Only a month and a half ago, we were a bunch of individuals. Individuals that were unsure of themselves as players, uncertain of this team, and didn’t have a clue about this new coach. But for some reason, you decided to let your guard down and listen to what I had to preach, to move in ways that were unfamiliar on the court, to take on new disciplines off the court, and slowly open up to the team about you. You took a chance, you took a risk, and the reward is trust
Trust comes in various forms, little and big. Little trust is knowing that a teammate “has your back”. We line our bags up at each practice to help build trust. We know that if you leave something behind, we’ve got your back. We trust that you are making a conscious effort to make smart eating choices and are working hard in exercise when we are apart. Little trust shows on the court. It is trusting that your teammate is discipline on the court, in the right cover position so you don’t have to throw an arm behind your back in an attempted dig. You trust they are there to cover you. We trust that you will be in the proper base defense position and make the correct reads from base. Trust on the court builds a championship team.
Our trust for each other grows every day. In time, we will reach “big trust”. Big trust is knowing you can tell a teammate anything, even if it not easy to talk about, but know you are expressing something to them that will help them. Big trust is listening to your teammate, understanding how difficult it is for them to open up about a thorny topic, appreciate them for approaching you, digest the information without emotion, process the information, try and make that change, and thank them for bringing it to your attention. We will learn to act with intelligence and not emotion.
In the past month and a half, we have embraced discipline, touched on consistency, and learned how to trust. We have already approached the game from a mental capacity far beyond most team we will play this season. Ever hear the expression, “The game is 80% mental and 20% physical”? We are mentally prepared.
Physically, we practiced three days in a row (just like this upcoming tournament), our “days-off” are fun workout days for us, and we have adopted a nutritious lifestyle. We are physically prepared.
Remember to moderately workout on Thursday and eat well balanced meals throughout the week. Be sure to have a couple healthy snacks each day (nuts, fruits, cheese, yogurt, smoothies). No sugary foods. Drink an extra glass of water each day. No sodas, sweet teas, etc. Eat at a healthy restaurant on your drive to Richmond (Subway, Quiznos, Panera, etc.). No fried foods or bad meats. Bring a water bottle with you on the drive. Doing all these little things is being discipline and makes a big difference over a physically demanding weekend.
We are well prepared for our journey to continue this weekend. Believe in yourself and trust that the team believes in you.