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Maintaining a Championship Mindset

When the season first starts, every team is in the championship hunt. Every team sets their eyes on the final prize – winning a championship and being crowned #1. However, now that most of us have reached the halfway point in our season, conference/district play is ramping up and the pressure to win is increasing game by game. It is essential that ever player on your team is approaching every day with a championship mindset.

Legendary Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells once said, ‘In order to win, you have to figure out what makes you lose.’

That is a powerful concept.

So before you can win a championship, you need to figure out what will prevent that from happening.

Here are 11 characteristics that will definitely prevent you from winning a championship:

  1. Entitlement: Players don’t feel they need to earn a championship. They think it will happen automatically based on tradition or last year’s success.
  1. Arrogance: Similar to entitlement, players don’t think losing is even possible. They lack respect for their opponent and for the game itself.
  1. Selfishness: Players think ‘me’ and not ‘we.’ They are more concerned with individual stats than with winning.
  1. Complacency: Players think ‘good enough’ is good enough. It isn’t.
  1. Lack of Confidence: Too much confidence (see #2) is a major problem. But so is a lack of confidence. You have to believe you can win it all.


  1. Lack of Effort: This one is obvious.
  1. Lack of Trust: Players need to trust their coaches and teammates; Coaches need to trust their players and coaches. Lack of trust on either side will create dysfunction and dissention and cause the entire ball of yarn to unwind.
  1. Lack of Conditioning: It is a long season. If players run out of gas mid-way through, they can’t finish the race! Plan your practices accordingly to give your players the most energy on gameday.
  1. Lack of Commitment: Winning a championship requires commitment on and off the court. Staying up late on your computer the night before a game or getting in academic trouble shows a severe lack of commitment.
  1. Lack of Leadership: Coaches can’t be the only leaders on the team.
  1. Lack of Role Acceptance: Basketball is a team game. Every player on the team, from the leading scorer to the last player on the bench, has a specific role. To win a championship, every player on the team must know, accept and take pride in their role.

Want to win it all this year?

Develop a championship mindset and create at championship culture by extinguishing these 11 Championship Killers.



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about rick torbett

Rick Torbett has taught thousands of coaches to win more games through his innovative approach to the game. He has created powerful training for coaches at any level so they can coach their best and win more games.

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Read & React 5-Player Coordination Drills

Enter your email address to get an inside look at teaching the Read & React Offense with the drills in this free video.