MESSAGE FOR PLAYERS from GLENN WILKES, FLORIDA HALL OF FAME BASKETBALL COACH
The most important quality a person needs for success in life, and on the basketball court, is a PROPER MENTAL ATTITUDE, a quality that is reflected from all successful people, great players, and from all championship teams. Why is a proper mental attitude so important? BECAUSE MORE ATHLETES FAIL THROUGH FAULTY MENTAL ATTITUDE THAN IN ANY OTHER WAY! The right attitude can drive a mediocre player to great success, but a very talented player can find himself "on the streets" if a poor mental attitude or state of mind exists. Ask coaches from all over the country and they can cite example after example from their own personal experiences of basketball players who possessed tremendous physical ability but who failed to reach their potential simply because they would not develop a good mental attitude.
How sad for a basketball player to fail to reap the wonderful rewards of basketball success just because of attitude. If attitude depended on physical ability it would be different. It's not possible for everyone to have great quickness, or great jumping ability, or the size or heighth that increases a basketball player's chances to succeed. But it is possible for every player--yes, every player--to develop a good mental attitude.
Why is that possible? Define the word attitude and we arrive at a definition that centers around attitude being habits of thinking. When you continue to do something over and over, the constant repetition of the act results in the formation of a habit. It is just as easy to develop habits of thinking as it is to develop habits of doing. Since you can control what you think you therefore have it within your power to develop the habit of thinking the thoughts that go to make up a winning attitude. Your first reaction to this may be to think that you cannot control what you think. Nothing could be further from the truth. Attitudes are habits! Habits, whether physical or mental, don't just happen. They are caused, they are acquired, they are learned! It is just as easy for you to acquire the thinking habits that create a good attitude as it is for you to develop those thinking habits that create a bad attitude.
Let's look at some specific habits of good and bad attitudes:
Good attitude: Hustles, Plays team basketball, Desire to listen to the coach, Takes responsibility for mistakes and does not blame them on teammates, Never blames any teammate or coach for a defeat, Never makes excuses, Concentrates on what the coach is saying, Does not use foul language, Competitive, Plays Hard.
Bad Attitude: Loafing, Playing selfishly....worrying about how many points he has rather than the team points...Will not take responsibility for his mistakes, instead, he blames a mistake on one of his teammates or his coach...Always blames a teammate or a coach for a defeat, Is quick to make excuses for mistakes, Often does not listen to the coach, Uses profanity extensively, Tends to let up and not play hard in a competitive situation. Is a "Locker Room Lawyer", criticizing the coach to his teammates.
These qualities above are examples of habits. Blaming the coach for a defeat can become a habit, Making excuses can become a habit, Blaming teammates can become a habit. Thinking only about self can become a habit. Study the characteristics of a good attitude and resolve that you will make those characteristics your HABITS. Do so and you are on the way to an excellent mental attitude.
As you work to develop your game, nothing can be more important than developing the right mental attitude. It will be the dominant factor in your success or failure. It will make you great--or it will bring you down on your knees in defeat! It is our hope at BasketballsBest that you will create the attitude that will enable you to reach your maximum ability. Fail to do so and your potential will be buried forever.
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