Basketball is really more than a game. Some of lifeís valuable lessons can be learned along the way. In every game that is played, there are many lessons to be learned ... lessons in determination, responsibility, selflessness, persistence, teamwork, leadership, trust, honesty, sportsmanship, commitment and integrity. There are situations that arise in practices and games that are perfect times for presenting a lesson in life. A good coach will take advantage of these situations and teach lifeís lessons. When you play on a team, you learn responsibility as a means of survival ... you have a responsibility to be at practice everyday, and you have the responsibility to be a certain and integral part of the teamís offense and defense. Teammates are so dependent on one another just by the nature of the game. You must learn to trust your teammates, and the flipside of the coin, is for each player to take responsibility to be where he/she is supposed to be on each and every play. You learn that determination is important in basketball. You practice skills day after day to get better, and are taught not to give up; that hard work pays off. This is determination. When you are on a team, you learn that good leadership is very important. You must have leaders both on and off the court that lead the team in a positive direction. Without good leadership, the team suffers. Selflessness is another desired quality. In a team sport such as basketball, selfishness can disrupt a teamís focus on the goal. Commitment is another quality desirable of each of the members of a team. Without commitment, the team suffers. Everyone must be committed to reach the teamís goals. These qualities are some of lifeís lessons. Not only are they important on the basketball court, they carry over into life after basketball, into the workplace, into relationships and into every phase of your life. The basketball court is the classroom, and the coach is the teacher. That is why employers love to hire athletes in their businesses. Many of the lessons have already been learned.
One life lesson that basketball can teach is to keep your goals in mind. Instead of focusing on your present exhaustion, think about the basketball goals you have in mind - to be a stronger and better athlete. Think about getting stronger and faster and better prepared to dominate in your upcoming games. Remind yourself that the pain is temporary, but the strength will make you a better player in the future. Picture your opponents and imagine yourself outlasting them throughout the long game. Remember that your strength will help you succeed all season long.
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