Advice From a Legend
by Alan Stein 10-17-2010 06:26 PM
Jerry West is a living legend.
Yeah, he is in the NBA Hall of Fame.
Sure, he was voted one of the 50 greatest players of all time.
For crying out loud… Jerry West is the NBA logo!
When he speaks, you need to listen.
Jerry West is friends with the father of a basketball player at Gonzaga High School in Washington, DC. A couple of weeks ago he stopped in to address the team after a pre-season workout. He spoke from the heart and gave sound advice:
- If you want to be a great player, you have to learn how to compete. Competing is as important as any technical skill… shooting, ball handling, or passing. Great players compete every workout, every practice and every game.
- Basketball can help you develop friendships you will have for the rest of your life. Don’t take it for granted.
- Younger players should find an older, more experienced player on the team to look up to and to emulate (for Jerry West, it was Elgin Baylor). Watch how they conduct themselves during practice and how they prepare for games… study their work habits. You can learn a lot by watching those ahead of you. And if you are an older player, it is your job to be a role model for the younger members of your team. Take that responsibility seriously.
- Use basketball, don’t let it use you. Basketball can take you to some special places and can provide you with an education.
- While everyone loves to win, you learn more about yourself and your teammates when you lose. Life is easy when you are winning. A person’s true colors come through during times of adversity.
- Take advantage of every opportunity you have to get better. Every practice is important.
- Read The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz’s Code for Life). If you live by these four agreements, you will be successful in whatever you choose to do:
1) Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
2) Don’t take things personally. What other people say and do is a reflection of them… not you. Don’t get sucked into negativity.
3) Don’t make assumptions. Have the courage to ask questions. Learn to effectively communicate so you can avoid misunderstandings.
4) Always do your best. Everything you do is important. Your best will change from moment to moment, but as long as you give it your all, you won’t have any regrets.
Wow. That is priceless insight.
I am sure some of you are wondering how I got this inside scoop… especially since this took place at Gonzaga… and I am the strength & conditioning coach at DeMatha.
My close friend and right hand man of 10 years, Blair O’Donovan, is in his 5th season as the strength & conditioning coach for the Gonzaga basketball program. Blair is an integral member of Stronger Team and is, without question, one of the top strength & conditioning professionals in the business. Blair has a tremendous understanding of performance enhancement. Gonzaga is very fortunate to have him. And so is Stronger Team.
It’s a shame Blair and I won’t be speaking once the season starts on November 8th (if you aren’t familiar… DeMatha and Gonzaga have an epic rivalry).
Hopefully our friendship can withstand not speaking for 5 months.
No I’m not.
Keep working hard, the season is almost here!
As always, if I can ever be of service to you or your program… please email me at Alan@StrongerTeam.com.
Likewise, Blair can be reached at Blair@StrongerTeam.com.
Just don’t email him the day after DeMatha plays Gonzaga… he won’t be in the mood.
Work hard. Deserve success.
Published 10-17-2010 © 2013 Access Athletes, LLC
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