WSJ: Why LeBron Trusts His Teammates

Not a big NBA fan. Been to just one pre-season GSW game when I first went to college and a WNBA game 15 years later. I do like basketball though. “Played” it (benchwarmer), coached it (youth leagues) and I include shooting baskets at the park court as an option in my exercise routine. As a spectator, I prefer NCAA.

Anyway, this article “Why LeBron Trusts His Teammates) by Ben Cohen and published in the Sports section of the June 6, 2018 edition of the WSJ caught my interest because I did watch much of Game 2 of the current NBA Finals. There was commentary about the “incident” in Game 1 and an analysis of LeBron’s body language. It’s worth noting because LeBron is clearly in a leadership position.

The article is also notable because it’s much about a story of LeBron’s past when he first played youth league basketball. I feel a connection because of my coaching youth basketball for nine years; and I learned a lot from this experience – some of it is used to build the YCISL program.

“But what happened that night is something that James has never forgotten” Perfect fit for the Message to My Past Self exercise in the YCISL Your Personal Story activity. Leaders are driven by life lessons that affect the growth mindset.

“Right then I knew that this was a team game” Teamwork and team-building are two leadership activities which we include in the YCISL program. The main challenge is to make good teamwork automatic and instinctively positive.

“At 9 years old…he knew how to pass to 7-year-olds without knocking them down.” Sign of emotional intelligence. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social management.

“We both was good at what we did.” There has to be respect as well as trust in order to maintain a team’s positive mindset. How many leaders today can sit out and spectate one half of a “game” without getting in the way?

“It’s what he’s been trained to do since the moment he started playing this sport” The YCISL is a training program. It is structurally modeled like a basketball practice with a scrimmage thrown in. The life lessons that we provide to our YCISL youth will hopefully lead to future quality leaders who can readily apply EQ.


*This article is online at However, it’s title includes “(Still)” which is not in the print edition.


Comments are closed.