What is the most important quality a basketball player should have? Shooting, dribbling, passing, or defending? At EMA, we believe the most important characteristic a basketball player or any athlete should have is a Mental Toughness.”

The seven characteristics of our mentally strong leaders:


All of our students will be nurtured to love and thrive off the thrill of competition and will develop the IQ to win, which drives them to do the work necessary to succeed.


Since confidence is demanded and acquired through deliberate skills training, EMA students radiate confidence. Their expectation to win and hit every shot comes from this same notion.

Emotional Intelligence

We teach emotional intelligence. Our students are acutely aware of what is and isn’t in their control.


We all know that success takes dedication and it doesn’t come quickly. EMA students get this, and this is why they are motivated first, to make the commitment to themselves to focus only on becoming the best version of themselves. 


The students learn to remain internally calm regardless of what happens outside that scope and in the face of chaos or unfavorable situations.


Our leaders are comfortable being uncomfortable. They love taking risks.


Students view consistency as the pillar for being successful in basketball and life.

Inner Excellence

When athletes at any level have these characteristics, they are perceived as MENTAL GIANTS, or they have inner excellence. What is inner excellence you might ask?

  • According to the book, ‘Mind Gym’, inner excellence is “a way of thinking and acting”.
  • It is a quality of mind. It is a mentality that says no matter how complicated circumstances (or life) may develop into, you stay responsible and accountable for your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
  • Inner excellence is staying positive in a negative state and dealing with adversity optimistically.

Never Become Fearful

In our holistic coaching experiences, we encourage our students to embrace mistakes and never become afraid of making them. This is because making mistakes is the most valuable method of gaining FEEDBACK. I have always found that basketball training should be tougher mentally than physically because the game of basketball and life is difficult. What better way to prepare our student-athletes for both!

Adversity = Success

A famous baseball player named Yogi Berra once remarked, “Ninety percent of this game is half mental”. This is one reason I refer to my training sessions as “designed physical adversity”. Strategically organized adversity causes the mind and the body to grow much faster.

One of our mantras is, “where the mind goes, the body follows.” At Empower ME Academy, we aspire to develop not only the best basketball players but the most mentally strong student-athletes. We plan to equip them with added skills that will enable them to emerge as leaders successfully in the real world and motivate them to become the most strong version of themselves.

Being mentally tough is a critical skill in life and can be acquired through practice. Our students will encounter adversity in all aspects (e.g., business/work, athletics, relationships, etc.) and their capacity to cope and respond will determine their successes. We develop students who will become mental GIANTS and look at competition and LIFE as a challenge to rise rather than a threat to back down.

Mental Toughness:
“a thoroughly disciplined state of mind that refuses to give in.”
– Vince Lombardi


Recent Posts


Learn, grow, and grab first dibs on what we offer. Get our Empowering News (E-NEWS) — written by Coach Gumbs and the EMA Team — every month.


From the very first day EMA started its operations,the organization has prioritized access and inclusion.

Gift Now