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.
Have you ever been or experienced that parent at your son or daughter’s basketball game asking the referee if they need new glasses? Or in the middle of the game, calling your child’s name so you can personally coach them from the sidelines? I’m sure all of you can relate to those examples above and maybe sometimes you were that parent!
I could say that throughout my athletic career, my parents definitely had their moments (even a couple ejections from the crowd, but we won’t talk about those ones); however, my parents were always my number one fans. As a young athlete, looking out into the crowd, I was always so happy to see them there cheering me on. Although there were those long ride homes critiquing and/or praising my performance for that game, I would still say that without my parents, my sporting career would not have been as rewarding.
Passing, in any team-related sport, is a fundamental, yet very important skill to develop for young athletes. In basketball, being able to pass and catch the ball will lead to open players, which also opens to door to scoring easy lay-ups or uncontested three-point shots. An advantage of quick and accurate passes involves keeping the defense on their feet and making it harder for them to know where the ball is moving next.
Think about it. When you were playing sports or in the classroom, did you ever have a coach or teacher that made learning so fun you did not want to leave? Or when you were not having the best day, was that person able to cheer you up and get you back on your feet, performing your best? Or did you have that one coach or teacher that pushed you to be the best you could be, while still being supportive and understanding? I know I did.
The coach-athlete relationship is said to be one of the most important bonds when playing sports and could significantly boost an athlete’s performance levels and self-confidence. On the other hand, a negative coaching experience can significantly turn athlete’s away from playing a sport they may love.
Receiving feedback is crucial in every aspect of life. Whether you are just starting a new job or working on that mid-range jump-shot, you are building skill-sets that will allow you to improve and achieve your goals.