This article may also be found at The Coaches Toolbox, a collection of resources for coaches of all sports
You probably don’t agree with all of these and would change the wording on some of them, but my hope is that this stimulates your thinking on how you can more clearly define and list for your athletes what you feel leads to success.
We all have our own definition of success. I like John Wooden’s definition: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”
A starting point for creating your own list…
DRIVE: Desire to win or be successful; sets and maintains high goals for themselves in athletics; responds positively to competition. Desires to attain athletic excellence.
AGGRESSIVENESS: Believes one must be aggressive to win; will not allow others to push them around in competition.
DETERMINATION: Willingness to practice long and hard; often works out willingly by themselves; persevering, patient, and unrelenting in work habits. Works on skills until exhausted.
GUILT-PRONENESS: Accepts responsibility for own actions; accepts blame and criticism even when not deserved; willing to endure physical and mental discomfort.
LEADERSHIP: Enjoys the role of leader and may assume it spontaneously; attempts to influence or direct others in a postiive way.
SELF-CONFIDENCE: Have unfaltering confidence in themselves and their capacity to deal with things; handles unexpected situations well; speaks up appropriately for beliefs to coaches and players.
EMOTIONAL CONTROL: Tends to be emotionally stable and realistic about athletics; will rarely allow feelings to show and performance is not affected by them; not easily frustrated by bad breaks, calls or mistakes.
MENTAL TOUGHNESS: Accepts strong criticism without feeling hurt; can bounce back quickly from adversity; does not need excessive encouragement from the coach.
COACHABILITY: Receptive to coaches’ advice; considers coaching important to becoming a good athlete; accepts the leadership and cooperates with authorities.
CONSCIENTIOUSNESS: Tends to be exacting in character, dominated by sense of duty; will not attempt to bend rules and regulations to suit own needs; places the good of the team above personal well being.
TRUST: Accepts people at face value, believes what the coaches and teammates say and does not look for ulterior motives behind their words or actions; tends to get along well with teammates.
The Way to Victory
Victories of life are won not on the fields nor in the marts where the decisive struggle takes place, but in the obscure and forgotten hours of preparation. Success or failure lies in the hands of the individual long before the hour of final test comes.
In the higher fields of success there are no accidents; we reap precisely we they have sown and nothing else; they do well precisely what they have prepared to do and they do nothing else well.
The world puts its force into us when we put ourselves in right relation with it: Experience makes us constantly wiser if we know how to rationalize it: Time deposits all manner of treasure in our imagination and memory, if we hold the doors open.
Nothing is lost upon a person who is bent upon growth, nothing wasted on one who is constantly preparing for their work and life by keeping eyes, mind, and heart open to nature, people, books, and experience. All things that we have seen, heard, known and felt come to our aid at the critical moment to make our thought clear and keep our illustration luminous, our speech eloquent and inspiring.