Author: Valts_R (Page 3 of 4)

BCH U16-2 game against Höhenkirchen 1


“To run fast and shoot fast doesn’t matter anything. Mind over everything.”

/Pēteris Višņēvics (Basketball Coach)

Another game down, another loss, another lesson learned. We went down with 60 to 34. Opponents had a strong roster and advantage of the home court. One big guy my size (for that age – quite impressive!) and a really good diver with some crazy arc shot from mid-distance.

Goals for this game were:

  • Keep the big guy in check to our best efforts as we had no one to match him in size.  He had been playing also last year in this age group and had skill advantage. The secondary goal was to get him fouled out of the game.
  • Keep the Diver in the check with full-court press the whole game. He’s top-scorer for opponents and his best one was 37 points per game, in another going 26. Tough job for the guys.
  • Get better in offense. I can say that defensively this team has been doing okay, but offense was struggling. Goal was to take more shots in mid-range and free, non-contested shots from three-point line.
  • Break the mental block in team to make them work more together and play harder, better basketball.

First Quarter

Team went in knowing that very tough job awaits. I had been telling them that two of opponents are very hard to deal with and if we take care of them – we have a chance for a good game. Full-court press on the Diver and practice not letting the big guy to post-up in the Zone. Also, if he manages to get the ball – we double him. Now, the quarter was struggle as always, at start guys slept in defense, offense not quite running, missing baskets on fast breaks. Team did a little bit worse than okayish and we ended up with 19 to 8, 11 points down. Nothing big, I awaited to get kicked in the knee at first quarter because of their experienced big guy and the Diver. Still, bench presence was good, motivation okay and guys fought well.

Second Quarter

Now this quarter went to shit. 13 to 4 loss for us in this quarter. (Luckily for us – opponents also missed shots and some Freethrows) Offense was struggling a lot, shots didn’t go in – which wouldn’t be a problem if guys wouldn’t get mental block again. They made bad decisions, bad passes – no one wanted to take responsibility and initiative. DUe to that – those who did, didn’t get any help from others. Bench went silent, defense started to make mistakes, attention went down. Guys started to think there’s nothing to do. First-half ended with 32 to 12. The score won’t be so disappointing if there was a fight and we Team would just miss buckets, but the fight wasn’t there. Mental block.

Half-Time Break

There was only one thing to do – take the team to lockers and give them reality check. Ask some questions and make them answer for themselves. What are we doing here? Do we drive all this distance just to mess up again? Do we want to play like kids or like young men? Fight like individuals who can’t take responsibility for their actions or take it, make it matter and work together as a team? Trust each other and help each other in defense – because that is what men do. That is how men play basketball.

Now, this turned some gears in their heads. We went out, warmed up for second-half and went in the game.

Third quarter

The team I wanted to see. Young men, not kids anymore. It took the realization that it’s up to them to choose – fight or not. Guys started to fight as a Team. Took individual responsibility, made better decisions, fought in defense alone and together. Helping, talking! Communicating! Now this is was some good basketball. Because of the good defense also offense did better – more penetration to basket, more fakes which lead to more fouls from opponents and some Freethrows. Sadly enough distance shots were still missing and without them we couldn’t pull over – lost third quarter with 11 to 8. Minus 3, not 11, not 9. Three. Mental block had been lifted.

Fourth quarter

Now, one thing is to fight knowing that you can win, but I think most of the guys realized that this game for us was as good as dead – we woke up too late. But this was the new team, the team who had realized that fighting now is more important than the score at the end. So they learned and applied this new knowledge. They fought. Worked on given goals. Top-scorer was in check, made some points, but was far from scoring over 30 or even 25 this game. He checked out with 17 points. Now, some of them were over defense and pretty lucky. I consider that  guys did pretty neat job keeping him in check. Talking about the big guy – he checked out with 20 points what doesn’t surprise me as he had big advantage over our physical abilities. Sorry, we checked him out! After 39 minutes we got him fouled out. Too late, yes, I know, but goal accomplished! 2 fouls happened in 3rd quarter and 2 in 4th. If we had the mentality of second half – I am sure he would be out till half-time and we would take the game. This time we ended up with 17 to 14 loss on fourth. Also just minus 3!

End game 60 to 34 due to bad show on first half.

Now, despite the loss – team learned a lot, did improve and at the end accomplished all goals I had set and ordered:

  • Guys did hard job the whole game to keep the big guy on check! No issues there, very good job. And he got fouled out also! Doesn’t matter that it was 39th minute. Goal accomplished.
  • Second tough job – done. Had to change guys frequently and this job checked their stamina. Whole time when he was on field – full-court press and deny. There were some holes now and then, but barely noticeable and most of them due to the reason that defender had to help a teammate on stopping another opponent player form diving. Goal accomplished.
  • All right, first-half wasn’t better, but second was! More jump shots taken, more three-point shots taken which resulted in more offensive rebounds and more points. Comparing to previous games – great achievement in second half. More confidence individually and as a team. More passes, more teamwork. Goal accomplished.
  • We go the mental block after first half and lifted it in second. Didn’t happen in previous games. Will to fight was there, higher focus and in second half there was no recrements left from this mental illness. Goal accomplished.

Now it is important to keep this attitude in the Team. This was first (very) important step in life education of these young men. Make a decision, take the responsibility, work as a team, help the team, help your brothers of basketball. Do your work as individual to get team going and get the work done as a team. Transformation. Mind over everything.

My job now is to strengthen these principles in practices and make them work with the first second of the next game. I have a good feeling about this.

Coach Valts

Compete with yourself

Today one of my players sent me an observation of himself. He has observed that there are more athletic players at his age than he is. They seem to have played basketball longer than him. Bare in mind that this is U16 player. Now, while it is good to observe yourself and know where you stand in the scheme of things, I think it is important not to look at other abilities in self-destructing way. You can’t beat the others. There always will be someone more athletic, faster, bigger, better, smaller (also this counts!), stronger, more experienced, more intelligent.

One side

Now, if we acknowledge that there will always be someone better we can start to do what we have to do – work with oneself. You can’t beat the other person if you don’t beat yourself first. This is the practice of the greats, this is what all the great guys has done and that is the reason why they were the best. The only competition for them was themselves. That’s right. Only person you have to compete in the quest of life is yourself. Not your brother, not your sister, not your mama, not your dada, not your annoying, perfect cousin Jess (no offense to Jess), not your best friend, not that random athletic guy at the opposing team. No, not them – you, you have to compete with yourself.

This is the secret. This is all there is – be better today than you were yesterday. One-half a second faster, one push-up better, know one word more, read one more page. Even if it is a little bit – be better. Learn something new, train a bit more, help someone you know, help someone you don’t know. Be a better version of yourself. Others doesn’t matter. Your action does. Your attitude and your work.

The other side

My daughter is at the point where she is slowly learning to crawl. If you are a parent or oldest sibling in family, you will know that every kid does it at his own time. Of course we can do some things that help them to get hang of it faster, but still – every kid does it at a different time. Now, this observation brings me back to the idea what I read in one of the Zen stories. Nature has it’s own pace. You can’t really ask a tree when it will be grown. The same kind of tree will grow differently, or by moving it over continents – it might not grow at all. That is the nature of a tree. Of a living being. Also – it can be observed between other kinds of plants and also we humans have natural pace build into us. Kids start to roll, crawl or walk whenever they are ready and able to carry out this action.

“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function on of what the whole ocean is doing.” /Alan Watts

There is this thought of Alan Watts that we are “it”. There is no point in seeking around us (outside of ourselves), we have to seek within and the more you look, the more you understand that there is nothing in, because you are “it”. You are the Cosmos itself. Everything else is in relation to you and you are in relation to everything else. You are your mind and that is everything else. So, there is no point in looking at others and saying they are better or worse than you are. The only place to look and improve is yourself. That is why improving yourself you will also improve everything around you. This is one of the Universal Laws of Life. Pace of Nature itself.

Valts R.

BCH U16-2 game against Haar 2


Mental struggle continues. After our first game against Ottobrunn it seemed as good Season start for my boys, but unfortunately at second game in Holzkirchen Team got mental block. Since then we are struggling against every other team that comes before us. Mentally. Also in this game where struggled the whole game and then broke down in last six minutes because of the mental issues. Lost 34 to 42.

We managed to achieve a goal as a Team to play good defense. It still isn’t perfect or even very good defense, but it is good defense. Good defense is good enough for now. It will develop over time. At least team has no mental blocks there, only thing to do defensively is to keep working on communication, out-boxing and foot work. I am happy to say that my young sirs understood the message from the team defense and now it is question of time and effort.

Offense however… is not so good. Part of it might be that I put a bigger emphasis on defense at the beginning of season. Since the game with Holzkirchen I’ve been putting emphasis on offense which requires a different kind of mental game as defense does. While in defense the players has no problem taking on contact and closing the players – in offense team is somehow afraid on taking the contact. I have to find a way to make this work. Willingness to do lay-ups and plays without being afraid from contact coming.

This refers also to 50-50 balls. Because of the fear from contact players also don’t go for loose balls (which are called 50-50 balls because of the same chance anyone getting it – opponent or yourself). This is a big problem as there are many situations per game where the ball is for the grabs and the opponents get it just because they want it a little bit more. This transfers also directly to rebounding or any type of fight for the ball – after first step of aggression, that is – jumping and touching the ball, players stop and don’t go for the second, third or whatever step to SECURE the ball! This is mental thing, this has to be drilled mentally not to stop on spot after first step, but do whatever is necessary to secure the ball and start our possession.

Now, these are the observations I have. It is very important to act on this mental game as it can’t just be fixed with more drills or more running or whatever. It is also important to act upon them as it reflects the whole being of a young man. This mental fear can come or go into young man’s life and do a damage there. My goal here is to teach them to become mentally strong on the field and hope that they will be able also to transfer this skill of mental toughness into life. This is the vision.

Coach Valts

BCH U16-2, game against Holzkirchen


“Don’t be upset about the results you got with the work you didn’t do.” /Unknown

This pretty much sums up the game of today. We went in with confidence, too much of it and came out crushed. Focus had went to sleep, courage ran off and heart seemed to have stopped to beat. There was nothing in my knowledge I could’ve done to turn this around. That angers me. Also, as a Coach, my job now is to find a way, a solution to this problem we faced today and expel it from our dictionary. It can’t happen again. It will though, but at least we will be ready for it.

Complication of overconfidence and ignored rules of war.

I let them fly. The first game was good, why not? Let the boys have the confidence boost. I also unknowingly underestimated our next opponent. Their will to win. Now, from the perspective of “The Art of War”, I didn’t prepare for the War properly. I let my troops loose and it resulted of lost Focus and Discipline. If we were in the order, it would’ve been much closer game. Team was strong, but we could’ve done better for sure with more Focus and better Discipline.

The second thing is that Team lacked ‘Fierceness in Combat’. We lost it in fear. We lost it because Leadership (that’s me) failed.

“There must be no hesitancy in using any method to bring about the complete and utter destruction of the enemy. It is the only way to ensure victory of a lasting nature.

Fierceness is a natural state when troops see the wisdom of their leader. Correct tactics are required to ensure that any approach to the enemy will be consistent with victory. It is the perceptive warlord who prepares for any eventuality and accepts victory with a glad heart.” /The Art of War (S.F. Kaufman interpretation)

Now, this is the thing. Steady hand. Not just from the players, but also from the Coach. My hand today wasn’t steady. I lacked the knowledge and the wisdom to turn things around. I hadn’t planned for the particular eventuality which the game took. Leader had no answer when nothing we had learned worked and players lost courage. We hesitated to answer the opponents for too long. They over ruled us with their confidence and willingness to dominate. Once some of the players recovered and find the flame of fighting inside them, it was already too late. Enemy had grown too strong already.

The Future.

“If you want to walk in fields of green, you have to be willing to dig in the dirt.” /Unknown

We trained before. With a structure. Now it is time to re-structure and work harder. Today was about waking up – game must be taken at least one level higher as it was. You don’t continue as you did before and get better results. You embrace the defeat, find the solution and keep working harder, better and smarter. This is what awaits the BC Hellenen U16-2. Growth in mind and body.

Coach Valts


Just a tool. Or is it?

“Put down your phone, look at the skyline.” /M. Diaz

A true reminder. Everything happens in there – communication with family, friends and colleagues. E-Mails, WhatsApps, Facebooks, Instas. Games, texts, books and articles. Everything you can imagine. This is something I lived through once. A book I recently read reminded me of that. Well, that and my good friend and colleague Diaz. It’s not in there! Easy to forget! Not going back – the way is forward. It’s a change of direction if you may.

It’s just a tool! Made to connect us easier, communicate faster, get things done more efficiently. Be damned, it seems sometimes like this advancement in technology makes us more busy instead! Online 24/7, always rolling. Where is that extra free time?

Human nature needs brakes. Discipline. Otherwise it takes on everything World has to give. This is how I get lost. How many other get lost. Awakening – look at the skyline. Lost my roots with the self-consciousness. Being. This moment, observing things and writing about them. Creating. Not some bullshit creation – creating from observations. That’s what Murphy did when he wrote all those Laws and others wrote as well, all those Scholars, Masters, Scientists, Artists and Writers. They observed and to observe one must gain knowledge and be in the actual moment. Then create.

Put it down. Hit the brakes. Oh, yes. You’ll find the true meaning of things. Go to the most busiest place in middle of the day. Sit there for a hour and observe. Write it down. No phone, no online, nothing. Got it? Good! Now don’t sleep, carry it for whole day and go outside in the night and sit somewhere near Mother Nature. Find a lake, river, a tree will do! Now sit there for an hour and observe the night. Write it down. No phone, no online, nothing.

Go home. Look at what you wrote. Is the night really more peaceful than the day?

This is how this began. This is how this must continue. Stories of the Night.




Ir dienas, kad padoties ir aizliegts. /M. Zvīdriņš

Grāmata. Pasaka. Stāsts. Dzīve.

Es neizdzīvoju visu haipu par un ap. Tomēr dzīve man tika devusi norādes, lai kaut uz nelielu brīdi, bet dzirdētu daļu no šī stāsta dzīvē. Parunātos pāris minūtes. Uzdotu jautājumu, kuru vairs neatceros. Protams, neatceros arī atbildi. Tas bija pirms grāmatas. Tagad manā īpašumā ir 498. grāmata no 1. metiena 1000 eksemplāriem. Daļēji pilnais stāsts. Pasaka.

Ziedonis kādreiz teica – kad Jūs izlasāt, tad tie vairs nav mani vārdi. Tie ir jūsu vārdi, jūsu uztvere un sapratne. Tas ko es ar to domāju vairs nav svarīgi.

Paldies, Mārtiņ, par vārdiem.

Tad nu…

Šī ir pasaka par Mākoņkilometru tirgotāju. Visiem tiem, kuri ir aizmirsuši kā ir jāsapņo. Visiem tiem skilleriem, kuri ir aizmirsuši, ka dzīve dāvā daudz vairāk nekā entās stundas monotoni veicot vienu un to pašu darbību vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un vēlreiz un… vēlreiz. (Ja vien, tas netiek veikts kāda, hmm, interesantāka mērķa vārdā.) Tiem, kuri vēlas zināt, kas ir neatlaidība. Dzīvībai bīstama neatlaidība. Tiem, kurus aizrauj patiesi stāsti, drūmi stāsti un stāsti ar beigām. Stāsti ar pieturām. Tiem, kuriem nepietiek spēka. Tiem, kuriem pietiek spēka. Piedzīvojumu meklētājiem. Tiem, kuri dzīvo pēc kodeksa. Tiem, kuri ir zaudējuši. Tiem, kuri ir zuduši paši. Tiem, kuri ir atradušies.

Ha! Līdz vārda izlasīšanai grāmatā, es nezināju, kura spēle bija pakļāvusi Mārtiņu tik traki, ka no tās bija grūti tikt vaļā. Izlasot nosaukumu es sapratu. Tā ir to gadu, iespējams, populārākā MMO. Es arī biju tās varā, iespējams ilgāk, nekā pašam patiktu atzīt. Tā arī ir spēle, kas ir mainījusi dzīves uztveri un dzīvi ik vienam tās rubas spēlmanim, kuru es pazīstu. Iespējams, tieši tur pavadītās stundas iedzen ko tādu… kas paliek.

Grāmata ir interesants notikumu virknējums. Interesanti ir tas, ka interesantākās grāmatas, ko savā dzīvē esmu lasījis, ir tikušas rakstītas līdzīgi. Notikumi mētājas no viena uz otru, līdz saplūst vienotā stāstā un top skaidrs, ka katra mazākā nianse bija tur, kur tai bija jābūt. Sākums liekas neloģisks, beigas ģeniālas. Sākums ir lēns, bet jo vairāk lapu cilvēks pāršķir, jo ātrāks un aizraujošāks kļūst stāts. Tas ievelk sevī. Liek just līdzi.

Mans paziņa man deva padomu – pirms tu lasi grāmatu, uzzini ko vairāk par autoru. Tas var mainīt domas. Tās bija veiksmīgas sakritības, kas man atļāva paskatīties uz autoru un dzirdēt viņa balsi pirms grāmatas. Vērtību izpratni. Improvizācijas dotumus. Dzīves uztveri. Attieksmi. Stāju. Es nezinu, kam Mārtiņš rakstīja šo grāmatu. Es tikai zinu, ka pirmajā lapā ir vieta, kur uzrakstīt novēlējumu ik vienam eksemplāra īpašniekam. Šī nav grāmata visiem. Šī ir grāmata tam tūkstotim, kuri autoru jau ir iepazinuši.

Turklāt es nespētu sabojāt grāmatas lasītprieku ar spoileri, ja teiktu, ka grāmatas beigas ir grāmatas sākums. To sapratīs tikai tie, kuri izlasīs darbu no vāka līdz vākam. Meistarīgi, Mārtiņ, meistarīgi.

Ir jāiet!



Reaping and Sowing

The (Universal) Law of Reaping and Sowing:

“Whatever you plant in your mind, you will eventually manifest in the outside World.”

You’ve probably heard (or read) a variation of this sentence many times before. I certainly have and there is a reason for that. It works. It is one of the many Laws of this Universe, of this World. Of course, as always I’ve tried this myself otherwise I wouldn’t write about it.

In the past Months I’ve been around – working, playing, learning, reading and for the most part – thinking. I’ve been generating ideas, writing them down and planting the best ones in my mind. Then nurturing them. I’m far from being optimal at growing them and keeping the best possible environment for them to grow, but I am also far from where I was one or two years ago.

You see, once you start to put your mind on ideas and take actions upon them (as we all know – Ideas only become reality if you act) – magic happens. For me it started slow and now has taken a steady pace. Once you start to conscientiously planting seeds in your mind after some time they grow and as they grow you also start to change physically – then, you start to see those plants to take over the World around you. They change your existence and your perception. Once you’ve started this process – new people come in your life, they bring new things and other ideas. It snowballs. You plant more and more, the more you plant – the more you manifest.

Be warned though – sometimes with all the new things comes also unwanted seeds. They produce weeds and these weeds try to bring down your new, beautiful garden. It has always been so. So be careful and be aware, keep your garden free from the weeds, sometimes it’s a hard job to get them out. Sometimes after doing so it hurts even. It is necessary. One cannot live in weeds. Many of us do. For too long.

As I am on my Quest to make people more aware, please, do me a favor – take a moment and think about what and who is your weeds in your mind. Get them out. Then take another moment and plant new seeds. With beautiful plants. With future. Make yourself better for yourself, your family, your friends, your community and this World. I promise, this works. I tried it.

What you sow, you shall reap.



On work.

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” /Vince Thomas Lombardi (1913-1970)

To those who don’t know who Vince was – ‘one of the greats’. Vince T. Lombardi was an American Football Coach and is best known as the Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1960s. In his time with the team he led them for 3 straight and 5 total NFL Championships within 7 (!!!) years! Additionally he won the first two Super Bowls in years ’66 and ’67. Impressive indeed.

Now, I see a lot of people around me that want some kind of success in their lives. It doesn’t have to be professional success specifically. Though, work for most of us takes A LOT of our time. So, the question is – what are you going to do about it? Are you going to complain your every working hour about how shit everything is? Are you going to do the job badly, because of a variety of excuses? They pay me too less, this is not my business, this job sucks, I could do better if I wanted – I don’t have to do this. I have seen and heard all of this, heck, at some part of my life – I had some of the these thoughts and questions myself. I didn’t know any better. I surely do now.

Some of my teachers back in Secondary Professional School used to say: “How are you expecting to do the job for the money if you can’t do it properly for free?” Back then I didn’t understand the importance of this question. Now it has become one of my corner stones in work ethic. Do your job as best as you can – always. It doesn’t matter if or how much you get paid to do it. As most of things in our lives – this is a decision you simply have to make! You have to decide that, from this day forward, I will do my best work I can. Be it working at your employer, your business, solopreneur, cleaning your bathroom, mowing your lawn, helping your neighbour or random stranger. Make a decision to do the best work. Always.

This takes a discipline and this disciplinary practice will convert also to other parts of your life! As I mentioned above – we spend A LOT of our time working and when we are not working (as in employment for money) we do other kinds of labour to keep ourselves going, right? So, the work doesn’t go anywhere. Go with the Nature – accept work as a part of life (which it is). Be positive! As work consumes our waking lives – don’t fight against it… This is not how our World works! Flow with the stream. This brings us to second decision which should be made simultaneously:

Enjoy what you are doing. There is no escaping doing the job, so you might as well make best of it and enjoy it, learn from it.

  1. Make a decision to do your work as good as you can.
  2. Make a decision to enjoy whatever labour you are performing.

This is what makes all the difference between normal everyday people and people like Vince T. Lombardi. They have made the decision. Their decision is good work ethic. Their decision is to demand best of themselves and if you want to work with them – demand best of their peers. You don’t have to become ‘one of the greats’. Not everyone can, not everyone must, but we can learn from them and make OUR everyday lives better. Heck, maybe one day you will also become “one of the greats’.

Decide and enjoy,


The first Season.

To be a leader, you must stand for something, or you will fall for anything. /Anthony Pagano

First season as a youth basketball Coach is behind, off-season is here and second season is peeking just around the corner. I was asked for a feedback and I thought – let’s share the experience. Let’s share some of the important lessons I learned in my first season as a youth basketball coach.

One of the first and most important things I learned by becoming a Coach is to be as organized as possible. (Special thanks to Kostas for pointing it out for me) Be organized and be simple. Nothing is as crucial in team effort as organization. It is the key. Even if the team is not as able physically and don’t yet possess required skills – organization will keep them floating while you can keep working on physique and skill sets. Organization should be put before everything else while managing a team, not just basketball – any type of team. This helped me throughout the whole season to minimize the losses and maximize the wins. As for simplicity – give orders in simple, understandable manner. (here special thanks goes to Kenan for teaching me this) Keep sentences short and precise. Deliver the message to players, so they can follow it and don’t get bored while receiving it. Especially applies to youth players as their attention tends to wear out fast.

It is UP TO YOU. Take responsibility. This should even be another article. As the Coach you are the leader. As a leader – it is your job (I would say duty even) to be responsible for everything that happens to the team. Good or bad, right or wrong – you are the leader, you are the Coach – you take the responsibility for everything. You have to come up with solutions, with plans and with strategies/explanations/examples to players. If something fails – you need to learn even more and find new ways to work with the team to make it better. If someone doesn’t understand or do something – you have to take on that task and find the way (or make one /Hannibal).

Gather experience from others. This is pretty straight forward – when someone else is speaking, shut up and listen. There is much to learn from everybody that are around. Especially when they have many years of experience behind them. Ask questions! Try to understand and learn good working methods. Sometimes I have problems with this myself. Nevertheless I fight with the urge of my ego to speak up. Main reasons are – I know listening goes a long way and I am also teaching this to my kids. Which leads us to the next point.

Lead by example. There is nothing more powerful than example of the master. I am not saying I am the master, long way from it, but I have many other coaches around me, with way more experience and one common factor I’ve found is this – leading by example. Players (no matter of what age, but especially kids) will adapt part of coaches philosophy, lessons and BEHAVIOUR! I can’t stress enough to work with myself everyday and set best example for my kids in team. They learn fast and adapt many things to themselves what they experience within practices and games. One question I like to ask myself to keep me on road is – would I follow me?

Regarding the first quote above from Anthony Pagano – set your priorities straight and don’t forget the bigger picture. For me it was clear from the day one:

  1. Teach the kids for life through game of basketball
  2. Follow the vision of the BC Hellenen

My understanding to teach for life is to give lessons of discipline, teamwork, communication, mutual respect, psychology, body development to the youth players. Teaching them lessons I received growing up  (and playing youth basketball myself) and think that are important to a human being. Also teaching the lessons I didn’t receive growing up and would like that someone was there to teach me those things, lessons. The truth is that only a handsome of youth players get to professional levels, meanwhile others can learn valuable lessons by playing in the youth team. For some – basketball will stick with them the whole life. Some will become coaches or somehow related to sports in other ways. Others will take the lessons taught and apply them in completely different fields. After all – some will stay friends for life, teammates for life. You can’t put a price on that.

Following the vision. As a coach you one must always remember what is the goal that Club/community is trying to achieve. What is the vision of the organization you are working in? What are you trying to achieve as a community? Those are the very important things. If you feel lost about the vision of organization – ask, speak with people in it. Understand why we are here. Humans are social animals, together we achieve more. It is crucial not only to take responsibility for your team, but also work with this team to achieve bigger goals of the community you are in. Communicate and work together with other teams in order to fulfil the vision. Make this World better for everybody.

Uniting Cultures – is the moto of BC Hellenen, I already wrote an article what it means to me here.

That’s about it. Those are the biggest lessons of the first season as a youth coach. Everything else is just a question of execution and learning curve.


Decide your attitude.

If it feels like “you vs the World” it is most likely “you vs you”.

If there is something I have learnt from Eastern philosophies, that is the attitude towards what is happening to one self. There are moments in our life where we can’t choose or influence what is happening to us, but we can make a decision how we react to those things. Decision about our attitude is something we can always make! There are many uncertainties in life, because (of my understanding) that is the way of life – it’s ever changing. That is given, so when it comes to various circumstances in our daily lives – there are moments it just looks and feels like all the heavens and hell are against us. World hates us for no apparent reason. When you can’t influence events – make up your mind to flow with them. Save yourself a headache.

It is not the World. It is you. And the sooner one learns to make his decision about attitude regarding all the changing stuff that happens all around us – the more easy it will be to go through life. This is something I first learnt in communication and work with other people. I didn’t understand it fully till I read Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people” (great read by the way!). “Only time when you can make someone to do it is – if he want’s to do it.” Amazing.

How this applies to decision making about attitude, though? Good question! As soon as I understood that the only way to get someone truly do something is because they have to want it, I understood also that initiator to every human action is wanting to do it. It takes enormous effort and in most of the cases also the time to change a persons mind. Through basketball I have learned one important lesson – referees never change their minds. What’s the point to argue? Bad call! So? He will never take that bad call back, so suck it up and keep playing! How many good players I have seen to get technical fouls and get fouled out of game (myself counting, in youth team games I made my mother blush), coaches get thrown out of facilities. All because – they weren’t able to make a decision to shut up and go with the flow. I learned to shut the fuck up and keep playing. Make the decision.

Next time the life challenges you with something you can’t directly influence – make a decision towards your attitude. Instead of being grumpy little scum, decide to overcome this matter in positive way! Become better! Make something good out of the situation, whatever it is. Let it be your lesson, take notes. Don’t allow the situation to make you, make the situation. Decide.



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