Action Steps for True Champions

Developing the Winner Within
By Brad Winters

What are the leadership skills and life lessons you wish to teach to your basketball players? Below is a list of leadership guidelines that worked for us.

[Related: Basketball Playbook]

Act like a Winner. I can't stress enough the importance of handling yourself at all times with class and integrity, especially in the tough times that truly test everyone and usually bring out our worst instincts.

Joshua Winters

Always be positive. Positive people can take on the world.

Be committed to hard work. Hard work is not always fun, but it's the price you must pay to be more successful. The harder you work, the tougher it is to surrender.

Be nice. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Avoid having to be right all the time. Your goal is to connect with people, not defeat.

Be committed to doing things the right way. Remember that perfect practice makes perfect.

Smile! In every culture it is the light in your window that tells people there's a caring, sharing individual inside.

Learn to stay relaxed and friendly no matter how much tension you're under.

Write down your goals and review them often. When you fail to plan, you are planning to fail by default.

Focus all your attention and energy on the achievement of your goals.

Don't put things off. Get in the habit every day of doing the more unpleasant things first... If you tell someone you're going to do something, then do it.

Eliminate the word quit from your vocabulary. If you want to be successful over the long haul, you must be willing to stay the course... People, who won't quit, don't.

Learn from your mistakes. There are four things you should do with a mistake: 1) recognize it, 2) admit it, 3) learn from it, 4) forget it.

Be able to admit your weaknesses and establish short-term goals to overcome them.

Dress and look your best at all times.

Respond with a simple, courteous "thank you" when anyone pays you a compliment for any reason.

Sit up front in the most prominent rows when you attend class, meetings, etc.

Replace the word "can't" with "can," and "try" with "will" in your vocabulary.

Be on time. Always try to be at least ten minutes early.

Thrive on pressure. The more you prepare the better able you are to handle pressurized situations. Pressure often brings out extraordinary results.

Develop a study routine. Discipline yourself to study 1 to 2 hours a night. Your grades/ performance reflect the amount of time you are willing to invest.

Stay humble. Respect and recognition comes from personal sacrifice, hard work, and the good thinking.

Coach Bob Knight
"General George S. Patton had an incredible ability to see what he had to do and how to do it. But I think he was pompous beyond what his position called for. General Douglas MacArthur was also an incredible arrogant, pompous guy. Yet he engages more enemy troops with fewer casualties than any other military commander in history. That, to me, is the mark of a great general. But I think my choice as the greatest military commander of all is Ulysses S. Grant... General Grant wore the uniform of a private. He had no self-interest at all. He never tried to promote himself in any way. He felt he was a soldier given a job to do, a distasteful job, and that was to get the war over as quickly as he could. That was his only objective." -- Coach Bobby Knight
Coach Don Meyer
"Innocence is about trust in a team. It's an attitude: doing your most for the team will always bring something good for you. It means believing that everything you deserve will eventually come your way." -- Coach Pat Riley
Championship Basketball Playbook

Championship Basketball PlaybookComplete system needed to Excel as a basketball coach

Transition Offense
Motion Offense
Flex Offense
Zone Offense
Offensive Plays
Inbound Plays
Press Breaker Offense
Full-court Press Defenses
Zone Defenses
Junk Defenses
Man to Man Defense
Game Strategy
Basketball Coaching Manual

"All really successful coaches have a system." - Jim Valvano

Basketball Playbook

In Search of Excellence