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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Basketball: The Best Teaching Applies Every Day

Basketball principles inform a broader experience. 

"Thanks is the cheapest form of compensation." - Up the Organization, by Robert Townsend

It costs nothing to appreciate others through kindness and thanks. Everyone likes an attaboy now and then. Pat Riley says, "catch people in the act of doing something right." Harvard researcher Shawn Achor includes three gratitude items before bedtime in his happiness plan. USA Basketball includes thanking the passer in Cutthroat.

"Basketball is sharing." - Phil Jackson

Share the ball, share the work, share the sacrifices. The Navy SEALs have an expression, "Two are one and one is none." An old proverb says, "we can go faster alone but farther together." 

Help your teammates to help yourself. Help by communicating. Help by energizing the workplace. Help by doing the little things. "The screener is the second cutter." Screen and seal to get your opportunity. Do well by doing good. 

"There are no meaningless minutes". The quality of our work informs its meaning. 

Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." 
Good leadership requires good followers. Leaders make leaders. David Cottrell writes, "people don't quit jobs; they quit people." Good coaches impart savoir faire and extract the best from their disciples. They change know that into know how. Leaders provide depth through granular experience. 

"The game honors toughness."

Toughness subsumes the physical and mental. Tough players finish plays and finish games. Jay Bilas' book Toughness discusses the many ways to be tough, including undergoing medical treatment. You don't have to be a jerk to be tough. Being jerks says more about us than our players. Reject false toughness, fake bravado. Don't confuse hard with tough. "The life expectancy of a second lieutenant... during the second World War was something like seventeen days." - Ken Burns

"The magic is in the work." Get after it. 

Don't cheat the drill. "Unless you get out there and try to do it, you'll never know. That's just the truth." - A Star Is Born

Our best lessons resonate all day every day. 

Lagniappe (courtesy of Coach Liam Flynn): 

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