The accelerated growth at prep school is always amazing to witness, but this process occurs at an even quicker rate when the student-athlete has a positive relationship with feedback. After one week of workouts and meetings, I can tell that our basketball team has the unselfishness and maturity to reach their potential. In our first team meeting we discussed what it means to be successful, and how we choose to be judged. The boys were anticipating advice about basketball, and they received conversation about life.
Our young people today get brainwashed to believe that masculinity is based on athletic ability, economic worth, and sexual conquest. The message to our team was that all that stuff is overrated and masculinity ought to be defined in terms of relationships. When it's all said and done, should you want to be judged by what type of teammate you were? What type of son you were? What type of brother you were? That's what it is all about.
Now, our players are 15-18 years old, so we wanted to provide depth. Therefore, we had the Vermont Academy student-athletes share stories of accepting responsibility and leading courageously. Then, our coaching staff gave examples of enacting justice on behalf of others and the concept of empathy. I wish we had filmed the session, because I could see our kids digesting the dialogue and it made me extremely proud to be their coach.
The other criterion we emphasized for masculinity was to have some type of cause. Therefore, each player told us:
Why they're here at Vermont Academy.
What they plan to accomplish in the short term and in the long run.
What obstacles they might have to overcome along the way.
It was a tremendous exercise to practice because most of our kids opened up, and you could sense that trust was being built in a rapid fashion. We finished the meeting by telling them that basketball is no different than life, and relationships will ultimately dictate where we go in basketball and in life. Now it's time to choose how we want to be judged, and our actions will always speak the loudest.
“Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the callers. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don’t major in minor things. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don’t waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, ‘Gee, if I’d only spent more time at the office’. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don’t want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who’s right, more time deciding what’s right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it’s impossible to fail.”
~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Vermont Academy Boys Basketball is the definition of College Preparatory Program. Our program will get you ready to be the best basketball player you can be at all levels from Division 1 through Division 3. Getting you prepared now for the daily grind of what college sports will be is imperative for your success at the next level. You will learn the core building blocks for success in the NEPSAC that will carry over to a demanding college program. Number one you will learn accountability for yourself, your teammates, and for your team. Second, Academics are the cornerstone of our program, but most of all your future for success. Third, you will learn that strength training and conditioning will be the tool that will set you apart from other players in the league. Our Strength and Conditioning component takes the approach of giving you a solid base for technique and challenging you to be strong, balanced, and focus on injury prevention. Our goal is to make you strong mentally and physically. We believe that "the only easy day was yesterday”, so we have to get stronger everyday.
Strength and Condition Coach
It's always a good day when you hear from the Glider. At 11:46 AM, Tom called my office line. His conversation never disappoints, that man is a legend! Learn more about him here: http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=13903913
I had the opportunity to coach against the young man who is mentioned in this article. His name is Tremont Waters. I also coach in prep school basketball and it's incredible to understand that I can make a small difference in all of this.
Adult Principle #1: Be patient. No matter what.
Adult Principle #2: Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.
Adult Principle #3: Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
Adult Principle #4: Expand your sense of the possible.
Adult Principle #5: Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
Adult Principle #6: Don’t ask more of others than you can deliver yourself.
Adult Principle #7: Tolerate ambiguity.
Adult Principle #8: Laugh at yourself frequently.
Adult Principle #9: Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
Adult Principle #10: Try not to forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
Adult principle #11: Give up blood sports.
Adult principle #12: Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Do not endanger it frivolously. And never endanger the life of another.
Adult principle #13: Never lie to anyone for any reason.
Adult principle #14: Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
Adult principle #15: Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
Adult principle #16: Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
Adult principle #17: Praise at least as often as you disparage.
Adult principle #18: Never let your errors pass without admission.
Adult principle #19: Become less suspicious of joy.
Adult principle #20: Understand humility.
Adult principle #21: Forgive.
Adult principle #22: Foster dignity.
Adult principle #23: Live memorably.
Adult principle #24: Love yourself.
Adult principle #25: Endure.
There's one way to deal with anxiety on the golf course. Realize that it's impossible for a golf course to cause anxiety. ~Garret Kramer