Enthusiasm. What does that word mean to you? As a parent? As a coach? As a player? To me, enthusiasm means bringing energy and excitement to everything that I do. My drive and determination will impact those around me and inspire them to rise up to the challenges placed in front of them.
Enthusiasm is the secret ingredient that allows us to enjoy the hard work and stick it out when we may want to give up. I’ve written previously about the myth of effortless success. To quote John Wooden, “Success travels in the company of very hard work. There is no trick, no easy way.” I’ve written about the importance of grit and being able to push through the tough times. Without enthusiasm, the pursuit of our goals in the game of basketball becomes a joyless slog to nowhere.
If you think about times in your life when you were at your best you are probably thinking about situations when you brought tremendous enthusiasm to the table. When we have enthusiasm for the task at hand we are more likely to give our best effort. A lack of enthusiasm can result in less enjoyment of the process and most likely a less successful outcome. I have played on teams where the players bought in and played with tremendous enthusiasm. Conversely, on other teams when enthusiasm was lacking, team success was much harder to attain.
Coaches who inspire their players to greatness are those that bring a genuine enthusiasm to practice every day. Their attitude and spirit sets the tone for everything their team does. Enthusiasm during games is a given. Players can sense when a coach is going through the motions, lowering their morale. Developing relationships with players requires a passion for getting to know the person behind the player. Be a coach who leads with hard work, grit, and enthusiasm.
Players with enthusiasm are invaluable to coaches and teams. Your enthusiasm will be contagious. Teammates will raise their energy level to meet yours. Players with little or no passion for practice, for teammates, or for games are team killers. It is easy for one or two grumbling team members to drag everyone else down and destroy team spirit. An enthusiastic team plays harder and plays for each other.
I hope that when people meet me for the first time they are able to sense my enthusiasm for what I do. That might be coaching a youth team. That might be working with a player individually to develop their skill set. That might be directing a week of summer camp. That might be putting together a business deal. Whatever it is I believe that my enthusiasm will come through and inspire those around me to greater heights.
Whether you are a player, a coach , or a basketball parent make a commitment to bring a passion to everything you do. Inspire others to greatness by letting them see and feel your enthusiasm.
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