Basketball on the Edge – 7 Habits Keeping You From Being A Successful Student-Athlete

Head.Start.BK_0911.  Successful student-athletes do not stay in their comfort zone.

You must be willing to push yourself beyond what you are currently capable of as a basketball player and a student.  The average player or student thinks they’re good enough already.  The great player is always looking for a new way to challenge themselves by adding a component to their game.  Seek out the best competition.  Take a class that covers a topic you don’t know well.  Get comfortable being uncomfortable and just watch the opportunities that will come your way.

2.  Successful student-athletes don’t procrastinate.

It is so easy to say, “I’ll start tomorrow.”  You’ll practice harder…tomorrow.  You’ll take your schoolwork more seriously…tomorrow.  You’ll be a better son or daughter…tomorrow.  You’ll be a better teammate…tomorrow.  Guess what?  Tomorrow never comes and you never make those changes or get things done.  Whatever changes you want to make whether on or off the court, make those changes…TODAY!  The best time to start a new habit is now!

3.  Successful student-athletes don’t avoid feedback.

Great basketball players want to be coached.  They have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.  Great players do not fear criticism.  Feedback from a coach or teammate helps them to learn and understand the game on a deeper level.  Average players fear criticism and tend to run from situations where it could be directed at them.  Great coaches and teachers challenge their players and students to be the best they can be by critiquing their performance – both good and bad.  Feedback is essential for growth both on and off the court.

4.  Successful student-athletes don’t think negatively.

Long-term success in life both on and off the court is only possible when you have a positive mental outlook.  Successful student-athletes believe they can achieve their goals.  They don’t let obstacles stop them from pursuing their dreams.  Many people simply don’t believe they can be successful and therefore they never even try.

5.  Successful student-athletes don’t watch too much TV.

Successful student-athletes would rather be stretching their mind or body rather than sitting in front of the tv. They replace TV time with practicing, studying, reading, training, or some other form of self-education.

Making productive use of time is a habit of successful student athletes. Wasting time is a habit of those who are not focused on success.  When I was a young coach and had more free time before becoming a parent, I used to watch much more tv than I do now.  I look back and wish I would have spent that time more effectively. Successful student-athletes know that too much tv steals time they could be using to learn and grow as a person or a player.

6.  Successful student–athletes don’t eat a diet that is unhealthy.

Poor health habits create poorly conditioned athletes.  The average player consumes too many junk food calories each day and eats fast food several times per week.  Great players value their body and what it can do for them on and off the court.

7.  Successful student-athletes don’t hang out with the wrong type of people.

Make it a habit to spend time with other people who are focused on success.  Don’t  just think of your teammates or other basketball players, think of your entire sphere of friends.  Limit your contact with people who have a negative outlook or don’t have a growth mindset.  Make a conscious decision to be around people that want the best for themselves and for you.  Who you hang out with matters.

Begin to eliminate these habits from your life starting today. I truly believe you can change your path as a student-athlete by creating good habits when you are young.  Your habits largely determine how successful you will be in your chosen sport or profession.  There’s no guarantee that eliminating these habits will get you to the NBA or into an Ivy League School, but keeping them will make those dreams impossible.  Championship people have championship habits!

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