Secrets to Success Learned from Playing Basketball

By: Bill Parsons

Success on the court, for me, has translated to success in life. There are 5 components of a good experience on the basketball court, and I've found that they have a place in my business and personal life as well. They are:

1. Play With the Team
2. Be Aware of what the Other Team is Doing
3. Listen to the Coach
4. Practice
5. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Play With the Team

Whether you're a member of a team or the leader, working well with those around you will ensure success. Letting each member of the team perform his or her duties well help make the overall goal attainable. When each person is able to contribute, the final product will be a success. Don't try to do it all yourself, rely on your team and be there for them to rely on as well.

Be Aware of What the Other Team is Doing

No good center worth their salt ignores the other team. If you don't know where they are, you cannot adequately complete your play. This applies to life as well. If you make and sell sneakers, it's only natural that you should know what your competition is up to. If you want to have the best landscaped yard in the neighborhood, you need to know what the Joneses are up to. If your idea of a great yard includes rose bushes of which you have 10, your neighbor who has 15 has just outdone you. Can you keep up? Not if you don't know what the other guy is up to.

Listen to the Coach

Your coach may be your boss, group leader or even an older family member. Chances are if he or she is in one of these roles, they know what they're talking about. Don't be afraid to solicit and take advice where you need it. And if it's unsolicited, don't bristle - you may not be able to see what they see. It's their job to watch out for you and to help you grow; they're not in it to tear you down but to build you up. You can learn from their experiences and would be foolish to not take advantage of the knowledge they have to offer.

Practice

To get better at anything, you have to practice. Not just once, but lots of times. If you're in sales, you need to practice your spiel. If you're a musician, you've got to know your part and study the sheet music. You can't sight read every time you take the stage; you need to play well, or you won't be called back. If you're looking for success on a sports team, you've got to practice together. If you're trying to master a new skill, you've got to practice, there's just no way around it!

Eyes on the Prize

Finally, keep your eyes on the prize. Professionals are in it for the championship. They've got a goal and they stick to it. In order to achieve your own successes, you must keep your eye on the goal and stick to it until you've gotten there. Keep at it, you can do it!

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