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Thursday, April 16, 2015

7 MONTHS SIDELINED

I have never had the opportunity to meet Abby Jump, a three-point shooting guard that plays for Wright State.  But she has a big fan in me.  Abby has spent the last seven months rehabbing an injury...being away from basketball as she has known it for the better part of her life.  But instead of wallowing in self-pity she has utilized the time to look at herself and the game through a different set of lenses. 

One of my friends made through our relationship with Coach Don Meyer is Keith Freeman who is an assistant coach at Wright State.  This past weekend at the PGC/Glazier Coaching Clinic we were talking about Coach Meyer, basketball and student-athletes that had great attitudes and worked hard.  This morning, he shared with me a paper written by Amy in which she speaks to the process she's gone through and how she has grown from it.  Our team at Texas A&M currently has three players rehabbing from injuries and I will share this with them as well.

Thanks for sharing Abby and continued success in your rehab:

7 MONTHS SIDELINES

As a basketball player you prepare yourself everyday. Offseason, regular season, and post season, you are always preparing. Preparing for practices, games, individual workouts, lifting, and if you want to get more specific, studying your plays and opponents. However, the last thing you prepare for is an injury, especially a long-term injury. We can handle full court presses thrown at us and 1-3-1 traps but as soon as an injury happens, it is natural to immediately hit the fetal position. The way I see it, when an injury occurs you can still look at it as if it is a full court press. How you handle and overcome an injury can either be a quick turnover or a hard- earned layup at the other end.

For seven months I wondered everyday if I would play basketball again. Some of those days I wondered if I would ever walk, sit, or stand without pain again. Back injuries can be severe and scary. For those seven months I was not only thinking of basketball, I was envisioning my life outside of it. My injury taught me about myself and about others. It opened my eyes to things I have been blind to everyday. It showed me the hard knocks of life and how to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It showed me the game stripped down from the sidelines everyday.

I could never deny that I was angry, scared, and frustrated everyday. But I also was thankful that God entrusted me enough to throw something of this caliber on my shoulders and know I would make it through. Because I know I would never be given something I could not handle. Although some days seemed the complete opposite.

Like I said, you are always preparing in basketball. What I did not realize was my injury was preparing me for life, whether I liked it or not. For seven months sidelined I wrote down notes of what I realized and learned about life and basketball from my coaches and teammates. Although no two injuries are the exact same and everyone handles them differently, my hope is, these notes may help some basketball player trying to break a full court press of their own.

There is enormous value in being a good friend and teammate.

You never accomplish all that you accomplish alone.

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

The most important stat for players to pay attention to: Leading your team in effort.

Three attributes for backup point guards:
Rarely turns the ball over.
Defends the dribble.
Respects the starting pg.

Be grateful for every ounce of talent and opportunity God has given you. He chose you to give them to. Be thankful.

Opportunities are not seen with your eyes. They are seen with you mind.

High character players all have these in common:
Works hard everyday.
Accepts their role.
Coachable

YOU CAN WIN WITH THESE PLAYERS

Fear and frustration only has two goals:
Ignore grace
Forget joy

If you only look at what you don’t have and what isn’t there, you will never enjoy what is there and what you do have.

You may have succeeded in high school off of raw talent, but you will never succeed in college without a tremendous work ethic and tremendous attitude.

Sometimes the biggest obstacle in life is getting over yourself. BE HUMBLE.

Enjoy all there is to enjoy about basketball because one day, no matter who you are or how great of a player you are, one day that ball will stop bouncing.

Your coaches and teammates learn a lot about you from the way you handle things being thrown at you. Not just what you do with a ball in your hands.

A choice to have a great attitude is something that nobody or no circumstance can take from you.

A rising tide will raise all boats. Make the people you are surrounded by better!

How great of a teammate and a leader you are isn’t determined by how much power you have. It’s determined by how much you serve and sacrifice for the people around you.

Be a servant leader, you’ll never regret it.

You can only hold your teammates accountable if you can be honest with yourself and accept your role.

You have to recommit yourself everyday to the cause. Some days you won’t feel well or don’t want to be there, but that’s never an excuse. Be committed.

Great teammates want to see the guy next to them succeed just as bad as they want to succeed themselves. Be selfless.

When you wake up in the morning, one positive thought in the morning can set the course for the entire day.

Find a way to win the day.

Coaches Pet Peeves:
Missed layups with no defense
No box outs
Dumb fouls – contest, make them shoot over you
Bending down for loose balls and not diving for them
Not knowing plays – be prepared when your name is called
Not screening a body in set plays
A silent bench with selfish teammates – don’t suck the life out of the gym

It’s all about the process. Putting people together that believe in each other, play hard for each other, are accountable for each other, and are selfless. If a team can buy into that then they can be successful.

5 Things That Kill Offenses:
Weak screens
Lazy, non credible cuts
Poor spacing
Holding the ball too long
Over dribbling

Too many people forget that happiness doesn’t come from getting what we don’t have. It’s about recognizing and appreciating what we do have.

When you have something taken from you. Whether it’s a short or long amount of time, it’s humbling. You become even more grateful for having the opportunity to do something you love.

Life is too short to be bitter. Bitterness never takes away from the pain, it adds to it.

When you have a 4 low baseline out of bounds offensive play, make sure your pass will be caught. If not, no one will be back for transition defense.

Even experiences we think are awful can carry the seeds of a great blessing.

Less is more. Don’t try to be a player you aren’t.

It’s important as a guard to have a go to move and a counter move in transition.

When you have the right culture it will attract high-level players.

Players think little about body language! Be aware that your body language to your teammates and coaches doesn’t whisper, it screams!

One of the main things I learned about leadership: People always say leadership is not about you. I disagree. I think is about the example YOU set and example YOU live for OTHERS. Be conscious of your actions and your decisions.

There’s a huge difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in something, you do it only when you feel like it. When you are committed to something, you do it ALL the time.

The problem with players today is, they are only committed when they are conditionally bought in. Meaning, when things are going well for them, then they are committed to the cause. If things are going well, then they have a good attitude and they are coachable, they listen. But if it’s not, they are the complete opposite. They think it’s ok to not be coachable, to have a bad attitude, and to be a bad teammate.

Don’t fear making mistakes! That is the greatest mistake you can make in life is to not take enough risks. That is how you grow! Not by doing everything perfect.

You become your habits in pressure situations.

Make the right decision. Never make the easy decision because more than likely it isn’t the right one.

Peer govern your teammates if you are a leader. Don’t just worry about yourself and making sure you do right, make sure your teammates do right also.