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The Danger and Power of Ambition in Basketball

Basketball can get out of control. Around the country, parents are getting kicked out of games. Why? Most likely because of an overreaching desire for their children to succeed. The pressure of college and the fear of paying for tuition may be driving parents in their ambition for a college scholarship for their son or daughter.  The consequences of this crazy ambition are angry people, frustrated coaches, entitled and selfish players and an overall ugly sports scene.

But basketball is and should be a beautiful sport. We at NBC Camps believe the purpose of sports is not to bring fame or money but to bring forth lasting qualities of courage, mental toughness, leadership, and teamwork.  Our ambition as players, coaches and parents should be on the development of these life changing qualities.

Ambition on the court is powerful when it is directed toward the mission of becoming the best player and person you can.

What is Ambition?
Ambition is a complex word. The word ambition comes directly from Latin and derives its meaning from its secondary use which was to describe someone with "inordinate or overreaching desire."  In early history, the word was often used in a derogatory sense as a criticism of pride and arrogance.  Over time the word has come to mean "a strong desire to do or achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work." The word has taken on a positive connection with sports and goal setting.

Those who err on too much ambition can become envious, vicious or destructive when their goals are thwarted.  Those who err on too little ambition can miss out on their God-given talents and call to work hard. The key to healthy ambition is to strike a disciplined balance between having positive ambitious goals while keeping perspective.  Take a look at your life.  Is your ambition blinding you from recognizing how your overreaching desire is hurting you or those around you?  Is your ambition inspired on a daily basis to be all you were designed to be? 

4 Keys to Healthy Basketball Ambition

1. Build a quality training program.  You show great ambition for your future when you clearly map out and execute a quality training program based on skill development.
2. Solid fundamentals are crucial.  Make your ambition to become totally solid fundamentally. Fundamentals are the foundation for you to launch your future. Too many people make their ambition proving themselves in games.  If your fundamentals are flawless, you won’t have to prove anything.

3. Don’t live in scarcity. A dog-eat-dog mentality may allow you to be more aggressive and play with more tenacity but it is very rough on the body and can’t be sustained over time. We see the ravages of out-of-control competitiveness. Ambition can be used to your advantage if you don’t aim it at trying to destroy others.
4. Have faith. Ambition inspired is a gift. Get intense, work hard, set goals and trust God to lead you to the best path.  

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Helen Keller

Ambition Self-Check

  • I love to work hard and have a clear plan for the development of my passions and talents.
  • I play with intensity and give my best effort on the court.
  • I don’t envy others or feel depressed when others succeed.
  • I put in the work, I keep to my plan and trust the process.
  • I am not frustrated by struggle because I know it is part of making me stronger.
  • I have a bright future.

About NBC Basketball Camps

NBC Basketball Camps were created in 1971 to bridge the need for strong basketball skills and high emotional intelligence as well as leadership skills. NBC is built on the foundation of helping each camper become his or her best on and off the court.  If you love basketball enough to work hard, you need to be at NBC Basketball Camp this summer. We have locations in six countries and in many locations throughout Canada and the USA. Find a program that works for you!

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