Things I Wish I Would Have Known Earlier as a Player

These thoughts were written by Sundance Wicks who played at Northern State University for Hall of Fame Coach Don Meyer.

Sundance is currently an assistant at the University of Wyoming.

  • What it feels like to be a senior (the sacrifice for the team)
  • How much time the coaching staff puts in trying to prepare the team for life, practices and games
  • How much time the coaching staff spends thinking about what is best for the team
  • Your team is only as good as the last player to buy in (weakest link) – you have a “true” team only when every last player has bought in
  • When you win with a “team”, the victory tastes much sweeter
  • Team chemistry is the most important thing in the game of basketball – without it championships are hard to come by
  • That the “team” is not the coaches’ team, it’s your (players) team
  • That it can take an entire season to build a “team” and one incident to destroy the chemistry that was built
  • How you play in practice ultimately affects your performance in the game
  • If you want to be the best player, you have to be the hardest worker
  • It doesn’t matter how good you are if you are not mentally tough
  • That you win games by preparing properly in practice and not just lacing up the sneakers on game night
  • It’s hard as a coach to sit a player who makes hustle plays consistently and works hard in practice
  • The importance of ball pressure and jumping to the ball and how to play it properly
  • Communication is a must to be successful on and off the court
  • I have a better chance to play if I am a great defender vs. A good shooter
  • The sooner i realize that everything starts with defense the better i will be able to prepare myself for the practices and games
  • The key to becoming a great rebounder is putting forth the effort to go to the glass and ability has little to do with it (rebound sequence)
  • A good team defense is built with the foundation of trust
  • How much you have to prepare mentally for the second night of play in conference Friday / Saturday games – after loses, more so wins
  • It’s not who starts the game, it’s who finishes the game – be a finisher
  • You have to have a great second half warm-up physically to get yourself ready mentally (perceived ability that we are ready to go)
  • That you can control two things in life: 1. Attitude 2. Effort – and more often than not, positive words and actions create positive reactions

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