The following comes from a book that I started a few years back and have yet to finish. This is an excerpt from the chapter titled "Prepare and Compete."
CLIMBING THE LADDER OF SUCCESS
The fifth and final rung of the ladder is GOALS and understanding their importance. We have already spoken of being cautious about your goals. Statistical goals can sometimes be difficult to obtain for a variety of reasons but it may not necessarily mean that you failed in reaching your potential as a player. An easy example would be the player who goes into an important game and decides that her goal for that night is to score 20 points. Yet when the ball is tossed up she finds out the opposing team has chose to double team her at every opportunity. She has a couple of choices. She can obviously try to force up some shots against the double team to try and reach her goal of scoring 20. The better choice would be to stay in the framework of the offense making those two players work hard to guard her while an open teammate scores some easy baskets. Maybe her role that night shifts to become a passer, looking for the open teammate. What is important is that she finds a way for her team to win – not score 20 points.
Numerical goals become more important in drill work by pushing yourself to high repetitions in some of the drills. Certainly you can look to set a statistical goal in a shooting drill. We keep track of all misses and makes in our shooting drills with our players and chart them each day so they know if they are improving or not. The same can be said with conditioning drills. We obviously keep time of our sprint work with our team so they know how well they are running. Again, this is another area where you can utilize numbers to chart a player’s growth.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include dreaming as part of goals. The art of envisioning the invisible is extremely important to your growth as a basketball player or anything else that you desire to achieve. On days when you don’t feel like working or things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d like, it is your dream that will motivate you to push forward. We have long had a mantra in our program that simply says: “Dream Big…Work Hard!” In fact, we have those words in big letters on a wall that our players see everyday as they walk into our locker room.
"It may be that those who do most, dream most."
-Stephen Butler Leacock
“Only dreamers can teach us to soar."
-Anne Marie Pierce
"Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be."
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
"Nothing happens unless first a dream."
Those are the five rungs of our Success Ladder that can help any athlete at any level work towards becoming a better player. Sometimes the game of basketball can be overcoached and undertaught. But by following the Success Ladder, you can fundamentally improve a player as well as a team. Without question, the common denominator of all great teams is not a type of defense or a style of offense, but the ability to execute fundamentally. And as we refer back to the construction workers, it must be remembered that whether it’s a building, a player or a team, the final product will only be as strong as the initial foundation that is laid. Fundamentals provide the proper foundation in reaching one’s potential.