Player Prerequisites

What to Discover or Recall:

Being a true athlete is by no means an easy job. Training is exacting and the responsibility is heavy.

Setting goals not only allows you to take control of your game, it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding.

One of the biggest contributions that basketball can provide is the opportunity and motivation for an education.

Motivation is the single most important factor in learning and perfecting basketball skills.

Learning is best when it is fun!

Basketball records are a matter of great personal pride, however, you record as a person is the most important record of all.


| What it Takes | Atmosphere of Greatness | Education & Basketball | Dreams & Goals | Motivation & Learning | Training Demands |

5 Stars

What It Takes to be an Athlete

Being a true athlete is by no means an easy job. It includes many personal denials, but the rewards are great.

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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.

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.


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Atmosphere of Greatness"

The world of sport is determined by thought and goals not physicality.

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Excerpts from a speech given by the late Rev. Bob Richards - Former Olympic Decathlon Champion at at a L.S.U. Basketball Banquet. His astute observations still apply to the great athletes of today.

We are all inclined to accept the thesis that sport is all Physicality, and that athletes are all muscle and bone. However, I am going to prove a different hypothesis. That the world of sport is more determined by thought and goals than anything else. The world of sport is a world of emotion, it's a world of temper and most of all it's a world of ideas.

The French believe that every great man that has ever lived has had a fixed concept, Idee fixe, of what he wants to be. They believe that this fixed goal is the vital determinant of life. I have been in sports for twenty-five years and would like to give you three shocking summaries.

  1. Great athletes will tell you what they're going to do years before they do it.

  2. They predict to a 10th of a second the races that they are going to run or swim.

  3. In most cases it is thought to be impossible. It has not been done in the history of the world.

They have an "idee fixe", a mental process of what they're going to do in life. Billie Jean King, Peggy Fleming, Johnny Bench, Mark Spitz are all examples of great athletes that have predicted their success. I have watched this in athlete after athlete. They tell you what they're going to do long before they do it.

You become like the "Idee fixe" in your brain. You become like the thing you go for. That's why I say go out to be the greatest. In whatever profession you go into, go out to be the best in the world; because you will become like the thing you go after. The great ones go for the impossible. They go for world records.

You are what you think.

The capacity of a person is still unknown. Muscles are capable of 100 times more work than the built-in limiter, the brain, will permit. Every weight lifter will tell you that you must think you can lift the weight before the body can. It is most staggering to realize in this world of so-called "muscle and bone" the mind is the determining thing.

Psychologists studying great people in all walks of life in an attempt to find a common denominator for greatness, cannot agree on anything except a principle called "F.Q." or Failure Quotient. F.Q. is the ability to bounce back. The great ones can be beaten but they bounce back. They do not let an injury or a mistake beat them. You will not be great unless you have F.Q. along with an "Idee Fixe". You have to be beaten to be great.

Champions are not born.

They do not just spring up. If you study every great athlete in this country and in the world you will find that they come from an atmosphere of greatness. They go to a place where there is a coach who thinks great things can happen. They are surrounded by a loved one, sweetheart, friend or someone who says they can be the best in the world.

Study U.C.L.A. psychology of basketball. Hall of Fame Coach John Wooden expected greatness from his players. He expected them to perform to the peak of their efficiency. He expected greatness and the great ones went there - an atmosphere of greatness.

Expect a miracle and it will happen.

You are programmed for success. All of us are over endowed. We have capabilities that we haven't scratched the surface of yet. We have physical powers that we haven't even discovered. We are made to win; and it takes a lot of messing up and wrong thinking to keep you from triumphing in life. Learn from the great game of basketball that you can win in this great game called "living."

To Any Athlete

There are little eyes upon you,
   And they're watching night and day;
There are little ears that quickly
   Take in every word you say;
There are little hands all eager
   To do anything you do;
And a little boy who's dreaming
   Of the day he'll be like you.

You're the little fellow's idol,
   You're the wisest of the wise,
In his little mind about you,
   No suspicious ever rise;
He believes in you devoutly,
   Holds that all you say and do,
He will say and do, in your way
   When he's a grown up like you.

There's a wide eyed little fellow,
   Who believes you're always right,
And his ears are always open,
   And he watches day and night;
You are setting an example
   Every day in all you do,
For the little boy who's waiting
   To grow up and be like you.



5 Stars

Basketball & Education

One of the biggest contributions that basketball can provide you is the opportunity and motivation for an education.

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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.

Your recruiting chances of playing on a high level of basketball:

Recruiting Chances

Making the Grades. Percentage of schools that can recruit you according to your GPA.

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. Knowledge is power.

CAUTION: The game of basketball requires making good split second decisions. This takes a lot of intelligence. Therefore, basketball players must work extremely hard not to be successful in the classroom.


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Dreams and Goals

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”

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Success is not by chance or luck. Successful people have learned the value of setting specific goals and focusing their efforts toward achieving them. “Goals are the bridges that allow you to cross from DREAMS to REALITY.” A player “without goals is like a ship without a rudder.” Goals are what give direction to physical and mental training and improvement. They are the basis of self-motivation and the foundation of all achievements. However, goals must be personal. Something that players, personally, want and have a strong desire to pursue and achieve. It is because of this intense, personal desire to reach goals that will push them through adversity to success.

Accomplishing goals and making dreams come true is incredibly satisfying. However, it is the journey, not the destination, that is the most important and rewarding part of dreams. Players must never stop improving and making it a goal to get better each and every day in some small way. Daily improvements eventually add up to huge gains. They should always keep moving forward setting new goals and dreaming new dreams. Players may never reach their ultimate, long term dream. However, this is irrelevant. The important thing is that they will become like their dreams.

“It is not about the shoes” (1 Minute Video)

Have high ambitions, not expectations. High expectations can only lead to big disappointments. While, on the other hand, high ambitions never get disappointed and are the basis to all success. Players must stay ambitious, making every day the best it can be. One day at a time. The best and most productive place to be is in the present. Too much time thinking about the past causes regret. Too much thinking about the future causes worry.

Seven Steps to Successful Goal Setting

"If you don't know where you're going, you won't know how to get there."

To accomplish your goals you first need to know how to set them. You can't simply say, "I want to" and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it.  Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your game, it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding.

#1: Set Goals that Motivate You

Motivation is the key factor to achieving goals. When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you. This means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome or if they are irrelevant, the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim to none.

#2: Set Relevant Goals

Goal achievement requires commitment, so to maximize the likelihood of success, you need to feel a sense of urgency and have an "I must do this" attitude. In keeping goals meaningful, you will develop the necessary focus you need to get ahead and do what you want. Without this type of focus, you will end up with inconsistent and fragment goals that will only “dribble away” or squander your time and efforts.

#3: Set Attainable Goals

Make sure that it's possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence. However, resist the urge to set goals that are too easy. Accomplishing a goal that you didn't have to work hard for can be anticlimactic. However, by setting realistic and challenging goals, you hit the balance you need. These are the types of goals that require you to "raise the bar" and they bring the greatest personal satisfaction.

#4: Set Specific and Measurable Goals

Your goals must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don't provide sufficient direction. Your goals need to show you the way. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.

Be sure to set goals that you have control over. Goals such as making all-league, all-state, or all-American you have no control over. Include precise totals, percentages, quantities, etc. in your goal setting so you can measure your degree of success. If your goal is set without a way to measure your success, you will miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved your goal.

#5: Set Time-Limited Goals

Your goals must have deadlines or time frames. Again, this means that you know when you can celebrate success. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker. Group your goals into immediate, short term and long term.

Immediate goals: Specific goals aimed at a specific event or competition occurring today or within a week.

Short term or intermediate goals: May be specific or less defined that require several steps to achieve. Time frame is usually within six months or a season.

Long term goals are your “Dream” or career goals that you wish to achieve. Usually takes years or a lifetime to accomplish.

#6: Set Goals in Writing

Goals are the foundation of your motivation, achievements, and success. Therefore, goal setting is much more than simply saying or thinking what you want to happen. Unless you clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place, your odds of success are considerably reduced.

The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might". Create a goal “To Do” list. Post your goals in visible places to remind yourself every day of what it is you intend to do and accomplish.

#7: Create a Plan of Action and Stick With it.

This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you'll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big, demanding, or long-term.

Remember, goal setting is a constant, ongoing activity not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. As time goes by, your intermediate and long term goals will evolve into short term or immediate goals. Some goals will be achieved, while others will be modified or replaced. The important thing is that you will always have direction.

Caution: Setting goals, like potential energy, is useless until action is taken to implement and achieve them.


5 Stars

Motivation & Learning

Motivation is the single most important factor in learning and perfecting basketball skills.

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Motivation can be either self-curiosity or desire to know (intrinsic) or a definite need to know (extrinsic). In basketball, self or intrinsic motivation is the most effective and long lasting. Motivation is definitely enhanced when:

  • the player possesses a contagious excitement and commitment for the game.

  • the teaching environment includes adequate facilities, and equipment that are conducive to learning.

  • the coaching staff encourages and fosters the desire to want to learn and achieve on the part of the players.

  • the players are surrounded by good people, and poor behavior and distractions are not ignored or tolerated.

  • every player on the team is given definite roles and responsibilities that are incorporated into a total team effort.

"If you treat a man as he would be and could be, he'll become what he could be and would be; if you treat him as if he is, he'll remain as he is". -- Goethe

Learning is best when . . .

... it is appropriate to the emotional and physical maturity level of the players.

... the physical and social environments are conducive for learning.

... the coaching staff is enthusiastic, well versed and knowledgeable.

... it involves strong support and encouragement (under-achievers will excel on occasions, while the talented are consistent).

... it includes activities using as many senses as possible. Learners remember 10% of what is read, 20% of what is heard (75% is forgotten after 2 days), 30% of what is seen (majority of learning), and 50% of what is heard and seen.

... it is sequential and logical, progressing from concrete to more abstract concepts (one on one skills before five on five skills).

... it involves activities that are appropriate to the specific situation. The best way to learn basketball is to practice BASKETBALL.

... it involves constant repetition and practice using correct techniques.

... it is purposeful and fully understood by the learner (boxing out on rebounds).

... it is the result in functional understanding. Players must gain a working knowledge of the game (what, when and why should be very clear and specific).

... it encompasses the teaching of cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor, and attitudinal (confidence) skills to develop the complete player. Attitude skills are the toughest to achieve.

... it is FUN.


5 Stars

Training Demands & Expectations

Basketball training is exacting and the responsibility is heavy.

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To be successful, each player as well as the team collectively, must be possessed with the desire and determination to develop superior physical condition. Throughout the course of the season the team will be pushed and trained hard. However, it is going to be up to each individual player to see that your maximum physical condition is achieved and maintained.

Conditioning and training programs are designed to meet the following objectives:

  1. To prepare you to be in better condition than any team you will play.

  2. To allow you to sustain with ease and efficiency the pace required in game competition. Basketball players in an average game run approximately 3-3/4 miles at an average speed of 10 m.p.h. This is the toughest assignment in team sports.

  3. To build a reserve for the extra efforts and overtime games.

  4. To increase your individual performance. (Quickness, jumping, strength, and timing.)

  5. To raise your the level of individual abilities and coordination. (You become sharper in fundamental skills of the game as the conditioning level increases.)

  6. To help you eliminate fatigue and cut down on injuries.

  7. To increase your proficiency in team play. (Conditioning allows a team to play harder and faster for longer periods of time.)

CAUTION: Because of the importance of physical condition and team morals to a successful season, willful violations of the training code cannot be tolerated or ignored. It is going to be up to "team pressure" to see that the code is adhered to and followed. Your coaches are not policemen or detectives.

Any player who breaks training not only betrays themselves, their teammates, their coaches, their followers, and everything basketball stands for, they are also cheating their Maker that gave them the ability to be a success. If any player shows disloyalty to all these and does not feel guilty, they do not belong in the basketball world, let alone on your team.

Training Demands

  1. You must get at least 8 regular hours of sleep each night. Proper rest is just as important to physical conditioning as exercise and diet. Training hours should be 11:00 p.m. on weekdays and 1:00 a.m. on the weekends. The night before a game the hours should be 10:30 p.m. You will be expected to be home by these hours and in bed shortly after.

  2. Eat three balanced meals. Substitute fruit and fruit juices for desserts and snacks.

  3. The use of alcoholic beverages and drug abuse cannot and will not be tolerated in any degree or form. Violation of this rule should result in the immediate dismissal from the team.

    Caution: You only have a few short years to play competitive basketball, so don't waste them. After your basketball career is over, if desired, you will still have 50 years to party and "Hoot with the owls.".

  4. No smoking. Research has proven that smoking has a detrimental effect on the circulatory and respiratory systems, and thus athletic performance. Any player who smokes is untrue to himself, his teammates, and his coaches.

  5. Be on time whenever time is involved. In the case of absence, notify a coach beforehand. If you are late to practice report before dressing.

  6. Work to prepare yourself for the best. Anytime you go onto the court you are expected to give nothing less than your best effort.

  7. Absolutely no profanity or obscenity should be used on the court or in the locker room. An educated people can clearly express themselves without resorting to profanity.

  8. Refrain from alibiing, griping, and criticizing others. These may lead to the lowering of morale which can only hurt the team. Some disagreements are to be expected; therefore if you disagree strongly with something or someone, air your views with the coaches, but be open minded and also respect their views.

  9. Report all injuries and illness to the coach.


"Basketball records are a matter of great personal pride,
however, you record as a person is the most important record of all"