Consistency: Anyone can be great once in a while, but few people can be great all the time. You won’t always have a great shooting night, you might turn the ball over more than normal, but you can always bring consistent effort and enthusiasm. This is simply a choice that you make.
Excellence: Doing things consistently to the best of your ability — things that you can control. How do you greet your coach and teammates everyday? What is the voicemail greeting on your phone? Is it “Yo, you know what to do” or is it professionally done. You are creating your brand and you choose if it’s going to be a brand of excellence (Alan Stein wrote a great blog on creating your brand). What do you think a college coach wants to hear on your voicemail greeting or see on your Facebook page? You’re crazy if you think they don’t look at that stuff.
Attention: Do you play attention to detail in everything that you do? When squaring up to the basket do you have “10 toes to the rim”? Do you touch the line every time you run sprints? Do you do your same routine every time shooting free throws?
Empathy: Empathy means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. If your teammate is having a bad day do you try to empathize with them? Try it once and then give it some more time. I know this is something that is not easy to do and many of you will have to let your guard down — quit being a hard ass. Think how much more together your team would be if everyone was more empathetic. Togetherness breeds playing for each other and reaching your team’s potential. Every championship team is a together team.
Appreciation: Do you sincerely appreciate what your coaches, teachers and parents do for you or do you act as if you deserve everything without having to work for it? This past summer and fall I spent quite a bit of time with 2006 WI Mr. Basketball, former Louisville standout and current NBA D League player, Jerry Smith. After every workout he sincerely thanked me for my time and throughout the season I have received numerous texts, tweets and facebook messages letting me know how the time we spent together really paid off and how much he appreciated it.