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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Basketball Vocabulary

What words do we want players to embrace? We have the opportunity and privilege to change how they think, how they prepare, what they believe, and why they play. 

Sharing. There's a story about a selfish player whose coach pulled him off the floor to inbound the basketball. The coach then removed the other players from practice and told the player, "now play". Phil Jackson has a timeless quote, "basketball is sharing". 

Craft. Work your craft, as in do whatever it takes to become a complete player, a better teammate. "The magic is in the work." 

Sacrifice. Great players give something from themselves - time, minutes, shots, , press, money - for the good of the team. Bill Russell noted, "My ego depends on the success of my team." 

Accountability. Hold yourself to a high standard and 'drag along' less engaged teammates to that highest 10 percent. 

Attitude. Be punctual, positive, prepared, and persistent. 

Detail. Great projects succeed or fail according to the smallest details. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred because of seal failures due to inadequate testing. Many industries like construction, aviation, medicine, investment, and restaurants have checklists to be sure details are implemented. We have "readback" because about 1 in 8 instructions isn't correctly heard.  

Discipline. "Discipline equals freedom." We have the luxury to do what we want because we devote time and energy to do what we don't always want. 

Servant Leadership. Serve your teammates. Lead by both communication and action on and off the court. Great players lead through service to their teammates. 

Innovation. Bill Russell also said, "imagination leads to innovation leading to differentiation." You separate yourself from others by creating a better version of yourself. 

Humility. We can always give more, do more, become more. People respect confidence and reject arrogance. Don Meyer gave players handouts demanding Passion, Unity, Servant Leadership, Thankfulness, and Humility. Great aviation disasters occurred because pilots refused to take input from subordinates. Steve Kerr took input from his video coordinator in 2015 to go small with Andre Iguodala replacing Andrew Bogut during the Warriors' championship run.

Players make a difference who are determined to make a difference every day. 

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