Being a self reliant athlete may seem like a very small and unimportant thing, but to coaches and teammates it is the difference between a good player, and a great player. Self Reliance goes a long way in both on and off the court activity and shows that players not only are there for themselves, but also are there for their team. Players cannot and should not ever solely rely on others, as they need to learn to do certain things for themselves. Taking that initiative can even earn you promotions and better reputations all around.
First place that a player can improve is becoming self reliant during workouts and during stretches. Waiting for someone to tell you what to do is fine and dandy, but it never hurts to step up and start your own routine in advance. Modifying your own routine or seeking the advice of your coach or other players to change your routine also shows initiative because you will be attempting your own self improvement without being told to.
While a coach is there to help out the team wherever and whenever he can, you also have to realize a coach cannot hold the hand of every player all the time. While they can give you some 1 on 1 time on occasion, they cannot do it every day all the time. It is the player’s responsibility to do a certain amount of preparation on and off the court so that they are ready to go for practice and for game. If you need help with your workout routine, as k the coach, but once you get advice, look up variations online, and meld it to your needs. You as the player know what your game requires you to improve, and know what your body needs to improve.
The players that most impress coaches, and often earn promotions and increased play time, are the ones that take initiative and do things on their own without being told. They are the ones that do things outside of mandatory team activities, and they are the ones that stay extra time just to do their part. Some people will say that it is nothing more than “kissing up”, while a coach, and other players will notice it is simply dedication.
To be self reliant, does not mean that you have to become a slave to the game and do nothing but, it just means that you come prepared day in and day out, and are willing to give it 100% from start to finish. It just shows you are dedicated to the team and to the sport, and that you understand that there is in fact “No “I” in Team”.
While being self reliant used to be mocked and made fun of, more and more athletes are becoming self reliant, and are discovering that it makes life both for players, coaches, and overall teams easier, and more fun. When everyone is pulling their share and no one is forced to pull someone else’s load, you will find that morale, and team chemistry will benefit!
Photo credit: Suss-Man (Mike)