This whole notion that winning is everything is starting to get a little out of hand. I hate to break it to you but it really isn’t. Take Michael Jordan for instance, he is considered the greatest player to play the game and is held on a pedestal for his competitiveness and work ethic. Bad news, he may not be the greatest person ( on the planet, and one that I would not really like my kids to look up to. Sure I would love for my future kids to look up to some of his traits (work ethic, passion, and dedication to name a few) but many I would not. Michael Jordan is the king of hoops, and I don’t think I have really ever heard anyone say ANYTHING negative about him.

Now this is a very extreme example, but it does have a trickle down to everyday players and everyday life. The massive majority of people who will read this will never play in the NBA, some may never play overseas, some will never play college ball, and some may never play another sanctioned game after high school. Work on developing the other important life skills while playing and you will have a much more successful life. Here are a few things to learn along the basketball journey.

  1. Learn how to be a good looser. You will lose in life sometimes, and it is how you respond that makes you truly great as a person.
  2. Learn to be a good teammate. Throughout life you will be forced to work with people for a common goal. It may be a marriage, job, or friendship but if you can’t see things from another person’s perspective you might fail at whatever endeavor it may be.
  3. Learn that hard work and dedication do pay off. Life and sports have many parallels, it is astonishing how many people put hours and hours in the gym and weight room, but do not put near the effort into their relationships, grades, or career.
  4. Learn that it is not about you. Too much self-entitlement is a motivation killer. Who cares how many points you score or rebounds you had, did you do everything you could to help your team achieve its goal?
  5. Learn that all of your actions have a profound effect on the people and world around you.

So don’t obsess over winning. Instead try your hardest to become a better person but at the same time hone your work ethic (training), passion (love off the game), and dedication (giving your whole self to something). If you successfully accomplish these goals, odds are you will find success on the court.

Winning ain’t everything… but it sure is fun!

–          Coach Castellaw


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