This past season, I dedicated a small block of time each morning to flesh out my coaching philosophy and to put down my thoughts and beliefs on paper. The very first exercise that I completed was to create my own personal pyramid of success. In this post, you can see my personal pyramid of success, as well as all of the ideas and concepts explained in greater detail.
Section 1: THE POWER OF CHOICE
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor Frankl
There is ALWAYS a choice. The choices that we make directly impact the results that we get. If you want different results, you must make different choices. The power of choice is one of the greatest gifts that humans possess.
Too many people, however, are hung up on their circumstances. These people choose to allow their circumstances to outweigh their power of choice. We are not going to be like these people.
The choices that we will consistently select every day are to:
- HAVE A GREAT ATTITUDE
- Body language, communication, internal dialogue
- TREAT OTHERS EXCEPTIONALLY WELL
- What do people get when they get you? Do you build up or tear down?
- HAVE UNCONDITIONAL GRATITUDE
- Everything that happens is in my best interest and is a chance to learn and grow.
- MAKE HARD WORK A HABIT
- Giving your best is vague and unclear. When you work hard consistently, your best will come out more and more.
Having the discipline to choose the aforementioned responses regardless of circumstances provides that foundation for success. More often than not we will fall short, but when we do, it is essential to select the proper response.
4 THINGS TO DO WHEN WE FALL SHORT:
- Making a change starts with accepting responsibility.
- What went wrong? What needs changed to prevent this from happening again?
- Dwelling on mistakes is destructive. Once you have learned from them mistakes serve no purpose.
- NEXT PLAY
- Practically implement what you learned and get back on track.
Section 2: BETTER ME, BETTER WE
“You can lose with talent, but you can’t win without it” – John Wooden
“I will prepare and someday my chance will come” – Abraham Lincoln
Having talented people with high character on your team is an essential ingredient to all successful teams. Both talent and character matter immensely. The first tier of the pyramid lays the foundation for high class character, and the second tier is focused on developing and sharpening skills. As long as a high level of character is present, skilled players make up a skilled team.
There are three areas of “skill” in basketball:
- Technical skill
- Tactical skill
The key to creating a “better me” in all of these areas is to accept responsibility (the power of choice) for your skill development. The difference in whether or not you are taking responsibility for your development comes down to the questions you ask yourself.
Questions that drive and inspire growth:
- Begin what “what” or “how”
- Contain an “I”
- Focus on positive action
Questions that stunt growth:
- Begin with “why”, “when”, or “who”
- Contain “they”, “we”, or “you”
- Focus on waiting
If we want better answers, we must ask better questions! Personal accountability is not blaming others, complaining about circumstances, or defending yourself (know our no’s). Personal accountability is about asking good questions and then taking positive action.
BETTER ME, BETTER WE QUESTIONS:
Section 3: SUCCESS ROAD vs. THE ROAD TO SUCCESS:
SUCCESS ROAD: Imaginary trip people take to the end of the rainbow where the pot of gold is supposed to be…it is not there.
THE ROAD TO SUCCESS: It is all about the process and how you do what you do. People don’t make a habit out of being successful; they are successful because of their habits. The goal is not the end of the road; it is the road. Winning will take care of itself.
Having great character and being highly skilled are essentials to being a high-performance team, but they are not enough. Having the right mindset about success is essential. What you believe underpins all you do, and you will never be able to outperform what you believe.
What you BELIEVE drives how you ACT, how you act influences RESULTS, and the results you experience further fuels what you BELIEVE.
Two Core Beliefs:
- FOCUS ON CONTROLLABLES: What you want does not matter. What matters is what you are committed to doing each and every day to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
|FOCUS ON RESULTS:
We become miserable in the process
|FOCUS ON CONTROLLABLES:
We develop strong character
- SURRENDER THE OUTCOME: You might give your everything and still fail. Not failure forever, but temporary failure. When you surrender the outcome you are freed up to be in the moment and trust your training, and that mindset drives success.
Section 4: WHO DID I BECOME IN THE PROCESS?
“Winning takes talent. To repeat takes character.” – John Wooden
“Too many people cannot sustain success because their level of talent takes them to heights that their character cannot support”.
“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” – Thomas Merton
I strongly believe that athletics should be focused on who you become rather than what you achieve. After all, it is the development of character and lessons learned on the road to success that drive results in the first place. Focusing on who you are becoming in the process is the secret ingredient to sustainable success.
Focusing on who you are becoming creates a compelling mission that transcends a temporary feeling that may sabotage your success. As Billy Donovan once said, “Character outside the lines drives winning inside the lines”. There are too many examples in sports of athletes who have focused entirely on the results of their sport and rejected the development of their character and paid dearly for it (see Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Alex Rodriguez, among many others). It takes talent to get to the top, but character is required to keep you there.
When you combine excellent character (having a great attitude, treating others exceptionally well, having unconditional gratitude, and making hard work a habit),a high level of holistic skill (technical, tactical, and fitness), and the right mindset (focus on controllables, surrender the outcome), sustainable success is achievable. No aspect of the pyramid will drive success along, but the interworking of all the aspects with one another will lay the foundation needed for success, as well as the ability to sustain that success.