10 lessons learned from being in basketball teams

Recently my 12-year-old student joined a sport team at school. Feeling nervous about his first day, he asked me ‘what does it feel like to be in a basketball team?’ Then I realized that this has been a long-overdue reflection.

  1. Key to getting better: Work hard; Stay humble. 
  2. Respect has to be earned, never given. – That undeserved respect is called other people’s good manners.
  3. When you talk, talk loudly. When you listen, shut up 100%. Don’t mumble. 
  4. Knowledge of your teammates and opponents is as important as the ability to make those jump shots.
  5. Publicly praise your teammates, privately advise them.
  6. Don’t shy away from responsibility or publicity – if you are the best person to make that last shot, then do it. It’s not selfish if it’s in the interest of the team.
  7. Be extroverted, but solitude makes you a lot stronger.
  8. All great players are selfish to some extent – but they have to earn the right to be so.
  9. Whenever you start feeling bored about a drill, you are about to become better. 
  10. Your left hand could do as much as your right one, don’t waste it.
  11. Leadership is an attitude, not a position.
  12. Don’t worry too much about irrelevant details. If you can’t finish your list in 10 points, 11 is fine. No one really cares.
  13. Key to getting better: Work hard; Stay humble. 



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