Friday, March 6, 2009

The "see" and "listen" of concentration

After posting about Bobby Knight earlier this morning, I grabbed his 2002 book "Knight: My Story" off the shelf.

Here's a good excerpt from the book.


To me, concentration is basketball in a nutshell. Concentration leads to anticipation, which leads to recognition, which leads to reaction, which leads to execution.

The concentration I'm talking about involves four key words.

The first two are "look" and "see." Everybody who plays basketball looks, but very few players see. Very few players train themselves to use their eyes. Not everybody has the same shooting ability as everybody else, nor the same size, nor the same quickness.

But each person who's playing this game can develop the ability to see what's happening on the court -- see the open man, see where to take the ball, see the guy who's being defended, see who's open on the break.

"Hear" and "listen" are the next two words. Most people only hear. The key is listening to what you're being told, what's being said, what is expected of you in your role as part of any team.

A basketball player who learns to see and listen has improved tremendously without doing a single thing involving physical skills. Once learned, seeing and listening are valuable traits for anyone doing anything.