3 Surprising Tips Coaching High School Basketball Prepared Me for Life as a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Outside of the courtroom you can find me on the court – the basketball court that is. I’ve always loved to play basketball. I played in high school and decided to get into coaching while I was in law school – to ease my rapidly increasing stress level.
As a player I was good at every position, but a master of none. Star player was definitely not in my future. But thankfully I discovered that I had the perfect mindset for coaching. And I’ve been doing it ever since.
I’ve had so many amazing experiences coaching, but it’s the life lessons that have really stayed with me.
Here are my top 3 tips I learned from coaching high school basketball that prepared me for life as a Criminal Defense lawyer.
1) There is no losing; there is only winning and learning.
So many times after we’d lose a game my players would be focused only on the negative. They’d complain they worked so hard and still lost, get down on themselves for missing “easy” shots, and think that they failed. But if you play long enough you realize that losing one game can mean so much more than hundreds of wins.
Losing has taught me so much more than winning does. When you win you’re excited, and all you focus on is the fact that you won. But when you lose it makes you think about where you went wrong and what you could have done differently. This self-examination is what has helped me improve and get my players to play even better next time. It took my team at American Heritage three tries to win a State Championship. Our first year, we had a very young team and were just happy to make the final four. When we got there, we were blown out by the eventual State Champion. The following year we truly believed we could win it all and made it to the Championship Game, but lost in an upset to a team that had lesser individual players but played together better as a team. Finally, in our third try we were able to win it all by playing better as a team. Our teamwork was on display as we scored the most points in FHSAA history and won by a score of 98-70.
Luckily, we don’t lose that often in the courtroom, but it has been those losses that have set up some of our biggest legal wins. I remember being a young prosecutor, promoted first in my class and going to trial every week against much more experienced criminal defense attorneys. While I was able to stand my ground and win quite a few, it was the losses that impacted my growth as an attorney the most. I would come home all fired up, replaying the trial and focusing on things I could do differently to win next time. It’s that great experience and learning from my mistakes that have helped me become one of the most highly rated and reviewed attorneys in South Florida.
2) Teamwork ALWAYS wins
In basketball you’re up against 5 other guys on a court 94 feet long. You just can’t do it alone. Even if you’re the best shooter you’ll never have a chance to set up for the shot on your own. When it’s you against five other people you need help. And in life you’re up against way more obstacles. You need to work together with others to accomplish your dreams. You will always go farther working together with the right people than going it alone. In my coaching career I made sure to surround myself with the brightest and best baskeball minds around.
I’ve taken this exact formula and brought it to Rossen Law Firm. Not only have I known both Manny and Walter from my coaching days, but I know that we formulate the best team of Criminal and DUI Defense Attorneys in South Florida. We work together to passionately defend our clients and help them better themselves and their families.
3) Training is the key to success.
Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. You never know when your big opportunity will arise, which is why you should always be training like the state championships are tomorrow. If you’re always prepared, you’ll never miss your game-changing moment.
Just like the many long nights and hard practices Manny and I had during our days as coach and player, we’ve taken the same approach to helping our clients. Being able to bounce ideas off each other and collaborate in our case preparation and strategy sessions has helped us get even better results for our clients. Having a partner to bounce ideas off and present a different perspective is a main reason why our team approach is preferred by our clients.