I played basketball since I was ten years old and currently I coach high school basketball. I would say I have had great success with winning in my basketball career. I received a college scholarship and was honored with many awards and accolades for playing basketball.
However, it was not until I began coaching that I had to really hone in on my analytical and mental skills to help prepare the girls to be competitive against good and even bad teams. I had these skills of analyzing and mental preparation as a player which I used sometimes. But, I realized early in my coaching career that we the coaching staff had to prepare our team by answering several questions: who is our competition, what are their strengths and weakness, what are our threats and opportunities, and creating strategies to hide our weakness and not get exploited. We had to prepare the girls in practice for whatever our competition through at them during the game.
I have a perfect example of this situation. Before, I get started with my story I coach for Vincentian Academy which, is located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. By the way, I’m really proud of these girls and love coaching and talk about them any chance I get.
This year we had a really young team. This was our weakness lack of experience but we tried to protect them of this known fact that we were young. We started at times two freshmen and our leading score was a sophomore. But we made it to the Pennsylvania State Championship in Hershey, Pa. I believe we had a really good season because we learned how to get the best out of the girls. Of course, they worked hard and we had some great talent. But in the beginning of the season we had to figure out everyone’s roles and analyze our own team strengths and weaknesses. As, the season went on we got better and when we looked bad we came back even better the next day.
In the State Championship game the team or competition we were playing started five seniors. We only started one senior. Also, when you’re a young team sometimes you freak out during moments that older and more experience teams might stay calm and use that momentum to make positive things happen. As, coaches we were aware of these situations and tried our best to make sure the girls were as prepared for who they were facing, what the arena and atmosphere might be like, and yet try to keep them calm when things might have been going wrong. The end of this story is not a happy ending. We lost that game.
But that is OK because we have learned and will have another season to prove we are the best in the State. Next, year we can use the case “Competitor Analysis Understanding your Opponent “I immediately got excited just by the title.
I often use basketball to help through challenges in my day to day life when it comes to business or even personally. I suggest if you’re competitive at something to use that to understand, motivate, and inspire yourselves to understand your opponents. What tools do you use to put things in perspective when understanding your opponents?
With, that question being asked I’m going to leave you all with a quote from the Zen Master, Coach Phil Jackson.
Once you've done the mental work, there comes a point you have to throw yourself into the action and put your heart on the line. That means not only being brave, but being compassionate towards yourself, your teammates and your opponents.