This article was written by Chris Kreider who is an assistant men's basketball coach at George Mason University. He has also coached at Georgia Southern University and the University of Great Falls in Montana. Coach Kreider is a key member of the Patriots coaching staff and has shown a lot of promise as an up and coming college basketball coach.
The Importance of Great Habits
When it comes to having success (both on and off the court), I believe that the number one determining factor in this process is our habits. Due to the fact that in basketball there is always a winner and a loser, let’s all agree that our habits will always fall into either one of two categories: good habits or bad habits. There are no exceptions!
If we are honest in our assessment of winners, they are usually characterized by good habits while the opposite is also true. As we begin to examine and evaluate our habits, acknowledging this is very important because there is not one thing that we do (both individually and as a team) that does not have a direct influence and correlation on winning and losing. Due to the fact that we all want to win, we should all have a heightened awareness of our habits!
The Daily Commitment
Now that we are on the same page, let’s proceed. In my years of coaching basketball, I have yet to meet a player that does not want to win and get better and it seems most even have greater aspirations of playing basketball professionally. The common struggle at any level is to prepare and work everyday, with the understanding that each and every thing we do will have a direct effect on the results and outcomes in this game.
The tendency is to think that a game or championship is won or lost, or a scholarship or contract is gained or missed out on directly as a result of one specific moment in time. I am not saying that performance in the moment is not required. However, what I am saying is that what happens in the moment of truth when the result is of utmost importance all comes back to the daily habits we have chosen to embrace.
If we are chasing success in this game and in life and wish to accomplish the goals we have set, here are a few general thoughts and observations when it comes to our habits.
10 Habits of Success
- Get better every day! Work hard. Study hard. Play hard. Do not look around at others, but instead hold yourself to a higher standard when it comes to your work ethic.
- Come up with a personal daily routine! Take it seriously. Stick to it no matter what. Embrace the “Theory of Two”: Two minutes to show a skill. Two weeks to get comfortable with it. Two months working at it every single day to execute it.
- When you start something, take pride in finishing it: an assignment, a workout, a drill, etc.
- Be early. Stay late. Get the job done.
- Talk. Communicate at all times. Quiet teams are selfish teams.
- Be a great teammate. Be selfless. Consume yourself with serving others.
- Know, embrace and take pride in your role.
- Always say thank you.
- If you do not know something, never hesitate to ask.
- Take care of your mind, body and soul at all times.
Taking Advantage of the Off Season
The best thing about the summer and the off-season in general is that we are allotted more time to focus on our individual habits. Take a minute to evaluate what you do on a daily basis as it relates to your personal goals and aspirations. Keep in mind that participation and just “showing up” guarantees absolutely nothing.
For example, if you say you want to become a better shooter, but haven’t developed a daily plan on how to get there and aren't consistently in the gym doing basketball shooting drills and getting hundreds of reps every day on your own or with a teammate or coach, guess what, it’s mostly likely not going to happen for you.
On the other hand, if you dedicate yourself to getting up a 1,000 shots (of all types) a day at a game-like pace while charting makes and misses, I think it would be safe to say that you will most likely see improvement in your shooting percentages next season. Take this simple example and apply it to other scenarios just like it and the end result will be the same.
When it comes to success there is no secret formula, no magic pill, or any special step-by-step program. What it boils down to is this: our habits will determine whether or not we even have a chance to win that game or get that scholarship or contract. By doing the right things and taking positive steps towards improvement every day, we give ourselves a chance for our dreams to come true. After all, we are only as good as our habits!