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So You Want to Play College Basketball -Perspective

Nbc Basketball Camps College Player Series

If you want to play college basketball, you need a big dose of perspective.  Without it, you won't be able to reach your goals.

Perspective helps us understand the choices others make.  This is an especially essential skill in basketball. You need to know how coaches perceive your skills, your talent and your weaknesses.   If your coach admires players who are very cautious with the ball, loves players who never turn the ball over or rarely take risky shots, and he or she runs a “slow down” offense while you are a very flamboyant player, wanting to dunk rather than lay it in, looking for the behind the back pass, rather than a regular pass, you will find yourself at odds with that coach.  Learning to understand what each coach values will help you become more effective as a player.   The same is true for working with referees.  One of the greatest things you can do to improve perspective is to become a referee.  Try reffing a pick-up game, or volunteer for the YMCA.  Anytime you can get out of your personal bias and experience life from a new perspective, you gain wisdom and insight.

  • Technically, a foul is an infraction of the rules concerning illegal personal contact with an opponent and/or unsportsmanlike behavior.  In reality, a foul is what the referee calls a foul.
  • Some referees allow a lot of body contact, others allow very little.
  • Learn to see quickly what a referee perceives to be a foul.
  • Make adjustments.  If the referee is allowing lots of contact, work to be strong with the ball, draw fouls by adding more fakes, block reaching with your off arm,   If the referee is not allowing much contact, work on getting in proper position on defense.  Be sure to maintain control and be on balance to ensure you maintain distance as a defender.
  • Learn what your coach values
  • Work to see your game and skills from the perspective of college coaches


What is Perspective?
Perspective means point of view, attitude, frame of reference, objectivity, relativity, context, way of looking.

If you look at the synonyms for the word perspective, you will see two contracting words-- objectivity and relativity. This great paradox is the beauty of perspective.  True perspective provides objectivity and yet perspective by definition is relative. Two really interesting definitions come out of perspective. The first is a person’s mental view or outlook. In other words, how someone sees the world, themselves and their relationship to the world. The second definition is a way of regarding situations, facts, etc., and judging their relative importance. We get the phrase "putting things in the proper perspective" from this second definition. Perspective is so important because it influences the choices we make.

• Your perspective about your talent will influence how you work out.
• Your perspective about your future will influence how you spend your time.
• Your perspective about relationships will influence how you speak to those around you.

7 Ways to Gain Greater Perspective

1. Choose humility.  Nothing ruins perspective like ego. Humility helps us not only to listen more, react less, and see life through a more objective lens, humility also helps us put into perspective what matters most.  Humility comes from the Latin root meaning "of the earth."  When we have a more down-to-earth view point, we can make the real changes necessary to be better players and better people.

2. Discipline your mindset. Your thoughts influence the way you view the world. Research shows if you perceive yourself to be bad at math, you will perform badly at math. Studies show a person who reads a very frightening news article will perceive his or her surroundings with greater suspicion and fear. Be disciplined about the thoughts, images and stories you allow into your mind, they influence your view of everything and everyone around you.

3. Impact versus Intent. One of the most difficult things to navigate in life are relationships especially your relationship between you and your coach.  One way to help make your relationships with others move in a more positive direction is to understand the difference between intent and impact.  Intent is what you mean to have happen.  Impact is what does happen.  Picture a team.  A coach has the intent to motivate one of her players.  She yells at the player to box-out.  Her intent is to push her player to perform better.  This player interprets the yell as the coach hates her. From this particular player's viewpoint, yelling connotates dislike and anger.  The coach must recognize impact and the player needs to be more aware of intent.  Both must work together to begin to understand each person's way of viewing the situation.

4. Elevate gratitude.  Bitterness, blame, ego, resentment, feelings of inferiority or superiority all influence our perspective. One of the great ways to clear our minds, and come to a better, more wise place is to elevate our gratitude. Studies have found, a person with a high gratitude level is able to problem solve significantly better than a person with a lower gratitude level. Gratitude is a decision and like any skill requires repetition and purposeful intention.

5. Admit you are wrong.  When you do something wrong, admit it and move on.  People who do something wrong and then spend so much time trying to defend their actions when they are indefensible, become more entrenched in their problems. Don't hold mistakes so personally. Everyone makes mistakes. Take responsibility, forgive yourself and apologize, learn what you can and move on. Shame and blame only create more mistakes.

6. Find a weakness mentor.  Research shows the greater the diversity, the greater the output.  Identify your strengths and weaknesses, find people on the court who do really well what you need to improve.  Learn from them, study them. The same applies in life, if you lack self-discipline, find a disciplined person who can help you advance.

7.  Memorize. Your mind is incredible active and creative. What you feed your mind matters.  Look at all the influences your brain receives. Studies prove that people say they are not influenced by the ads on television but when they are given testing the research proves otherwise. The songs you listen to, the news you read, the shows you watch, your friendships, all influence your mind.  Memorizing information builds, protects, and brings your brain back to a better worldview. Memorize  poems, quotes, verses or passages which bring you back to proper perspective. 


Perspective versus Assumption

According to scientists, most errors in scientific research happen because people can’t fully remove their own subjective point of view.  They view life through a selective grid which allows certain hints, clues and information to come through and important key information to be blocked.  Errors also happen in relationships when we turn perspective into assumption.   Assumptions are very dangerous.  As the old adage goes, Assumptions lead to Accusations leading to Altercations.   A student in voice performance shares how dangerous assumptions can be.   “When I was a freshman, we had to perform in front of the other freshman.  After our performance, a very good instrumentalist came to each of the vocalists and said what a fantastic job he or she did.  When she came to me, she just looked at me and walked on.   I was devastated.  I started to doubt my voice and my ability.  Four years later, when I was a senior, she came up to me after my senior recital and said, ‘When I heard you our freshman year, your voice blew me away, I was absolutely speechless.’  My assumption cost me a great deal of needless self-doubt.”   This can easily happen during a season.  A player starts losing confidence by trying to interpret the thoughts of teammates and coaches.  True perspective doesn't jump to assumptions but works to see life as clearly as possible.  Some of the best ways to avoid making assumptions is by asking questions.

These key questions help us to see life from different angles.
• Tell me more..
• What did you notice?
• How did this come across to you?
• What was your experience?

If you want to play college basketball you must become adept at understanding perspective both from a coach's point of view and your own.  Become aware of blocks to clear perspective in regard to your talent.  Avoid assumptions, work on building perspective and get to a place of wisdom and clarity.  

About NBC Basketball Camps
NBC Camps has grown to become the largest overnight basketball program in the world with locations around the United States, Canada, the UK, Austria, Italy and now Thailand.  Campers have gone on to play in the NBA, WBNA, professionally overseas, and play or coach at many colleges and university programs. NBC Camps is a member of US Sports Camps network of outstanding summer sports camps throughout the world. Players, coaches, parents and members of the media interested in learning more about NBC Camps are invited to visit www.nbccamps.com or phone 1-800-406-3926.

This article was written by J. Ferch, COO of NBC Basketball Camps.  Ferch is a sports psychologist and has a masters degree in psychology from Gonzaga University.  

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