These thoughts were written by Sundance Wicks who played at Northern State University for Don Meyer.J
Sundance is currently the Director of Power Basketball Academy. He played professionally in Sweden after graduating from Coach Meyer’s program.
At the conclusion of his playing career, he served as an assistant at Northern Illinois for six year.
The second article on toughness for coaches was written by Coach Meyer and is directed for coaches.
- What it feels like to be a senior (the sacrifice for the team)
- How much time the coaching staff puts in trying to prepare the team for life, practices and games
- How much time the coaching staff spends thinking about what is best for the team
- Your team is only as good as the last player to buy in (weakest link) – you have a “true” team only when every last player has bought in
- When you win with a “team”, the victory tastes much sweeter
- Team chemistry is the most important thing in the game of basketball – without it championships are hard to come by
- That the “team” is not the coaches’ team, it’s your (players) team
- That it can take an entire season to build a “team” and one incident to destroy the chemistry that was built
- How you play in practice ultimately affects your performance in the game
- If you want to be the best player, you have to be the hardest worker
- It doesn’t matter how good you are if you are not mentally tough
- That you win games by preparing properly in practice and not just lacing up the sneakers on game night
- It’s hard as a coach to sit a player who makes hustle plays consistently and works hard in practice
- The importance of ball pressure and jumping to the ball and how to play it properly
- Communication is a must to be successful on and off the court
- I have a better chance to play if i am a great defender vs. A good shooter
- The sooner i realize that everything starts with defense the better i will be able to prepare myself for the practices and games
- The key to becoming a great rebounder is putting forth the effort to go to the glass and ability has little to do with it (rebound sequence)
- A good team defense is built with the foundation of trust
- How much you have to prepare mentally for the second night of play in conference Friday / Saturday games – after loses, more so wins
- It’s not who starts the game, it’s who finishes the game – be a finisher
- You have to have a great second half warm-up physically to get yourself ready mentally (perceived ability that we are ready to go)
- That you can control two things in life: 1. Attitude 2. Effort – and more often than not, positive words and actions create positive reactions
YOUR TEAM IS NEVER AS TOUGH AS THEY CAN BE AND YOU CAN NEVER ASSUME THEY ARE TOUGH ENOUGH (BY Coach Don Meyer)
When looking in the dictionary you see descriptions for toughness such as: hard to break but not necessarily hard to bend, difficult to get the better of, apt to be aggressive, able to resist, etc.
When we think of toughness we immediately think of mental toughness and then physical toughness. LET ME SAY AT THE OUTSET THAT A TEAM WILL NEVER BE TOUGH
WHEN THEY ARE COACHED BY A STAFF OF COACHES WHO ARE NOT.
The hardest thing we have to do each day as coaches is saddle up and face the day with the attitude we want our players and team to adopt. WE CANNOT SELL THEM SOMETHING THAT WE DO NOT OWN.
My most difficult task as coach is to be tougher on myself and more demanding than I was the day before. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT WHEN YOUR PROGRAM IS WINNING GAMES. For every 100 who can handle failure, there is but one who can handle success. Winning can weaken the resolve of those who worship winning and do not plan, practice, play and coach to a higher standard.
THE BEHAVIOR OF YOUR PLAYERS IN THEIR ACCEPTANCE OF FATIGUE, BAD CALLS, TURNOVERS, MISSED SHOTS, BEING OPEN AND NOT GETTING THE BALL, HARRASSMENT FROM THE OPPOSING FANS, TRASH TALK FROM OPPONENTS, AND THEIR AND THEIR TEAMMATES FAILURES AND SUCCESSES will tell you all you need to know about how well you are teaching the life long lessons of toughness.