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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Basketball: Bird's Eye View, New Year's Message for Players

“Cold air rises from the ground as the sun goes down. The eye-burning clarity of the light intensifies. The southern rim of the sky glows to a deeper blue, to pale violet, to purple, then thins to grey.  Slowly the wind falls, and the still air begins to freeze. The solid eastern ridge is black; it has a bloom on it like the dust on the skin of a grape. The west flares briefly. The long, cold amber of the afterglow casts clear black lunar shadows.  There is an animal mystery in the light that sets upon the fields like a frozen muscle that will flex and wake at sunrise.” 
― J.A. Baker, The Peregrine

Have you ever studied the face of a penny? Can you name half a dozen features of just the front? We don't study the detail of many everyday items.

Who is on the coin?
What direction does he face? Is this important? 
What sets of words are on the front?
What is the coin made of? 
Are there numbers on the coin? 

We "look" but don't see the "eye-burning" details. Teammates, opponents, coaches, friends, and fans see you. What do you want them to find? 

What is the model of your ideal player? Have you crafted that vision, skill, athleticism, resilience, relentlessness? What is your edge

How does your model translate to the battleground? Does your intended style and substance fulfill the coach's vision of your role? When you view your identity and performance differently than the coach, what could go wrong? If she sees you as a screener, rebounder, and defender and you see yourself as a scorer, trouble is nearby. 

Coaches don't see everything. We see who pays attention, who knows their assignment, who pressures the ball, who rebounds. We see who gets the 50-50 balls, who wins sprints, who battles. 

We see who exposes the ball, who crosses over on their shoe tops, who sprints into a screen, who moves to open spots, who wants the ball. 

How do you excel? Don't rely on luck; count on persistence. Own your power. Basketball isn't as important as your families or schoolwork. But if you want success on the court or the field, you pay the price. 

Imagine the player of your dreams; become her. 

Lagniappe 1: via @Radius Athletics

Offensively, space, space, space. Defensively, disrupt spacing and timing.

Lagniappe 2: Think at a granular level. 

Lincoln faces forward toward the future. 

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