"Can't" never could win. "Can't" never could do anything.
Just how powerful is will power? "The phrase "where there's a will there's a way" has become cliche, but it's more than a phrase and when Coaching Youth Basket-ball, will power is a concept that should be taught, as it should be taught in all sports.
Legendary Coach Vincent T Lombardi once said, "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."
You may have also heard it said somewhere that the winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I WILL, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can't do.
Can't never could.
What it amounts to is a state of mind and ultimately a state of being. I call it a champion state of being. Players who fail to take hold of this concept are ultimately afraid or perhaps, unwilling, to try, for fear of failure. The fear in many cases comes from some perceived ineptitude that the player may or may not possess. One can never know what one can do or cannot do unless one simply tries.
But that's just the beginning. In order to truly try, to truly give yourself a chance at success, you really have to believe you can do something, otherwise you're just hoping.
Once again, we are at that point where sport meets real life, where a lesson of will power mastered on the athletic field can carry over into the office, a marriage, a PHd, a daily cross fit workout, a mid-term, or even baking a freaking cake, dunking for your students...actually scratch the last one, but the point is always the same... (INSERT OWN Challenge Here).
All things being equal, the player/team with the stronger will, wins. People will say "they wanted it more," and talk about "how they out-hustled" or "did the dirty things"...but it all boils down to will power.
So it follows the principle that teaching the youngsters the power of will and the power of exerting their will on the game in which they are trying to learn is paramount for their future individual success and the success of their team.
It's not a stretch to realize that the player who is able to successfully exert his will on the game when he chooses, not only grows in confidence, but is more likely to be clutch when the game is on the line.
Any coach who has watched his team finally "get it" and finally reach their true potential knows it's a special thing to watch the whole team do this. Coaches you know the times, it's beautiful isn't it when it seems like even the last person on the bench that you put on the floor is going out there and making big plays. It can happen in the blink of any eye, where all of sudden every player wants it so badly, all the practice, all the teaching and all the hard work gels and each player seemingly turns legend...Even if it's just for a half, it's a beautiful thing.
If only you can get them to play like that all the time. Hey, Coaches need to exert their will too!