5 Life Lessons Basketball Teaches

Many coaches use the game of basketball as a metaphor for the game of life, preparing their athletes for life after basketball. After much thought – I put together my list of 5 life lessons that basketball teaches. Coaches – please comment and add to this list – it would be great to hear more ideas.  

5.  No One Makes it Alone – The best and most satisfying journeys are with others – where you trust in them and they trust in you and in the end, you can all say – “WE did it!”

4.  Life is Not Fair – In basketball – like life – you can do everything right and still not win.  Injuries, a bad call, or a lucky shot can all end a season too soon. Basketball teaches – to keep persevering!

3.  Leadership is a Choice – It does not matter if you are a captain, the coach, the most talented player, or the least talented player – you can make a positive difference with your attitude, actions, and relationships.  Leadership is a mindset to be a positive difference-maker – no matter what your title, position, or rank.

2.  Strive for Excellence Not Perfection – Nobody is perfect – no team is perfect – Excellence is a process of getting better every day.  Each day asking – am I better today than I was yesterday? There are no short cuts – put the work in.  

1.  Selfish People Lose.  There is no other sport that identifies selfish people like basketball – you are outed right away.  Just like in life – selfishness is a dead end. Selfish teams, lose. Real success is getting beyond your self-interest and rooting for the good of everyone  Basketball reveals one’s character!

If you, your staff, or players are interested in a basketball story filled with many leadership lessons – please consider Elite Journey Books.  For more information, please go to michaelmassucci.com.  Wishing you all the best in March and must rest in the offseason. 

Michael Massucci

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One comment

  1. Resiliency. Nothing teaches the ability to bounce up and bounce back quite like hoop. I taught my kids that once a decade life throws you a chin high fast ball. We expect you to get up and get back in the game. Same lesson is at the heart of the ‘next play’ mantra.

    Character. Where else besides on the athletic field/court/diamond/pitch can you enter the contest knowing that you are most likely going to get the stuffing knocked out of you by a superior team. So do you compete your butt off for 32 minutes. Or do you put your head down. I always preferred fouling out and and going over to shake the other coach’s hand and tell him ”You’ve got a great team, you’re a good coach, and I appreciated the opportunity to compete with you guys.’

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