Grenfell is a sophomore public relations and management double major and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spirits are high around the Knapp Center. The last morning conditioning session can only mean one thing: basketball season is right around the corner. Oct. 3 marked the official first day of practice. After week one, we’re hungry for more.
Our first game of the year is less than a month away, which means the practices are long, the learning never stops and the excitement remains high. Even after just one week of practice, a couple of things about this year’s squad have really stood out.
One is our ability to dig deep. By that I mean not folding under the toughest circumstances. The words “get on the line” may not trigger the best of reactions, yet we have tackled the challenges and then some. Second is the overall synergy of our team. It’s not at all a team of one or two all-stars. This year, everyone will contribute. But beyond that, it’s obvious we are a team that wants each other to succeed.
So how will these dynamics translate to games? Well, it’s quite simple. You play like you practice. If we can pick up good habits now, they are bound to carry over come game time. Everything we practice, and every expectation instilled in our team, directly correlates to our end goal: excellence. While I pointed out a few strengths of our team, I missed a key component – these things are expected. The bar is high. What more needs to be said?
The way I like to look at it is this: if the bar is high, there is greater room for accomplishment. With low expectations, how does a team make gains? To put it bluntly, they can’t.
Here at Drake, our team is introduced to a new level of what it means to be a Division I student-athlete, which leads me to my next point. Are the expectations in the classroom any different? Not one bit.
It’s almost like a never-ending cycle. What we do in practice, we utilize in games. What we do in games, we utilize off the court. For some student-athletes, it may just be about staying eligible. But for the rest, it’s getting the most out of their education. Why should the bar be any lower in the classroom? The expectation of excellence is still there. After all, an education is what we are ultimately here for.
It can all go hand-in-hand. The strengths of this year’s team derive from high expectations. The high expectations lead to success on and off the court. Success for a team should be nothing but an addiction. When you experience success, and embrace the process to get there, you should want to succeed even more. It’s all about being hungry. Or better yet, going back for seconds.