On the Presentation Zen blog, I saw a post about “Personal Kaizen” which reflected
the philosophy behind Train for Hoops.
Kaizen (Ã¦â€Â¹Ã¥â€“â€ž) means “improvement” Ã¢â‚¬â€ “kai” (Ã¦â€Â¹) means change/make better, and “zen” (Ã¥â€“â€ž) means good Ã¢â‚¬â€ but as the term is used as a business process it more closely resembles in English “continuous improvement.”
The post highlights two philosophies or approaches as part of Personal Kaizen:
- Long-term Commitment
- No End to Improvement
Most athletes and coaches today want the quick fix. Players search for exposure before they fully develop their skills. Teams play games year-round, but practice occasionally.
Developing a skill or developing into a basketball player is not a short-term process. It does not happen by working out once per week or because you train with a certain trainer, attend a certain school or play for a sponsored AAU team. Improvement occurs through directed effort toward a goal.
The overriding principles of kaizen is that it is daily, continuous, steady, and it takes the long-term view. Kaizen also requires a commitment and a strong willingness to change.
Great players know that there is no end to improvement. Improvement is not an event, but a process.
There is an old saying that goes “Once you think you have arrived, you have already started your descent.” One must never think they “have arrived.”
Once you reach a goal, you make another goal to work towards or you start to fall behind. Once a player signs his college scholarship (achieving his goal), he must start working toward a new goal or he will fall behind at the next level. Making a team or signing a scholarship is not the end – it is a new beginning.