Thank Goodness - Thanksgiving is Almost Here!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This should be a special time to reflect upon everything we have and all should be thankful for. No matter how tough any of our past or present situations, we must always remember, things could be a lot worse and for certain, there’s always someone else who has it a lot tougher.

Stop. Sit back, close your eyes...Relax... “Now breathe...1-2-3, Breathe…You gotta breathe...Ohhh (a.k.a. Fabolous)!”

Seriously, in the midst of this traditional time we call Thanksgiving, we think it’s important to search for that inner peace within our lives, then pause, and definitely give thanks.

In the heart of this annual celebration time, there’s another tradition that begins too...Basketball season! This tradition also requires a bit of soul searching, alone quiet time and personal reflection to think about how you’re going to write the next chapter of your high school career...But before you begin, we think you better “Breathe, Stretch, Shake, Let It Go” (a.k.a. Mase)!

It’s SHOW TIME! This is the moment you've been waiting for. The moment that you will show everyone you belong, and some way, some how, you will be a force on your team's success! But before the season jumps off, as usual, we would like to leave you with some good old, on the real, advice. Check out the First Team Top Ten List!

The Top Ten Tips to a Successful Basketball Season

10. Be Eligible & Stay Eligible!

[First and foremost, you have to take care of your academics. As we always say, “You can’t make the plays if you can’t make the grades!]

9. Set a Realistic Goal for the Season!

[Set a realistic goal and work towards it everyday; have it visible on your dresser, on your bathroom mirror or in your locker at school.]

8. Eat Right & Sleep Tight!

[Make sure you eat a balanced, healthy diet and you give your body the rest it needs! Read your summer conference notebook or some old First Team Newsletter stories for nutrition and health tips.]

7. Execute Fundamentals, Fundamentals, and Fundamentals!

[Be solid and be text book! Do what you know, know what you do. Now is not the time to experiment. Summer is when champions are made…Fall is when they perform!]

6. Follow Team Rules!

[Honor your team rules and be a part of the team. No one is bigger than the TEAM!]

5. Be Coach-able & Accept Constructive Criticism!

[Don't make the same mistake twice! Take criticism from coaches and upperclassman; know the coach’s philosophy and follow it. Know your role! Ask questions and observe.]

4. How You Practice is How you Play!

[If you loaf in practice, you’ll loaf in the game. When you practice hard every practice as if it were a real game, when game time comes, you will be able to play at a high level of intensity. Out hustle the next guy. Leave all of your effort out on the floor everyday. What are you saving yourself for? You might just find out how much more heart you have buried deep down inside!]

3. Play Hard, Play Smart, All the Time!

[Is there anything else to say? What ever you do, do it with the same enthusiasm, positive attitude and desire. Maximize your time at practice when it’s time to practice. No joking around. You have to do 10-wind sprints at practice, do 10, not 9½. The same for the books. When it’s time study, don’t cheat yourself, study. If your homework requires you to read 3 chapters, read 3, not 2½.]

2. Balance Your “ABS” (Academics, Basketball & Social Life)

[You must find balance between ACADEMICS, BASKETBALL and SOCIAL LIFE. If one begins to dominate, then the others will begin to suffer. Each must be kept in proper perspective with attention dedicated equally to all three. Work those ABS!]

1. Have Fun!

[You’re still a young man or woman and remember you play this sport because you love it! You’re good at something you love and something you’re dedicated to, HOOPS! There’s no pressure on you? What’s pressure? Chuck Knoll, former head coach of the 6-time Super Bowl Champions Pittsburgh Steelers once said, “Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what you’re doing! You know how to HOOP…So HOOP it up!]

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