As I watched high school seniors-to-be during July, I thought a lot about the two most significant elements of our program: Attitude and Effort. These happen to be the only two factors in life that we execute control over. Coincidentally, they will also have the greatest impact on our personal and collective success. Rarely, will I become upset or impatient with a player’s shortcomings when his attitude and effort have been adequate.
Effort is not merely physical. Some players think that they are giving sufficient effort if they are running as hard, cutting as hard, or jumping as high as possible. Maximum physical exertion is certainly non-negotiable in terms of effort, but satisfactory effort also requires concentration. It is important to never mistake activity for accomplishment. Mental focus coupled with maximum physical exertion is our standard for effort.
We also have full control of our attitude. Similarly, many players mistake their attitude for whether or not they react verbally in a negative way or talk back to a coach. Our attitude about anything is a direct result of what is in our heart. A poor attitude can be demonstrated by simple things such as poor or disinterested body language, or lack of eye contact. Some of the worst attitude and behavior that is most detrimental to teams is NOT what is said in the presence of the coach or teammates, but what is said about them in the locker room, behind their backs, or even to members of the media. When placed in adverse situations, what is in our heart usually surfaces. Adversity WILL come, and this is why a winning attitude comes from the status of our heart. A player with a winning heart and attitude will put the success of the program in front of personal achievement and statistics. He will allow himself to be coached and mentored.
Attitude and Effort are at the core of a True Tiger!