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What conviction means and why it matters on the basketball court

Conviction is crucial on the basketball court for those who aspire to be leaders. If you don't believe in your shot, your passing, your team, you are going to have a long, bitter season.  Here are three ways to use conviction to have the best season of your life.

1. Conviction is contagious and inspires others to action. When a team sees a teammate, especially a leader of the team, going all out on wind sprints or diving for a loose ball, the team gets energized.

2. Conviction gives strength. A player who passes without conviction is a turn-over waiting to happen.  So many of the fundamental skills of the game require your conviction to perform with precision and power.

3. Conviction requires hard work. Great players put in the time.  It isn't conviction that tells you to believe you are a good shooter when you are not, it is delusion which isn't the same. Conviction on the court comes from hours of individual reps building skills so that you are able to do what is right when the moment matters most.

What is Conviction?

  “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!” - Howard Hendricks

Conviction is not a common word. Therefore, let's begin with the definition. The original meaning for the word was from the word "convict" meaning proof or judgment.  The word later came to be connected to the word "convince" and conviction began to mean a deep persuasion that something is right, and must be done.

It's a cool word because conviction is a bond between your mind (your conscience) and the heart (your courage).   

Your conscience keeps you accountable to do what you know is right and your heart gives you the courage to follow through.

5 Ways to Have Stronger Conviction

Know why.  You will be much more likely to stick to your convictions if you know why you should. 

Make it meaningful.  Meaning is essential.  Lack of conviction on the court, school or life – the person has lost or not found meaning in what they are doing.  According to researchers, "What is ironic today is that people often have strong conviction about weak issues (football, fashions, etc.) while having weak convictions about major issues (what is right and what is wrong)."  Make your conviction meaningful and it will help you be a stronger player and person.

Conviction must lead to progress.  Conviction without progress becomes frustrated.  The deeper the conviction, the more difficult to frustrate, but never the less, lack of progress is incredibly defeating. If you trace moments of people who get lost, very often they will get within yards of being discovered and in despair lose their conviction and turn around to move in a completely wrong direction.  

Listen and lead from the heart.  Don't allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily. Conviction resides in both but the heart protects the mind, the mind leads your words, and your words lead to action. Your conscience requires protection. It is a quiet voice which can be damaged to the point of silence. The more you go against your conscience, the more you will lose its influence. Listen to what convicts you, then use your heart to follow through.
Be willing to stand alone. 
Head of Amazon, Jeff Bezos says "Invention/creativity requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood. You do something that you genuinely believe in, that you have conviction about, but for a long period of time well-meaning people may criticize that effort, and when you receive criticism from well-meaning people it pays to say -- first of all, search yourself -- are they right? And if they are, you need to adapt what you're doing. If they're not right if you really have conviction that they're not right then you need to have that long-term willingness to be misunderstood." 

Today, the price of misunderstanding can be painful.  Choosing not to go to the party because there will be alcohol, choosing to hug your parents in public, or show deep interest in learning and an excitement about school are qualities that in some places will get you ostracized and marked as different. 
Conviction requires courage to stand alone. 

About NBC Basketball Camps

NBC Basketball Camps started in 1971 as Northwest Basketball Camp-- we've outgrown our name moving beyond the northwest and adding other sports like volleyball and soccer. Our programs are based on the belief that talent is a choice. We believe basketball should make you not only a better athlete but a better person and leader.  Learning life principles on the court can impact you beyond your time on the court and influence the rest of your life. To find out more about NBC Basketball Camps, visit NBC Camps program offers basketball camps, academies, clinics, travel teams, and more. 

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