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Jay Bilas shares why preparation is important

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In his book, Toughness, Jay Bilas explains in detail how critical it is to prepare in order to excel in mental toughness.

Preparation does not just mean considering ahead of time what needs to be done. It means sitting down, writing out a plan, and then following through with that plan ahead of time. Bobby Knight once said, "The biggest fear I had going into any game was, did I do everything I could to fully prepare our team to play this game?"

Preparation for a high school basketball player could mean some of the following:

1) Did I review all of our offenses, inbound plays, and press breakers on my own? If I had questions, did I figure out a time and day to ask my coach before game day?

2) Did I spend time working on my position's skills prior to game day? As a post player, this might mean practicing a variety of post moves 100 times in a row perfectly before game day. As a shooting guard, this might mean making 25 shots in a row before game day.

3) Did I consider my opponent and their weaknesses and strengths? Did I make a plan for how I am going to handle these?

NFL former player and coach Herm Edwards said, "Others were not willing to endure what I was willing to endure. Others were not willing to do the hard things I was willing to do. Others could nor perform at my level every day. I was mentally tough, and I was mentally tough consistently," (p. 55).

Bilas explains that this is because, "when you are fully prepared, you can go out and perform. You can react without having to think your way around the field or the court. The prepared player is more athletic, because the prepared player is reacting instead of thinking," (p. 55).


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