"Great Players" - Alan Stein

A fellow coach reminded me that I haven't written for a while and so I thought I would share something that I recently read. It was written by Alan Stein, the strength and conditioning coach at DeMatha Catholic High School (His web site is who recently worked with the nation's top high school players at the McDonald's and Jordan All-American Games.

"With very few exceptions, elite level players absolutely love to play basketball. They want to play 24-7. Whenever possible they have a ball in their hands and are always trying to get up shots. When they aren't playing basketball they are watching it on TV. The game consumes them. And most of them have been this way since they were young. Do you have the same love for the game? Do you have the same passion? I'm not suggesting that basketball should be the most important thing in your life. . but it should be up there. If you truly want to be great then you have to genuinely love the game.

I also noticed that most elite level players are super competitive. They hate to lose. Whether they are playing NBA Live '10 or a game of H-O-R-S-E they always try as hard as possible to win. They never concede. Winning matters. Does winning matter that much to you? How hot does your competitive fire burn? If you want to be great you have to learn how to compete. Winning has to matter.

Despite being the top players in the nation, most of them still fit into one of two categories: those who have a tremendous work ethic and those who are lazy. Unfortunately many of the players who are the most naturally gifted are also the laziest because they haven't had to work hard to be successful. Do you enjoy putting in the hard work necessary to be a great player? Or do you constantly look for short cuts and the easy way?

It's time to start thinking about making your off season as productive as possible. What you do this spring and summer will determine how successful you are next season. Elite level players are built in the off season."

I couldn't have said it better myself!!

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