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November 15, 2012

Tim Kolodziej: There are NO little things in athletics

NEW CASTLE — Want to know the secret to a successful athletic career?

Do your job ... completely.

That’s it. It really is that simple.

But it’s not easy.

If it were, there would be no such thing as a holding penalty, a turnover or a missed cutoff.

But let me be clear. For athletes, doing your job completely is primarily a mental task, with physical success usually the result.

In other words, there are no little things in competition. Everything matters, especially the mind, whether it’s the first play of the game or a last-second victory.

Let me give you an example.

While watching the Duke vs. Kentucky game the other night, Seth Curry nailed a three-pointer for the Blue Devils.

How did that happen? Let’s see if we can figure it out through a series of questions.

•Did Curry execute precision footwork?

•Was his body square to the hoop?

•Was his “elbow above the eyebrow” and did he “close with a pose” on his follow-through?

•Did Mason Plumlee set a great pick to free him?

•Did Quinn Cook give him a pass in the shot pocket?

•Did Curry catch the ball in shooting position?

•Did his opponent get caught sleeping on a screen?

•Did Coach K start the whole process by drawing up a terrific play?

Yes. On all counts.

Everything matters. Good and bad.

If it didn’t, nothing would.

So, as the high school basketball season officially tips off with tomorrow’s first practice, keep in mind those four simple words:

Do your job ... completely.

Know your role on the team and carry it out. Beginning to end. Finish what you start.

Because the “little things” aren’t really little things.

They’re all really big things. They’re just executed in small parts.


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