‘He’s getting it done. But while we, the sports-watching society, fixates on results (ask LeBron), Durant chooses to focus on the method.1
I learned long ago in a college class on organizational development that, “You get what you measure. Focus on development and the results will take care of itself.” When you are talking the team game and want to win we need to focus on rebounding, defending, and taking care of the basketball. If we do that we will put our team in a position to win. We don’t talk about winning. To make shots we focus on feet and follow through. We don’t focus on making shots. Focus on the process over results and the results will come.
“I’ve really been looking at the mental aspect of the game, how [Bryant] approaches it, watching film, studying opponents, just making sure he’s vocal every time down,” Durant said. “Posting up, the footwork that he uses posting up and how patient he is on the offensive end. I’m learning, every single day. I know that I work hard. It’s going to take me some time, but I know that I’ll get there.”1
Durant’s game and demeanor can be summarized as this “Humble enough to prepare – confident enough to perform”. As a player you gain confidence from preparing long before the lights are on or 15,000 fans are in the stands. The summer is the time you earn the right to shot the ball in the crunch time. Kevin Durant understands this.
We struggle with development at all levels of basketball because we are so focused on results that we sacrifice short-term wins over long term player development. I touched on this in an earlier article describing What is Really Killing Youth Basketball. This is the reason in our workouts and camps we focus on developing complete players, especially at a younger age, because you never know what a player is going to end up at. One of my biggest pet peeves is coaches putting taller players in the post in 5th or 6th grade and not developing their overall game. They are focusing on immediate results and setting this individual up for failure. If player is 5’10 in 5th grade, you stick him under the rim, for 3 years and he never grows, odds are that kid is never going to develop into a varsity basketball player. I was always say I’d rather have you end up as a 6’10, skilled, wing player than a 5’10 post player. I don’t care what anyone says. It is way easier to develop a post game with a 6’10 wing player than it is to try and move a big out to the perimeter. Kind of ironic that this article was inspired by Kevin Durant.