Fischer Is Building Success At William & Mary By Focusing On Values
Values are the foundation of everything that the William & Mary men’s basketball team does. After one year at the helm, Coach Dane Fischer has started to integrate his coaching and team philosophy into the William & Mary culture. He has built this philosophy so that players, coaches, and anyone else involved with the program will be on the same page and on the same mission. And if you spend even a few minutes speaking with him, it’s not a surprise that VALUES are the foundation of his work.
The “value” of having these values has been evident to Fisher from the start. “If something isn’t looking or feeling quite right, we go back to the first level of our pyramid and make sure that all of our values are in the right place before we look at the anything else.” Here are the values that they are emphasizing: Trust, Hard Work, Communication, Toughness (mental and physical), and Focus. These blogs are mindset based, so we spent most of our time talking about how his team and staff look at Mental Toughness and Focus.
When it comes to mental toughness, Fischer defines this as “the ability to do the right thing when it is really hard to do.” During a game or practice this can take a few different forms. For example, are we carrying ourselves with the correct body language, no matter the situation? Are we showing confidence regardless of what just happened? And, are we making the correct decisions for the team and ourselves in tough times? All of these are great learning opportunities and situations for the players, as well as the staff. The idea is for everyone to try and continue to make the best decision for the team, no matter how difficult.
Focus is another value that is crucial when developing the champion’s mindset. Being able to have focus where it needs to be, when it needs to be there, is extremely important, but also very difficult to do in the life of the college athlete. As Fischer explains, “There are so many different activities and factors that go into their daily lives, that the ability to focus and compartmentalize where their focus is, is vital. To be locked in to the professor during class, studying during study tables, and practice or games while playing is difficult to achieve.” And this is not to mention all the different events that happen in each of our daily lives. So if the team isn’t performing optimally, finding out where everyone’s focus is, is at the top of the list.
Other levels of Fischer’s pyramid include preparation, performance and results. Fischer works at paying attention to the different levels to see where improvements and changes can be made in order to have the program at its best. They each require focus, time and effort, as every level is important. But the foundation, the rock of the program, is found in the core values: Trust, Hard Work, Communication, Toughness, and Focus.
If you want to follow Coach Fisher or the William & Mary Men's Basketball team, the links are below.
Twitter: Dane Fischer