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Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Having recognized standards is important in self-evaluation.  When Mike Montgomery was coaching at Stanford, I went to Palo Alto to watch his team practice and play.  When Montgomery took me into the Stanford locker room, one of the first things I saw was a framed list of team standards and goals, and each member of the Stanford basketball team, including the managers and coaches, had signed it.  The team had come up with the standards they expected to meet and the milestones they expected to reach that season.

At certain times when the team may have been falling short of those standards, Montgomery or any player could point to them and emphasize that they were not some directive from above; those were the standards they all agreed to meet. k They did not agree to meet them when they felt like it, or once in a while, but every day.

"Toughness is the ability to go from 'bought in' to 'locked in,'" Indiana coach Tom Crean said.  "What it takes for you and your team, on a daily basis, to lock into what will make you better and make us change, contact and challenge?
To Crean, too many people waste their time talking about buying in, instead of focusing on what it takes.  "There are a lot of fakes in basketball -- in any business, really," Crean said.  "People talk about buying in, but most people really don't.  It's just too hard.  But if they do, if they lock in, the rewards are incredible, almost indescribable."

From "Toughness" by Jay Bilas