Anyone who has ever watched a basketball game on TV or live knows fully well that the game is an intense and highly competitive one, with players vying for the chance to dominate the court with the goal of victory for their team. You only have to watch a single game in order to be aware of the pervasive “win at all costs” mentality that seems to drive every basketball player.
The all or nothing approach to playing basketball is just as apparent in the slick and glossy marketing campaigns that so many sports and fitness companies adopt, with their emphasis on playing to the best of your abilities in order to bring about the humiliating defeat of the other team.
Unfortunately, these goals have become an increasingly prominent aspect of the game of basketball, and indeed of many other major league sports. This way of thinking becomes even more disturbing when you realize that so many players focus on delivering their all without regard to the other players in their own team. An air of selfishness and self-serving ambition seems to drive the sports world nowadays, and it is doubtful that sports in general is better for it.
In the face of all this, it may be worthwhile to consider another approach to playing basketball, one that involves thinking beyond one’s own self. We are talking about the win-win approach to playing basketball, and it may well be a concept that is alien to some of today’s more driven and aggressive players.
Playing with the win-win mentality does not involve considering the goals and feelings of the other team. Basketball is still a competitive sport after all, with one of the main goals being to win. The win-win approach does however take into consideration the other players in your own team, and how you can play in a manner that best benefits your team as a whole. This may involve anything from passing the ball to well-positioned players more often, or helping a teammate out by blocking or screening him or her from an opponent. Regardless of how this mentality is manifested, the key is to play the game not for personal gain or glory, but rather in a way that will best help the team achieve its goal of winning, and at the same time in manner that is considerate to everyone else on the team.
Don’t get us wrong; we are not advocating a meek and humble approach to playing basketball. That would be just as detrimental to a team’s efforts as playing too aggressively with no regard for anyone else. What we are suggesting however is that there is a way to play the game that takes the focus away from the achievements and goals of the individual player, and places it instead on the greater good. The phrase “being a team player” is the key to the win-win mentality, and if every player on the team adopts it, everyone will be all the better for it.