My Will to Win!

Basketball may be just a game to some, but for me it is much more, and for me to try and explain my view is not going to make any difference in what is important. What is important here is to get parents and players alike to understand what it really takes to achieve success at this game we call basketball.

Basketball has evolved at a very rapid pace over the last decade, and today’s player requires a unique blend of mental, physical, and technical skills to be successful at a competitive level. What I want to establish first is that players must have the mental fortitude to succeed. Meaning a player needs to have the strength of mind that will allow them to endure the difficult demands and adversity that must happen to reach new levels of skill and competitiveness with courage. ( parents you can try and protect your players from it but it is an absolute)

Regardless of how good you or your parents think you are there will come a time when you will battle fatigue or face an adversary who is equal or better and will challenge you and your skill sets. A strong mind can help during this difficult time. The mind is a powerful tool that some never learn to control.  

Why do you think some players are in great shape and well versed in their skill sets and ability to compete while others settle for mediocrity? Why do some player have a precise skill set and others don’t. Why do some players relish under pressure and some shy away from it like the plaque, just to put blame elsewhere? The answers to these questions lie within the mental discipline of the player not the wants and needs of parents. 

It’s very easy to cheat yourself during workouts or training. It’s easy to just skip training or practice all together. Unfortunately for many in this game it is not easy to reach the elite levels of competition. This is where self discipline and accountability come into play. Players who possess the desire and determination to reach new levels of ability have a certain commitment. A commitment that will allow them to give the concentrated effort needed to improve. Just showing up will not be enough. The effort and attitude with which a player enters a training session will ultimately determine the benefits.

What makes a player decide to get up off the couch and go practice or train while others slack off? That decision comes from deep within individual players. There will always be players that cheat during workouts. There will always be players who don’t. There will always be players who mess around and those that concentrate on the task at hand. There will always be players whose parents want them to train and practice more than the player does and there will always be parents who are not involved at all.

Players will always have days when they don’t feel like practicing or training. But showing up on those days and giving a concentrated effort to improve is what it takes overtime. Nobody can make the decision for you. The decision must be made by the player. The best trainers and coaches in the world are only as good as the students they train. They can provide motivation and guidance, but ultimately the decision to absorb and apply still rest on the player.

When you decide in your heart, you want to succeed your mind will take over. You will begin to make the game your sole purpose. You will eat, sleep and dream the game to achieve success at the highest levels. If you don’t I guarantee you someone somewhere is and they will have the edge when you meet. This is how I knew this was more than just a game for me.

We all face fear and doubt, but with dedicated training and experience we learn to control these feelings. We are ready to be our best when we have nothing else to fear. The mind can play tricks on you. It may convince you to doubt yourself and your training. For this reason you must train your mind to work for you not against. The only way to achieve this is through experience and hard work. It takes time to learn and master techniques. No one can instill the mental toughness and work ethic required to become an elite player. You must dig down deep within and find those qualities on your own. This is what Triple Threat is all about and why we have an edge over other programs. 
Lee Smith
Southern Oregon University BS, Sports Medicine
Certified Teacher of Health & Physcical Education
NSCA, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
NASM, Performance Enhancement Specialist
NASM, Corrective Exercise Specialist
Master of Science , Special Education (Currently)

As a player, Lee was a two time all Northern League selection at Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles, CA. Lee was considered one of the greatest players to ever don a raider uniform. At Southern Oregon University, Lee surpassed many school milestones. Included, was the record for 3 point field goals made in a single game with 9. Lee also shot his way to second place in scoring for the district (21.7ppg) , second in overall points for a single season in SOU history, and placed second in the nation for 3 point field goals made with 122 in a season. Lee was named to the Cascade Collegiate Conference and was an All NAIA District II and All Little Northwest selection.  
Serving King, Snohomish & Skagit Counties since 1998
I'm Possible - Regional Skills Trainer & Pro Skills Coach