Happy Fourth of July, you get two posts from me today. Make sure to read about camping pros and cons.
So, to tap on to Next Level tips, today I am going to provide you with the three C's my staff looks for in student athletes to take our TEAM to the next level.
1) Competitiveness: I really believe someone has this at birth or they don't. The fact my son competes at brushing teeth, the first to arrive home after a game when we are driving two cars, and even getting into the kitchen first for a glass of water makes me think he naturally has it. I love athletes that compete. This takes practices to another level, and when it's crunch time, the difference between a win and a loss.
2) Confidence: Those you surround yourself with definitely can influence this trait, coaches included. However, I think by the time a kid reaches high school they have become confident or possibly struggled with their confidence. The college level is so demanding with many challenges that when you get in an adverse situation, you have to fight for playing time, you MUST have this. When I was in training camp for the Utah Starzz I had a teammate tell me she heard the coach was going to cut me that day. Fortunately I was confident from within not having to rely on someone else to give it to me and I was NOT the one to get cut that day.
3) Commitment. Commitment has many levels. To take the next level, however, I expect our players to put in a higher level of commitment that the average Division I program. Who wants to be 500? I sure don't. Our team wants to take our program to the Next Level as well which is why all 13 of them decided to be here for six weeks of summer school so they can all train together.
I had my first team barbecue last night with our 2009-2010 squad. Let me tell you, this team has character. I first learned from LaTisha Adams that in Albuquerque a "barbecue" includes ribs and steak. If you cook hotdogs and hamburgers it's just a cook out. So we made sure to include some ribs. Then I found out who our next American Idol Finalists for the 2010 season won't be, Katie Bussey and Erica Perry. Beata Bak tried to jump in on karaokee but we didn't have any Polish songs available. We finished off the night of smores on the back patio and I saw this new squad begin to come together.
This team is not only commited to getting better individually, but they are commited to each other. I can't wait to see what this six weeks will do for our upcoming season.
There is no doubt in my mind we have the Next Level of commitment. How confident and competitive we end up being is why I coach.