I wish you nothing but peace of mind and peace of heart this holiday season. May you be able to find the good in life and pursue your dreams with positivity as opposed to wishing life was different and shrinking through negativity. This is a special time of year and it holds a different meaning for each of us. For some it is the pure joy of seeing the holidays through the eyes of your children, for others it is memories of Christmas past spent with family who may no longer be with us. For many, it is a time of giving to those less fortunate as well as taking great pleasure in watching others faces light up when they open their presents. Regardless, I believe we all share one thing in common ... and that is the feeling of tradition.
Ever since I can remember, my Christmas tradition does not end when the presents are open and the calendar turns to December 26th. Rather….it is just getting going!
You guessed it….High School Basketball Holiday tournaments!
For basketball fans, it is one the best time of the year (along with March Madness, of course). This year will be no different, as my Dad and I will head to York High School for the Jack Tosh 44th Holiday Classic -- 32 teams and games being played for five straight days.
This is a special tradition for my dad and I because we have an incredible bond that was built through the game of basketball. There is no place we would rather be the day after Christmas then together in a gym. It is about way more than “just the game” to my Dad and me. It is about the relationships and life lessons that you see play out on the court.
If you want to teach your kid the “do’s” and “don’ts” about life….bring them to a high school tournament. The lessons start at the dreaded 8:00 AM game the morning after Christmas, and they show up in different ways as the day progresses to the marquee games in the evening.
Success leaves clues.
It does not matter which tournament you go to, or which game you watch … the teams that win are the teams that do these three things:
- Be Prepared - They put themselves in position to be successful. Preparation breeds self-confidence because it requires self-discipline. They know what they are going to do in certain situations….teams that are prepared know their own “stuff”…..they know how to expose the opponents weaknesses and they know how to leverage their strengths in different situations.
- Have a Burning desire to succeed – It is not easy to get up for the 8:00 AM game the morning after Christmas unless you really want it! The teams that make a run in the tournament are the ones who have real passion for playing together the right way. By the right way, I mean doing the little things...communicating, having each other’s back, identifying their role, embracing it and executing it to the best of their ability. Teams that care about each other, win. They will not let each other fail, and they will pick each other up when they encounter setbacks and challenges. They have an undeniable, sincere enthusiasm, not that fake rah-rah, paying it lip service BS! When the ball goes up, they are doing the little things every possession. Those who have a burning desire to succeed do not take plays off. This is the same thing I talk to my business clients about on a daily basis -- being unwilling to do it means you are unwilling to have it. If you are unwilling, you will get exposed.
- Cultivate Resilience - In a blog post I wrote in October of 2016 I talked about resiliency being defined as “the capacity to recover from difficulties quickly, toughness”. Resiliency empowers ordinary people to do extraordinary things, which explains the upsets in basketball tournaments. Teams that win are those that have the ability to bounce back quicker and move on to the next play or game. There is a mindset about them. There mental toughness allows them to access their ability regardless of the situation, both individually and collectively. Simply, they do not quit, and they do not go away. The teams that win are the ones that adjust and figure out how to get things done. They are relentless!
Just like in basketball -- Your level of success in business and life can be the direct result of these three things (preparation, burning desire to succeed, and resiliency).
Consider this to be my stocking stuffer to you!
Seems simple enough, but remember … simple does not always mean easy!
I always appreciate and read every single comment and email you send my way related to these blog posts. I love hearing how the lessons I share here resonate with you on a personal level. Please leave a comment here at the bottom of this post, or email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!