With basketball season on the horizon, it’s time to get ready to bring everything you’ve been working on during the off-season to the table. It’s time to gear up and prepare to put in the work with your team. It’s time to decide if you’re ready to be All In.
The idea of being "All In" means something different to every person you ask. From some, being All In is being fully committed to the sport and their team. For others, it’s having no fear and taking risks to pursue what you are passionate about. While both hold true for schools of any size and players and coaches of all levels, being All In can also mean so much more.
Here are Dr. Dish’s 5 key foundations for what we think means to be “All In”.
Whether you’re a first-year player, captain of the team, or the head coach, it’s important to have personal goals going into a new season. Do you want to be a leading scorer? Are you hoping to have a certain amount of wins vs. losses? Maybe you just want to be a better ball handler. Having those goals helps to keep you focused and present throughout the season no matter the role you play for your team.
Personal goals can also reflect overall team goals which help create a theme or a vision for the season. Having clear goals help to make a clear team vision where everyone can be working to improve themselves while working together on a game plan that points towards success.
Preparation isn’t just about the training done in the off-season, it’s also about being ready to step into the role your team needs you to take when the time comes. It is crucial to finish your off-season workout route strong, but it’s even more crucial to make sure you’re prepared to do what’s best for the team. Are you big on communication & positive energy? If so, your team might need your voice and support, especially during tryouts. Is your specialty your tough defense? Your team will be looking to your hustle to set a standard the first few weeks of the season.
For coaches, preparation is huge when it comes to striving for a program that’s All In. By practice planning and completing any pre-season checklists, you are preparing yourself to be able to show up for your team when the first practice comes around. The more you prepare, the more present you’ll be for your players. By striving to be actively involved, you are showing your team that you care which is an important foundation for trust and a healthy team culture. It will also be easy to see how your team works together, and who the leaders will be for the season.
Being a great player and a great coach does take skill, passion, and knowledge for the game. It also takes having a strong mindset and positive mentality. Basketball, like many other sports, takes more mental strength than overall skill, but having both is where players and teams thrive.
80% of the game is mental. Having confidence in yourself, and your team. Always thinking about the next play, and not worrying about past mistakes. How you react to situations on and off the court. All of those things are often overlooked, but choosing to focus on a more positive mindset is what can get you through losing streaks, tough practices, and anything else that can arise.
And as a coach, you lead by example. Your body language, self talk, and mindset directly correlates to how your players choose to act and communicate to each other.
Staying motivated throughout the entire season is easier said than done. But honing in on that motivation is what separates championship programs and players from the rest.
Whether you’re motivating an entire team or acting as a motivator on the court or on the bench, having that desire to keep persevering only enhances your game. Staying motivated builds discipline and strengthens your mindset. Motivation keeps you prepared and present every day. That motivation then continues to push towards your personal and team goals.
Look to your favorite motivational quotes for inspiration, or even watching a coach or player speak. Finding drills and workouts that are enjoyable, yet equally as beneficial, also help to keep motivation up, especially during those stretches of only practices.
Actively executing is the final key to being truly All In.
Sticking with and revisiting goals that were established at the beginning of the season, continuing to show up for your team, staying positive and striving to keep moving forward through training are all ways you and your team can execute a successful season.
By training hard, and training together as one team, winning will come easy.
So, are you ready to take this season to the next level? Don’t wait until the first practice, start thinking and looking deeper into what it means to be “All In” for you and your team right now. Then, when it’s time, the success isn’t far behind.
Looking for some inspiration to get you started? Hear from our partner, Coach McDermott on what it means to be "All In" to him and the Creighton Men's Basketball program.