30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Natural talent vs. Competitive work ethic

Why is it that the most physically talented players in my experiences have often been the ones who worked just enough at it?

They may do one of two things:
1. work very little, and still get by on their abilities in games, and at that time they do compete and play relatively hard. But, if they had worked much harder on their games, they would be able to take themselves and the team to a different level.


2. put in more practice time than anyone else on the team. They work on moves, they lift, they run, they shoot, shoot, shoot, but yet when the game starts and the refs have the whistles, they don't take advantage of their hard work. They end up being the consumate "team" player when you just want them to take over.

Then you have the little guy, the slow guy, the not as physically challenged guy. He will work his tail off 110% of the time off the court. He is the guy leading in sprints, he is the guy trying to do everything correct in drills and practice. He is often the emotional leader, the soul of the team. He is the one who is talking and probably the Captain of the team.

But he is also the guy that no matter how hard he works, and no matter how much you as the Coach want it for him, he just cannot get it done to the level that you or he wants. He is the guy who would do anything to have the ability of the first guy, to be able to take a game over, to take the team to the next level, to possibly even play at the next level, but he cannot.

If you could somehow mix the two, the heart of the competitor with the physical ability of the athlete that is when a special player comes along. They are all special, and as coaches we often develop guys who can take your team to the next level.

But when the perfect storm hits in the body of the natural "star" what a wonderful sight to behold.