Locker room talk - Part #5 (The DRIVER)
Personal Integrity..."the driver"
Here’s another obvious point; the fastest car on earth won’t safely move an inch without a driver. It can have the perfect engine, the best oil and fuel, but the driver must individually turn the car on and drive it. In order for the driver to safely operate a car, they must personally make the effort to learn and practice the skill of driving. The more effort they put in, they better they become.
Not having personal integrity is like being a drunk driver. Your judgment is impaired and you will make the wrong decisions and dramatically hurt or destroy yourself and others.
Personal integrity is the internal motivation to do the right thing and give your best effort, even when nobody is watching. Personal integrity also means being patient and consistent.
Developing personal integrity begins with your mind; you must consider what are the right things to do. By constantly instilling the right things in your mind, they will soon become a working part of your vocabulary as you conversate with others. Your words will soon become actions. Your consistent actions become habits. Your habits will then define your character. By growing your personal integrity this way, you build personal confidence.
Having personal confidence based on personal integrity is a CRUCIAL element to have as a teammate and coach. Having the peace of mind that you’ve done the right things eliminates guilt and fear when you’re in challenging situations. You have confidence in your role on the team because you personally have worked to perfect your skills with all your heart. That’s why I personally think some of the best clutch players are so “cool under fire”. They’re fine with taking the game winning shot because they literally done it a thousand times before in their personal preparation.
How do I develop my personal integrity in the locker room???
I’m glad you asked *smile*. In my experience, the best way to develop your personal integrity as a player and a coach is to know and embrace your role on the team and understand how it fits into the big picture. From here, begin applying your mind to consider how you can develop your basketball and fitness skills to successfully play this role.
Talk about your role with your teammates and coaches. As you discuss your role, seek to understand and embrace your teammate and coach’s roles as well. In doing this, you’ll begin to see how all of your roles fit together and you’ll begin to build mutual trust. From here, take action by literally working on the specific skills that will help you play your role.
Actively work with your teammates and coaches. Consistently work on these fundamental skills so they will become habits. These habits will soon become part of your character. When challenging games come, all you need to do is stick to your fundamental role and then adjust as the situation dictates. You’ll be confident to make these adjustments because your fundamental role is part of your character and your comfortable with it.
To Sum it all up…
A car needs a complete engine that is oiled, has fuel and a driver in order travel the highway to its destination.
Building the right locker room starts with the coaches and players becoming a family that trusts each other, has passion for the game and has the personal integrity to do all they can to execute their role.
These foundational elements of good team chemistry will eliminate fear and allow players and coaches to really experience their true potential.
Granted, at the end of the day, we all desire to win as many games as we can. The truth is that we will experience losses along the way. The bigger victory is creating the right relationships with your teammates and the coaching staff. The “magic” of strong locker room relationships will long outlast the Xs/Os and winning percentage of a particular season.