In Books by Brock Bourgase

As they pass through adolescence, most players develop physical performance factors and improve their sport-specific skills. Far few elect to enhance their mental abilities, placing a ceiling on their performance — at school and on the basketball court. Arriving at a practice, training session, or class with the appropriate mindset removes this cap.

Players must want to come to the gym. Forcing anyone to do something will not achieve the desired results. An athlete who doesn’t want to train is like a student who is constantly late, they are not motivated to improve. Throughout the year, it is not incumbent upon the coach or teacher to continuously supply extrinsic motivation but employ all available resources to light the fire within.

What is the point of improvement? Individuals have such great potential: to be talented basketball players, thoughtful students, and considerate people. Although everyone is capable of great performance, only those with the correct mindset will take advantage of their skills and abilities. Certainly, it is difficult to reach those goals but everyone should feel some sort of self-satisfaction in trying.

Coaches need to raise the bar in order to challenge their team. Setting low standards and congratulating mediocrity will not achieve this payoff. Setting high standards and congratulating genuine effort will. It is okay to try and fail but should never be never acceptable to mail it in.

Intrinsic motivation requires student-athletes to understand what they are doing and why it’s important. They must know they can do what is asked of them but it will not be easy. If improvement was simple, it would not be a worthwhile pursuit.

Practice (or class) shouldn’t be comprised of useless exercises but dynamic activities that require multiple skills. Cover the basics and load the drill in order to test more advanced skills, hopefully inspiring everyone to push their limits and keep going. Supervise dedicated repetitions and provide objective feedback to encourage the student-athlete to be honest with themselves while working independently.

Some athletes may hope for a light workout and a few students may believe the next grade level will be the same as the last but those individuals will not reach greater success. Nobody has reached the top and stayed there with that mindset. Even those who appear gifted with talent work extremely hard to develop themselves. Success is a choice and those who make that commitment will receive a significant payoff.

The real winners not only take responsibility for their actions but push others to do better. They don’t turn a blind eye or look for a way out. They work, they develop, and they improve.