Do You Win With Class On & Off The Basketball Court?
Winning with Sportsmanship:
“It is your response to winning or losing that makes you a winner or a loser” – Harry Sheehy, former Dartmouth coach and administrator
Sheehy’s quote above demonstrates that winning and losing with character is the most important aspect of competition. Sure, you play to win the game, and most basketball teams measure their success in any given season by the number of wins they acquired. Hopefully, if these wins start piling up on a consistent basis, it will lead them to a championship of some sort. Every member of a competitive basketball team plays their best to win the game. If you and your team are successful, and you find yourself on the upper hand of the scoreboard at the end of the game, you need so ensure that you handle your successes in the proper manner. The basketball players and teams that best handle their wins while exemplifying sportsmanship are those that manage to stay humble, avoid complacency, and show a strong desire continue their improvement.
Even the best teams and players in the basketball world can be beat. Most people that keep in touch with NBA basketball would agree that Lebron James is currently the best all around basketball player in the world. He continues to be a dominant force in the league and has a huge impact on every game he is a part of. But, as the world saw in last years NBA Finals matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, even he is susceptible to losing. For this reason you should always be grateful for the times you succeed in winning a ball game. The moment that you start taking wins for granted is the moment when you start losing more often than not. The best teams and players genuinely appreciate the efforts it took for them to win a particular game. They stay humble because they know that at any given moment, their fortunes could change. Lesson to be learned here, handle your wins humbly.
The teams and players that get too comfortable winning, are generally the ones that will then be dealing with a loss soon after. It is easy to become complacent in practice and on the court when things are going the way that you want them too. When you become complacent and comfortable in your winning ways, you tend to ease off the gas pedal a little. By this I mean you might lose that motivation and drive that led you to the successes you have been experiencing because you somewhat forget what it is like to lose and the disappointing feeling that accompanies a loss. The teams and players that continue to win are those that avoid this complacency, keep an everlasting hunger to win, and take each and every game as a challenge to accomplish something new. The key is to always strive for more.
As a young basketball player, there is always going to inconsistencies in your game that need improving. Despite how good you make think you are and how much you may think you have the game mastered, there is always room for improvement. There is no such thing as the perfect ball player.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is a player that is constantly striving to add new aspects to his game. Despite being named the MVP of the NBA this past year, he still recognizes that there are places in his game that can still be improved. He and his Thunder teammates are a part of a team that continually have one of the leagues best winning percentages year after year. Although they are considered a successful team, Durant and his teammates continue to strive for more because they still have goals they have yet to accomplish. The idea behind this is that even if you are winning on a consistent basis as a player or team, if you continue to set goals with a focus on continual improvement, you will rise to new heights that you didn’t think possible.