Over the last 18 months I have had the privilege of coaching the Forest Flames basketball team. In that time we have gone from cellar dwellers, losing over 80% of our games, to champions winning the comp with an 85% strike rate. Reflecting back on this journey to glory its worth considering what changed and how. There was no change in players, but there was a huge shift in attitude and belief towards a common goal. From a coach’s perspective this was very rewarding.
The famous baseball player Yogi Berra once said 90% of success in any game is not dictated by skill or talent, but by mental attitude. When I took the coaching role my focus was never on sports specifics. My primary number 1 goal was to re-invent and influence the team on a mental level. In the early days their negative behaviours and attitudes during games were strongly affecting the outcomes. External uncontrollables such as decisions, the scoreboard and opponents were having a huge impact. The reality was the game was not complicated but the people playing it were.
Exerting influence on the team and improving their mental skills needed time and patience. Over the course of 3 seasons we gradually improved. Teams that they previously loss to they now started to dominate. Even when things started to get tight, like the grand finale, there was this fighting spirit and inner belief they could win.
I wish the team well for the future and will now watch from a distance how they go.