August 27, 2004, Newsletter Issue #177: WHY DO WE PLAY BASKETBALL?

Tip of the Week

After those solo shooting sessions on the little basket go get a shooting partner. It might be dad, mom, a relative, or a friend. Take turns shooting, play shooting games and eventually play some 1 on 1 basketball. Maybe get more players join and it becomes 2 on 2, 3 on 3, or more. There is almost always is some competitive aspect, but the result is rarely "life or death". The players that become great are the ones that, inside, feel that it is, but keep their emotions in check and are able to use that feeling as a motivation to continue to play and improve.

The important thing is to enjoy the challenge. Learn to love the battle. Try your very best - all the time. Then you know if you were beat, it was by someone better. Then go out and work to improve. You gotta love the work. Alone or with the team. When you work with a group you all go through the same trials and tribulations, successes and failures. Be thankful for them all. Enjoy the good times and learn from the bad times. And remember that you can`t get better without BOTH.

Doing this with teammates is the best. Build friendships, laugh, have fun, compete, maybe even argue - but afterwards go back to the enjoying the comraderie. You`ll remeber all those times and, believe it or not, you`ll forget most of the losses. But always learn from the ones you remember.

Learn about hard work, conditioning, discipline, committment, desire, endurance, teamwork, pride, communication, self-control, responsibility, trust, dealing with adversity - and achievement, and we could go on and on. These lessons build confidence and that confidence leads to success.

How can someone pass up the opportunity to learn all these things and have as much fun as you do while playing the greatest game in the world. Basketball has gone from it`s meager beginnings in a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts to a true global game that is played by millions.

I always say to teams that they should Play hard - Play Smart - Play together but most importantly you should PLAY OFTEN and HAVE FUN!

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