Mid-season

Razzle & Dazzle

When I was a kid my best friend and I would play basketball for hours on a lowered rim and commentate on our greatness as we threw each other ally-oops and performed amazing feats never before seen on the hardwood. Our names: Razzle and Dazzle. The result was something like this: “Razzle brings the ball up the court with just seconds left in this barn-burner of a game. He and Dazzle have really put on a show here tonight, but they will need one more bucket for the win. 5 seconds left…Razzle crosses over to his right as Dazzle comes up for the handoff. 4 seconds…Dazzle dribbles to the left wing. Razzle flashes on the baseline. 3 seconds left…Dazzle throws the lob. Razzle goes up in traffic, and tips it off the backboard. 2 seconds…Oh My! Dazzle is crashing down the lane! 1 second…He snatches the ball out of the air and throws down a monstrous JAM as the buzzer sounds! Razzle & Dazzle have done it again!! Razzle Dazzle baby!! Etc. etc. We would do this for hours and hours, as many days a week as our parents would let us. Needless to say, our attitude and effort were always at a maximum level.

Attitude & Effort are critical to success. They are the only things your athletes have control over each and every day. Typically we focus more on effort than attitude because it is easier to measure or assess effort. However, our best effort does not always lead to the outcomes or results we desire. So what does this do to your attitude? When you give your best effort as a coach, but it does not result in the outcome you are looking for, what happens to your attitude? If you’re not sure, take a look at your athletes - their attitude is probably a mirror image of your own attitude response. 

The game of basketball is FUN. That’s why we say we PLAY basketball. Often times we bring language from other places into basketball, like, “Let’s go to work.” But the reality remains that basketball is a game, and an incredibly fun one at that! At points in the season it is often easy to forget that this is supposed to be fun. Conference games are in full swing. Practices can seem to drag on. The travel is wearing on you. Altogether it can be exhausting. This is where Attitude changes everything. Razzle & Dazzle never got tired of running the same plays. Think back to why you love the game of basketball. Why is it fun for you? Whatever that answer is, infuse it into your practices and games. Set the tone with your attitude and enjoy the privilege that it is to be part of a team in the midst of basketball season! Make it fun. Your drills, conditioning, performance, and effort will improve as a result. Attitude reflects leadership. You are leading. Lead with an attitude that makes your team want to Razzle & Dazzle.

Consistency

Trust is built with Consistency.

One of the greatest challenges we face in life is to continually give our best effort regardless of circumstances. Sports provide us a great microcosm of that; and an opportunity to safely test our limits. To consistently give our best effort and pursue excellence is what separates us from “the pack”. 

Shortcutting and settling creep in when we start to get comfortable with a routine and lose interest and/or focus on improving. For athletes this is often a reflection of what the coach is doing. Are you still putting forth the effort and energy to plan and run the best practice you possibly can, or have you started settling for recycling from previous practices? Your consistency in giving your best effort as a coach is directly reflected in the attitude and effort your athletes enter practice with each day. If you have started to settle and lose consistency, go back to your original plan you made for this season and realign today’s practice with your overall goals…which means you should be doing something new and different to keep up with the progress your team is making.

As you maintain consistency in a world that lacks it greatly, your athletes will recognize you as a person worthy of trust. Trust is the foundation all of your coaching is built on. Be trustworthy, show your athletes what it looks like to be consistent, and they will start to follow suit.