Thursday, August 9, 2012


One of my favorite sayings.  Over the years, I have probably said this phrase hundreds of times.  It was even the saying on my license plate holder thanks to a thoughtful Xmas gift from a former player!  It works on the simplest level, and in the most in depth situations.  There is nothing better than watching a player or a team embrace this saying and really understand "who and what they are."

As a player:  What do you do well?  What are your weaknesses?  What are the things that you best bring to the table to help your team?  It is so important to be honest when you answer these questions.  As you read this you instantly see this applies in the workplace, and everyday life as well as on the basketball court.  If you are a great shooter, why would you always try to drive to the paint to try to score?  If you are a great people person, it does you no good to sit behind a computer all day and never communicate.  You need to really sit down and understand what your strengths are.  Now with that being said - it is still critically important to continue to work on weaknesses you may also identify.  YOU MUST however never allow the development of those weaknesses to interfere with the good of the team!

EXAMPLE:  Several years ago there was an all-american player who was well on her way to an amazing college career.  She was a starter and leader on her team and on of the most feared shooters in the country.  For whatever reason, she (or her coach) made the decision to try to turn her into a driver and a playmaker.  What happened was astonishing.  Her overall FG percentage dropped almost 14% and her 3-pt percentage dropped 10%.  Oh - and by the way her turnovers increased by 50% as well!

Now there is no telling if this was a conscious effort by the player to do more, or the coach - either way, it definitely had a negative effect on her team.

I get sentimental thinking about former players I have coached.  I really give them credit for understanding and embracing this mantra.  There is no way we could have experienced the success we have over the years, if players didn't understand this concept.  It also really makes team building that much easier since each player already has knowledge of who and what they are.

NOW COACHES - don't think you get off that easy.....before you can command a player to understand and embrace this concept, you must first take a long look in the mirror and determine what you are.  Sometimes it is tough to be impartial, so I suggest you ask some friends and people you trust in the business to give honest feedback on what you are known for.  So often a coach may think they are known as a great recruiter, or great skill development person, only to find that they are known for something completely different.  Find that which you are known for - and embrace it and help it blossom.  In your spare time, work on your shortcomings - it will only make you a better coach in the future.

And being a better coach will only open more doors for you - and when those doors open.... "Enjoy Your Shot!"

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