After writing for two years straight, I think it’s time for a blog vacation! But never fear, dear reader, I won’t leave you alone during my vacay. Please enjoy some of my oldies (but goodies!) about something near and dear to my heart: The Pyramid of Success.
“As you strive to reach your personal best, alertness will make the task much easier.”—John Wooden
I’ve written before about using the Pyramid as a team building exercise with my team. Without fail, alertness is a tough one for whomever is lucky enough to pick this particular block. If you do an internet search on alertness, you’ll find lots of information about caffeinated products designed to keep people awake. The alertness Wooden is talking about is deeper than that though. I went to the always reliable Wikipedia to find out what they had to say about alertness. Using their page as a starting point, let’s talk about three ways we can help our teams use alertness to become more successful.
3 attributes of alert athletes
1. Pay close and continuous attention. My high school volleyball coach talked about being alert so much so that our team started calling ourselves “lerts”. We didn’t appreciate him enough at the time, because he was a wise man. Imagine if our teams were consistently alert in practice! Our athletes would learn from the coaching staff by listening and they’d learn from each other by watching.
2. Be watchful and prompt to meet an emergency. This one builds upon the first. If our athletes have paid close and continuous attention, then they’ll be able to respond to an emergency. You’re probably wondering what kind of an emergency our athletes will encounter on our courts and fields. To me, the 6’2” girl across the net who can touch 10’2” constitutes an emergency! Hopefully our athletes have learned to recognize tendencies and weaknesses in their opponents so that they can properly respond to whatever emergency presents itself in competition.
3. Quick to perceive and act. This one is more of an intangible. Don’t we want all of our athletes to be self-aware? A big part of alertness is knowing their place on the team…and being happy with it. The young lady whose skills aren’t up to par quite yet should be content with preparing the starters for competition. That’s being alert to your position and role on the team. Or how about when your team captain notices that one of her teammates has been down in the dumps lately, so she pays extra attention to her. That’s being alert to your teammates’ disposition and how it could affect the group.
Can you think of other ways that alertness can be applied to our athletes?
Join me in a series discussing John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. I believe his Pyramid can be applied to our teams, our recruiting efforts, how we behave as professionals, and to our lives in general. This series will cover Self-Control, Alertness, Initiative, Intentness, Condition, Skill, Team Spirit, Poise, and Confidence.