A skill that separates an exceptional athlete from the rest is the degree to which that individual believes in themselves and trusts that they can be successful in the sport. Confidence is defined as how strongly an individual believes that he/she can achieve the desired goals. This skill is applied at all levels within sport and is developed over time. The way that Tom Brady is able to make that winning touchdown pass or LeBron James making that defensive stop in clutch moments all stems from this confidence and the belief that they can perform these tasks on a regular basis.
When I played basketball in high school, my coach always used to say, “we ( the team) are only as good as the weakest player on the team.” Meaning that in order to have success on the team, we must use each individual’s strengths and work together to accommodate the weaknesses. That high school coach preached the importance of teamwork, whether during practice, games or off-site events in order to understand each person to the greatest extent as an athlete and an individual off-the-court. Basketball is a great sport that helped me develop skills, such as teamwork, that was applicable to other areas in my life.
With a new team or camp or any other development program, there is inevitably a period where everyone in the gym gets comfortable with each other. Kids warm up to teammates. Coaches warm up to assistants. Kids warm up to coaches, and coaches warm up to kids.
But as players get more comfortable on the court, coaches want to think about how to push kids out of their comfort zone. We understand the difficulties of youth coaching, because we believe there is more to coaching than teaching skills and running drills.