I. Let’s begin with this, don’t whine. The tough individual can handle any situation and never complain about anything on or off the court.
II. The truly extraordinary do something every day. This individual has remarkable self-discipline, does the summer workout sheets from beginning to end without omission or substitution, and every day has a plan to do something to get better.
III. The focused individual that is a student/athlete for the “right reason” to get an education. They lead life with the proper balance and an orientation towards intellectual growth, and the highest public standards and most noble universal ideals; they make good choices to best represent themselves, their team, and their schools. — Understanding the value of books, computers, and lab equipment— for broadening mastery of one or more important subjects that will go on deepening their understanding of the world, themselves and the people around them.
IV. Champions work hard. This individual embodies the “indefatigable human spirit” and never stops pushing themselves. They are absolutely relentless in training and in games.
V. Don’t freak out over ridiculous issues or live in fragile states of emotional catharsis or create crises where none should exist. The best example is the even-keeled stoic that is forever unflappable and resilient. The worst example is the “over-bred dog,” that high maintenance, overly sensitive flower that becomes unstable or volatile over nothing significant.
VI. Choose to be positive. Nothing can depress or upset this powerful and positive life force – no mood swings, not even negative circumstances can affect this “rock”. (“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose ones own way. And there were always choices to make. (Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance. In the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person (you are is) the result of an inner decision; Therefore, any man can decide that (this) last inner freedom cannot be lost.” Viktor E. Frankl Man’s Search for Meaning).
VII. Treat everyone with respect. This is that classy angel that goes out of their way to never separate themselves from anyone or make anyone feel beneath them. “Class is the graceful way you treat someone even when they can do nothing for you.” - Doug Smith
VIII. Champions care about each other as teammates and as human beings. This is that non-judgmental, caring and inclusive friend that never says a negative thing about anyone and embraces everyone because of their humanity, with no elitist separation by academic class, social class, race, or religious preference.
IX. When we don’t play as much as we would like we are noble and still support the team and its mission. This remarkably noble, self sacrificing, generous human being always places the team before themselves.
X. We play for each other. This is the kind of player that works themselves to exhaustion covering for all of their teammates in the toughest games. Their effort and care plus verbal encouragement make them a pleasure to play with. Selflessness on and off the court helps everyone around them.
XI. We are well led. This is the verbal leader on the field that is less concerned about popularity and more concerned about holding everyone to their highest standards and driving teammates to their potential. This galvanizing person competes all the time and demands that everyone else do as well!
GRATEFUL XII. We want our lives (and not just in basketball) to be never ending ascensions but for that to happen properly our fundamental attitude about life and our appreciation for it is critical. This is that humble, gracious high-achiever that is grateful for everything that has been given in life, and has a contagious generosity and optimism that lights up a room just by walking into it. (“Finally there is the question of whether we have a duty to feel grateful. Hundreds of generations who came before us lived dire, short lives, in deprivation or hunger, in ignorance or under oppression or during war, and did so partly motivated by the dream that someday there would be men and women who lived long lives in liberty with plenty to eat and without fear of an approaching storm.” - Abraham Lincoln)