So I had two teammate (who will remain nameless) who decided that they wanted to play 1 v1 against each other one day after practice was over. This was a pretty common occurrence, you’d always see a couple of players and manager taking extra shots or playing a variety of shooting games. So to say that no one thought anything of it when these two guys start to play is an understatement.
About 20 minutes later the locker room door opens and one of these guys is bleeding from his ear. Needless to say, their game got a little more heated than normal. Now here is where the story gets really good. After both of these guys showered and got cleaned up, they went to the mall together with no hard feelings.
This type of story is a dime a dozen when you talk to guys we played at MSU and it is one of the reasons the program has ascended to an elite level. Everybody knew that when you crossed the white lines ad stepped on the court, you had to strap it up and compete. The level of sustained competitiveness and intensity is a breeding ground for fights and arguments and they happened almost daily.
As important as it is to have that sustained energy and intensity, it’s equally important to have a team of people who can handle it and mitigate the after effects. It just simply won’t work if your team is full of people who take things personally.
When you and your teammates challenge each other on a daily basis you gain a better understanding of what to expect when you unleash that intensity on your opponent.