A great quote reads, “It is the accumulation of the hundreds of minute decisions that is the difference between mediocrity and true excellence.” This is so true with what we do as coaches, what our players do as players, and what anyone does in their career. If we’re truly striving for excellence, we must take hold of this concept.
The importance of our decisions, our actions, our thinking — no matter how small they may be on a given day — all add up to something significant. When we think that a detail or decision is insignificant, we need to remember that it’s not just this detail or this decision this time that’s important. It’s this detail or decision in addition to the hundreds of other details and decisions over time that add up and help us in the pursuit of excellence.
Our careers and our success are a direct result of the accumulation of the single decisions we make every day (and for that matter the decisions we put off each day). While these decisions may not seem important at the time, they will often take on greater importance relative to the other decisions we have made or will make in the future.
Even within a game, players have to understand this concept. If they will embrace it, then they are more likely to see why a coach may get upset over their turnover or their mistake on a defensive coverage. When we add up all the turnovers or mistakes in a game, they often will have an effect on the outcome. A player will see it as just “one turnover” or “one mistake.” Coaches understand that 22 of these “one turnovers” will often lead to a loss. So the accumulation and the effect of the accumulation is what both the coach and the player have to keep in mind.
What seems like a single insignificant action or decision today will many times be a contributing factor to future success or failure.
We all should have a greater awareness of this as we move forward in our careers!
[Kevin Eastman is the lead instructor for the NIKE Skills Academies and an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics. For more information, visit www.KevinEastmanBasketball.com]