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Logo for Team "Orange Crush"The following was provided to a young basketball team that I was coaching; however, I feel that the following applies to not just basketball, but everything in life. Enjoy!

1. Work Ethic and Preparation
In life there are two things you can always control: how hard you try and how you prepare. It’s the same in basketball. You have a choice of how hard you will go after the loose ball, rebound or how hard you will practice. There is no excuse you can give, because you have 100% control over your effort. So my expectation is that you ALWAYS give your best effort and are always prepared. You may miss a few shots, or turn the ball over. I can accept these mistakes. But what I can’t live with is anything less than 100% effort and being prepared to play.

Planning and Hard work always pay off. You will gain more rewards from adopting these as part of your life’s values and applying these to all areas of your life than any other I know.

2. Enthusiasm and Belief
Nothing is as contagious as a player who is fired up and believes in themselves and their teammates. You see it all the time in sports, the team who has the most belief and energy is the team who wins. Enthusiasm and belief has everything to do with your attitude. Your attitude defines you and affects those around you. And the great thing is YOU get to choose your attitude. Much of life is about choosing. You cannot choose what happens to you in life – but you can choose how you respond to it. Many will choose to blame and make excuses and give their power over to external sources. We will work hard and strive to develop a positive attitude that will create enthusiasm and a belief that we will succeed to the best of our ability.

3. Perseverance
The road to success in life or basketball will most certainly have many potholes. As a team we will do whatever is necessary to go through, over or around them. Every game will not go to plan and we will make mistakes, get behind or get tired. But we will not give up or quit. Anything is possible with hard work, belief, and the willingness to persevere.

4. Lift Others Up
Life is not about what you can get, but about what you can give. When we take the focus off ourselves and move it to others miracles can happen. Especially when there are no expectations of getting anything back in return. Remember a time when someone gave you a compliment about something you did well – remember how it made you feel? It lifted your spirits and built your confidence. So we will practice lifting others up. TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More. Our focus will be on teamwork and lifting others up, not only on our own team but on other teams as well.

5. Put Good things in
GIGO. Have you heard of this? Garbage In Garbage Out. What this means is what you put into your heart and mind is what will come out. So if you want great things to come out and want to do great things, on the court or in life you must first put good things in. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Good Book. Listen to good music; watch good uplifting TV, movies and YouTube. Be careful who you hang around and make your friends. You become like those you hang around. Learn how to talk to yourself in a positive way. As your coach I will work at putting good things into you, building you up and encouraging you to excel. I will expect that you do the same for each other as well.

6. Succeed at being yourself
You were made the way you are for a purpose. Accept and cherish it. This is one of the most important lessons of life we can learn – be a successful you. Focus on your potential and not your limitations. Determine to know the truth about yourself. Understand what you are great at and what you love than pursue it with reckless abandonment until you reach your goals. Understand along the way the difference between who you are and what you do. Use rejection as motivation to get better. As your coach I will look for what you are best at on the court and work at putting you in situations where you can succeed.

7. Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings each day.
I have found it very useful for me to pray for guidance and help in many areas of my life. Grateful people are always more cheerful & successful. They are also more fun to be around.

There you have it. Enjoy and let’s have some fun.

Coach Small

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