Toughness is a word that gets thrown around a lot and often has different meanings to different people.  What is toughness in the basketball context?  Is it being physical? Is it being aggressive? What does a tough player "look" like?  What does a tough player do?

Toughness has nothing to do with size, physical strength or athleticism. Some players may be born tough, but I believe that toughness is a skill, and it is a skill that can be developed and improved. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo always says, "Players play, but tough players win." He is right.

Here are some things you can do to be a tough player:

  • get on the floor for loose balls
  • talk on defense
  • get your hands up
  • run the floor
  • play so hard coach HAS to take you out
  • catch and face
  • accept criticism
  • get better every day 

These are not technical; skills but these are the skills that great players have at every level.  Practice them every day you are in the gym.

Tough teams win close games.  Tough players are the difference makers in those games. be that player. be tough!

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