the lines are still good

Follow the happenings of an animated college tennis coach and his teams in their pursuit of an NCAA National Tennis Championship. It is always the impressive trophy that is displayed for all to admire that gets the attention, but it is the journey to claiming that trophy, the relationships built, the people served and the memories created, that live forever...and what I hope you will find interesting...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Getting Better...



Two questions that I often think about are:   What are you going to do today that will make us a better team? And, how can you make the others around you better?  These apply to players and coaches alike.

I will not bore you all with the specific answers as they are proprietary Clipper coaching secrets and are really aside from my point to a degree.  My contention is that it is of vital importance that any team with aspirations of great success have these thoughts on their mind each and every day. Thomas Edison wrote that "vision without execution is hallucination."  Most players and coaches have a vision.  I would even suggest that most have a strong desire to accomplish great things.  However, as we all know, talk is cheap and actions speak far louder than words.  Essentially, the best players and teams don’t just think about their desire for greatness, they act on it.  They are willing to do what it takes to be great and their success is easily measured by examining the work and effort put forth.

So, generically speaking, how does one get better and make teammates better?  I would suggest that one person in pursuit of excellence raises the standards of everyone around them.  Further, show up and do the ordinary things better than everyone else by practicing, focusing and improving everyday on the little things. Demonstrate a standard to others that leads the way and do not accept anything less from teammates.  The great thing about this is that people will not only remember you for your great accomplishments on the court but also for your contributions that helped the others around you.  Believe it or not, the latter will last longer in other's memories.


If we have focused practice and preparation each day, each week, and each month we will have remarkable results and the success in matches will take care of itself.  I find myself reminding the players and myself during this early part of the season that the National Championship is not simply won on May 17, 2014 but will be won a little each day by how we practice and prepare throughout the season.  One shot and one practice does not seem like very much but if we play each shot and practice every practice with focus over the course of a season it’s a lot.

In actuality, only about 5% of our tennis season is made up of match day performance whereas roughly 95% is made up of the time spent preparing and practicing.  We need to understand that how we practice and prepare with that 95% will determine our match success. Many students, faculty and other student athletes come to our matches and think we are great because of what they see on that match day. What they don't realize is it’s how we prepared for the match that made us perform well.  If we want to be great again this year we have to commit to match preparation which is hours of time spent on the court, in the gym, and running the miles.  All players must invest 100% of their energy.  Any player investing less prevents the team from achieving it's potential and will actually prevent others from being their best.  

Right now we are a January team.  Now, don't get me wrong, I really like my team but we simply have a long way to go.  For your Clippers to have another successful season we will need to focus on becoming a team.  The players need to understand that they all have a role and all need to be striving everyday to get better and make the others better as well.


I truly believe that we are on the correct path and more players are "on the bus".  These next few weeks will be crucial in determining what we will be going forward and if we can reach our potential.

Nuff said...

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