Team lessons from the basketball court

images-6For those who know me, you know I am from Kentucky which means in the spring, I’m ready for March Madness!  And yes, I cheer for the Kentucky Wildcats.  Kentucky basketball is a long-standing tradition  and this season’s team has been somewhat of surprise to the Big Blue Nation.

Kentucky fans are accustomed to winning and this season has been nothing short of frustrating.  One game brings astounding precision and the next may reveal a team that just can’t seem to get it together.  For Kentucky, and really any college ball club, there are some principles that must become standard in order to become a championship team. 

March Madness is still a few weeks away. For basketball fans, you will love these lessons. But even if hoops are not your sport of choice, these three lessons are important to understand for any team who aspires to greatness.

1.  You team must remember the basics
Every sport has its fundamentals.  In basketball, it’s the basics of foul shots, turnovers, offense and defense.  Score as often as you can and keep the other team from doing the same.  When each of these basics are performed well, you will see a victory.  Missed shots will lose a game.  And poor defense will too.  For your team, what are your fundamentals?  How well does your team execute customer service, a great product, ease of purchase, product knowledge, etc? Perfect these and you will win.

2.  Your team must have depth
On the courts, five players work together to score baskets then do the same at the other end of the court to prevent the other team from doing the same.  At any point, a player can get into foul trouble, get injured or simply struggle in scoring.  When that happens the team is in jeopardy and must rely on other players on the bench for support.  The same is true for your team.  If you rely too much on one player (or players), your team could be in jeopardy if he is “injured” in any way.  The remedy?  Create bench strength.  Every player must have a back up who can step in as needed.

3.  Your team must know how to face adversity
Most basketball games include a series of lead changes and often a deficit in which the underdog must rally back to take the victory.  For your team, there will be moments of deficit.  It’s natural.  So when (not if) that happens, how will your team rally to inch forward to victory?  Do we know how to face adversity or even loss?  How well does the team work together and instead of casting blame, focuses on solutions.  Let’s be honest, sometimes the team will lose.  We don’t get a contract or perhaps lose a customer.  The difference is how we rebound, address the problems and move forward.  It’s what great teams are made of.

For basketball fans, we enjoy this season.  From game to game, we watch a team mature and hopefully, make it to March Madness.  I know I’ll be watching.  Here’s hoping yours is becoming a great one too.  Play ball!

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