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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Basketball: Earning Respect as a Team

I've discussed the importance of being a worthy opponent. Situations arise where we may not be a worthy opponent but still earn my respect. 

Sean McDermott challenged his Buffalo Bills, "That’s what it gets back to in terms of earning the right to win. How we meet, how we talk, how we work out, how we practice when we do practice, how we play – that’s the standard we’re trying to get to every day.”

Practice well - committed, engaged, team-focused, technique-focused. Your coaches teach you in the techniques designed to allow you to succeed individually and as a group. 

Be coachable. Execute the techniques and tactics taught to the best of your ability. You need more know that and a lot more know how

Respect players who manifest the Jay Bilas Toughness values. BlogbyBake writes, "Toughness Has No Relationship to How Nice a Person is": Bilas talks about how his parents are among the toughest people he knows, but he also makes it clear how nice, polite and smart they are. Many of us think that you have to be a jerk to be tough. We assume bullies are tough, but they aren’t. You can be nice and tough at the same time."

When we lack the talent to compete with another team, we still earn respect when we compete professionally - with poise and persistence. Have a pro work ethic at any age. 

Show positive body language. Run on and off the court, acknowledge positive plays by teammates, hand the ball to the officials. 

Prepare in every area, including your gym bag. Do you have your sneakers, any medications (inhalers, contact lens solution), extra socks, hair ties, extra shoelaces, water/sport drink (not stimulant drinks), personal care products? 

Watch and listen at all times. Players on the court and bench should know the score and situation, what we and our opponents are doing (e.g. man or zone defense, pressure, transition, etc.), how the officials are calling the game, and whether anyone on either team has foul trouble. If coaches are instructing, everyone should listen. 

Be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. How we treat teammates, opponents, and officials says nothing about them and everything about us. 

Leave a mark. After a World Cup defeat, the Japanese soccer team left the locker room spotless and a note saying thank you. The New Zealand "All-Blacks" rugby team advises, "sweep the sheds." 

Earn respect every day. 

Lagniappe: Triple double threat. Sabrina Ionescu

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