Basketball on the Edge – Humility

“Discipline and diligence are up there on the list, but one of the most important qualities of many really successful people is humility. If you have a degree of humility about you, you have the ability to take advice, to be coachable, teachable. A humble person never stops learning.”      – Todd Blackledge

Beyond the quote: The ability to be humble allows you the strength to grow and develop into a class with so few. Many people self-claim to be different but it’s those who do things without saying a word that get my nod. There’s nothing wrong with being a self-promoter but it’s the words or actions you chose and how you display them that can make all the difference. Those who have the ability to handle humility get attention two ways- love and support by many…..or the jealous reaction of those who can only wish.

Youth basketball today often recognizes the self-promoting organizations, teams, coaches, players, and parents.  The win at all costs mentality encourages everyone to be more brash and tell the world how great they are.  Local and national “scouts” are ranking players in elementary school!  Have these “scouts” seen every 5th grader in the country to know who is the best?  Organizations and coaches boast about their rankings and tournament victories, not about how they are developing kids into better people as well as better players. 

No matter how successful you are it pays to stay humble.  When you think you have made it as a player, coach or parent, chances are someone else is about to pass you up.  When you stay humble, you are always striving to be better because you know there is no moment of arrival.  You are constantly working to learn more and be better than you are today.

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. – John Wooden

Advice for staying humble.

Players – Even the best players in the NBA have coaches and personal trainers that help them learn and grow as players.  Great players will listen to anyone that can help them get better.  Don’t tell me how good you are, show me with your play and your coachability.

Coaches – Always work at your craft and learn from other coaches.  Don’t act like you invented the game and your strategies are the only ones that work.  When you win, give players the credit.  When you lose, take the responsibility.

Parents – Don’t tell everyone how great your kid is.  No one wants to hear it, even if it’s true.  Be proud of your young player regardless of the outcomes on the court.  Search out coaches and organizations that are interested in developing kids into good player AND good people.  Just because your kid is on the 2nd ranked team in your state doesn’t mean they are learning, getting better or having fun.  Be proud, be supportive, and be humble.

Don’t go into a game believing you are better than your opponent, you must show them first.

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