March Madness

I have been watching different teams during this the most exciting time of college basketball. I have seen young men cry from losing and cry from winning. Many of the young men have been playing for months trying to achieve the ultimate prize, the championship.

First though they must make it to what is called “The Dance”. This is where teams are automatically pushed forward to the tournament by winning their respective division. When they do that, they receive an automatic bid. Then the rest of the 64 teams are selected by their season record and I am sure a bunch of other statistics. Whatever the science, this is what the kids hope for at the end of the season.

I have watched different strategies from different coaches that really made a difference in the result of the game. What does it take to make a great leader? Good leaders are essential to having a good basketball team. They are often times the difference between a winning team and a losing one. The question is what are some of the things that you can do to be a better teammate and leader? There are multiple things that leaders can do in order to help their team win.

I am reminded of a statement from a great coach: “Coaches that outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen, but the that can succeed are the ones that can get inside of their players and motivate them” ~ Vince Lombardi

A good leader or teammate gives words of encouragement and keeps the team positive. The great thing about encouragement is that it helps the players to play even better. Even the weakest member on the team might surprise you from a few words of encouragement. Learning from a good friend of mine, really all this is is influence. Without having a leader that you can trust, you will not be a winning team. “Trust is the foundation of Influence” Mack Story

It is important to understand this early on and not get too down on yourself when mistakes are made. Instead of criticizing yourself or a teammate when someone makes a mistake, simply make sure that the lesson from that mistake was learned. Looking at what everyone did right and what everyone did wrong at the end of a game helps to make it less personal. Failure is a process. It is also a learning tool. A good leader will use the process to help build the team. Coach K of Duke University puts it this way, “It’s not a problem to make mistakes, everyone does, but it is a problem if you don’t learn from them”.

I love watching the NCAA tournament because you see both team leaders rise from the crop, and you also see excellence in coaching/leaders of the team. Many times, teams go through what is called a slump. A period of time to which they are not winning and not winning for several games. When times get tough, it is important to have a team leader who can lead you through it. Good teammates who are giving it their all will also help. Leaders also know what to say when times are tough during competition.

Basketball is a team sport. It can be a highly satisfying sport that helps to build up your confidence. Especially if you are doing everything you can to be a great player, basketball will come with healthy benefits and lifetime friends.

So is life. If you are a good leader, your life will reflect it. No matter who you are, you are a leader whether you want to be or not. You have influence over people in your family, your friends, your coworkers. How are you going to lead the people that are closest to you?

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