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What It Takes to Be an Athlete

What It Takes

Are you coachable?

Do you have a burning desire to learn? Can you take constructive criticism or are you a "know it all"? Will you always do your level best to improve? Do you want to improve?

Are you competitive?

Are you possessed with the spirit of competition which fires an intense desire to achieve? Do you want to win, never taking "no" for an answer when there is a job to be done, a rebound to be grabbed, a shot to be stopped, or a basket to be made? Does it bother you to give less than your best effort?

Are you willing to practice?

Not just reporting and putting in the necessary time, but working every day with the same speed and determination you use during a game? Great athletes give their best effort at all times. Too often the lessons that could be learned from the performance of a truly great athlete are overlooked. Too much attention to final records ignores the means by which these records were achieved. Too little is written or told of the years of grueling practice, of the tremendous will to succeed, or of the diligent concentration of fundamentals that lead to excellence.

Are you willing to make sacrifices?

Are you willing to train or are you wasting your time in athletics? Superior conditioning does not just happen nor is acquired quickly. It is a result of a well planned and executed program of exercise, rest and diet. Training is exacting and the responsibility is heavy. It includes personal denials but the rewards are great. The best way to remain in great shape is never to get out of it. "A second rate person can never make a first-class ball player." It is going to be up to you to see that your maximum physical condition is achieved and maintained. Anything less is a violation of trust.

Can you play through adversity?

Do you have the ability to bounce back? Never let bad plays or calls ruin your game? No matter how many times you get knock down, the only time that matters is the time you do not get back up. When you give it your best effort you may run out of time on the clock, but you will never lose a game.

Do you have self control?

As an athlete you must realize that you are in the public spotlight at all times. Your conduct, what you say and do, makes news. This imposes a great need for self control. It is a cinch to find someone to lead you down the wrong path in life. It takes determination to resist the temptations that exist. Just as one works for years to become a top athlete, one should work to develop an image of a person, a pattern of conduct, and standards by which one is known and respected. Do not risk destroying a whole career because of an off the court mistake.

Learn More  To Any Athlete Poem

Do you prepare every day to meet the best?

Do you have an ardent desire to improve? Are you willing to practice the things you cannot do more than the things you can do well? Are you willing to put in extra time necessary to perfect a skill or fundamental? Too many players spend their time doing what they already do well, and therefore, never improve.

Learn More  Criteria for a Perfect Player

Learn More  Atmosphere of Greatness




One of the biggest contributions that basketball can provide you is the opportunity and motivation for an education. All too often athletes do not take advantage of this educational opportunity; and, therefore, they do not only waste an invaluable opportunity, they also waste their time. Do not be satisfied by merely meeting the eligibility requirements. Work for a high grade point average and a degree.

Are you willing study?

Basketball was never meant to take the place of studies and the desire to learn. You are in school for an education. Keep that foremost in your thoughts, and place basketball second. Earn the respect of your teachers as well as your coach. If you can't "pass" you can't play. That is true "on" and "off" the court.

Study Demands:

  1. Emphasis should be on quest and attainment of knowledge, not grades and credits.
  2. Never miss or be late for any class or appointment.
  3. Have regular study hours and keep them.
  4. Get your work in on time and do not fall behind.
  5. If you need extra help in your studies, let your coach know. Most instructors are willing and happy to help, but you must make the first contact.
  6. Take advantage of all the available educational resources (library services, computer labs, reading labs, counseling center, etc.)
  7. When you are to miss school because of basketball, please contact the instructors of the classes you will miss beforehand, and tell them that you will be absent, and request assignments for those dates.
  8. Do not expect favors or special treatment. Do your part.