Handling in-game adversity – an observation from Boise State Basketball
I am absolutely convinced that how a team reacts to in-game adversity is a major differentiator between a good team and a championship team.
If one thing is guaranteed in sports, it is that eventually something is not going to go your way. Whether it’s a blown call, a key injury, the opponent jumping out to an early lead… it’s guaranteed to happen… multiple times. It’s part of competition. But, you guys know this.
You can’t control the breaks. But, you CAN control how you react. There is that split second where you have a choice. You can get mad, frustrated, mope around, feel sorry for yourself, project blame — all of which are destructive. Or, you can refocus, embrace the challenge, try harder, get up, come back — all of which are positive and lead to positive results.
This is one of the things that makes competitive athletics so special.
Which brings me to the inspiration for writing this post. Big kudos go out to the BSU Men’s Basketball team for how they handle in-game adversity. I was very impressed watching them in person the other day. After getting scored on, they immediately inbound the ball and push it up the court. I mean, there is zero time to catch your breath. They don’t sit around and think about what just happened, they attack. You can tell this is deliberate, and practiced. It is a real credit to Coach Rice for emphasizing this mindset.
You just dunked on us? Don’t care… we’re coming right back at you and going to score while you’re busy high-fiving your teammates.
Check it out next time you have a chance to watch them play. it’s is a beautiful thing.
It’s one of those subtle coaching points that make a world of difference.
We have a lot more to write about on this topic, and how you can put practices in place with your team that turn things that appear to be unfortunate into situations into things that give you an advantage. Stay tuned!