Created by Jim Valvano to develop cancer research.

If you have never seen Jimmy V's speech then you truly need to watch it right now. It is one of the greatest speeches in history. Here is Jimmy V's speech

True wisdom and enthusiasm from a guy that had no energy or strength because cancer had worn him down. He knew he was dying soon and he delivered a great speech.

When people say to me how do you get through life or each day, it's the same thing. To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.

Great stuff!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Playing With Poise

Playing with poise is an underrated facet of the game. The ability to play under control with a clear head allows the player to perform to the best of their ability. If a player gets rattled by another play or just the situation itself then the player's performance will more than likely drop dramatically. Thinking about failure is a surefire way to fail. The champions think about winning, about hitting the game winner, about stopping their man from hitting the final shot...positive things.

I firmly believe in telling yourself you will make the free-throw instead of saying I can't miss this free-throw. The littlest things matter in crunch time. Being positive, focusing on the moment, and doing all the small things right lead to a good outcome.

Some people are born with poise. They don't get rattled under pressure. They know to slow down in crucial times, they don't speed up. I think it can be taught in many ways though. Teaching to block out distractions, block out thoughts of failure or even success in some cases. One can force themselves to relax by deep breathes and focusing on the task at hand. Do rights right and good things will happen, sometimes the rest is out of your hands anyway.

Slow down under pressure!