There’s an old saying that luck happens when preparation and opportunity meet. Here’s the breakdown:
What is preparation? To me, preparation is a mindset, a discipline. Preparation just doesn’t occur 2 weeks before tryouts in October, preparation begins in the quiet month of April after the hoopla of march madness all the way though until October. Preparation is weights at 6am, running by 8am and shooting by 10am. Preparation is your lifestyle choices, preparation means you are a full time student of the game, preparation happens when no one is watching, preparation is hard.
Preparation is a responsibility, Preparation is a way of life.
A moment in time when you are given a chance to perform a task that benefits something larger than you, a chance to take the next step in your career, a chance to embrace sweaty palms and have the confidence to overcome a new challenge. Opportunity hides. Opportunity is inevitable, it will knock on your door.
Opportunity is unknown, sneaky and invisible. Opportunity is your future…
Have you struggled making the team before, or made the team but rode the bench? How are you planning on changing that? October will come, faster than you think and only you can change the status quo.
Eventually your name will be called, the whistle will blow and your opportunity will be your present, how you have prepared will determine your future.
All serious basketball players work hard right? (key term here is: serious). All good shooters can make 65/100 3′s, right?
We all play on sweet AAU teams, we all lift wieghts down at the rec center and hit the gym to shoot our shots afterwards, right?
Sounds like a full schedule of basketball, man we must be working really hard, what a great work ethic we have. We all do it, so why do only some of us stand out? Why do only some of us get college scholarships?
Luck? maybe a little bit.
With a little hard work, you know the standard amount; It’s easy to go from 50/100 to 65/100 in 3′s but why is it so hard to go from 65 to 80/100….consistently?
If all you’re doing is the standard amount, all you’re going to get is the standard result. The hard part is the last 8% and yes even the last 1%, everyone is already doing the standard amount, if we practice enough we can all hit 65 made 3′s out of 100, but that’s not going to make us stand out from a crowded market. The hard part is getting to 80 on a consistent basis, now you’re in an exclusive club that only 1% of your peers are in…does this give you a better opportunity of getting a college scholarship? I think so!
Which part of your game is in the 1% club?
Notice the key words I used: “we all do this” “we all can shoot 65%”, be the one that says “only I can shoot 80%!"
A few minutes ago I just got done speaking with a young player overseas and he shared with me he was online looking for good 1on1 moves to practice and only kept getting highlight video’s of the and1 mix-tape tour.
His response to me was this: “These aren’t legal are they”? “They seem ridiculous”
I had to laugh because they are ridiculous but also very entertaining. I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch guys with cool nicknames throwing it off each other’s faces then off the backboard for a reverse dunk?
But speaking to him made me think of the possible influence it may have had on many young ball players looking for an identity, looking for something to hold on to and believe in, looking for guidance. The appeal of And1 can be addicting, all the flare and excitement can make you want to play like that.
For those of us who are veterans of the game, we know this to be what it is, an entertaining lie. But the question is, what did the young players think of it as? Reality?
You betcha! I can speak from first hand experience on this one, I grew up at the height of the And1 mix-tape and had several teammates (both high school and AAU) train and do drills straight from the And1 mix tape tours. They truly thought this was the best way to invest their time and energy. So yes, they could do really high cross-overs and fancy behind the back spin moves or even pretend to fake you out by thinking they threw the ball behind your back, looked awesome without any defense.
The harsh reality was that these moves won’t and can never be effective in a real live game with decent defenders. First off, 98% of the moves are illegal and second off they always led to a turnover.
The point is this, don’t be fooled by the glitz and glamor of our game and don’t try to be like anyone else. Seek out knowledge from knowledgeable sources and they will tell you what I have always told you, fundamentals and skill development are still king on the hardwood.
Who here has failed trying to complete a move they couldn’t do for the sake of showing off? I know I have and it seems like trying and failing is the best medicine for not trying it again? What do you think?
What does the ‘Flying V’ and a flock of geese have to do with this site, your basketball career, success of your team and your life beyond athletics?
Well, I am going to tell you:
Take a few minutes to observe a flock of geese in flight and you’ll understand. One goose flies at the front of the V, fighting wind resistence and putting in the effort so that the flock can fly further and achieve more than any of them could on their own, being the leader of the flock is difficult and exhausting therefore one goose can only take the lead for a short amount of time, the geese rotate the leader of the V ever so often to share the burden of fighting the wind. Without a cohesive, well-structured plan where all the geese buy into the system, the flying V will fail.
The individual goose must establish trust with his/her peers within the flock, without trust and teamwork the objective of the flying V cannot be sustained.
Here are some concrete idea’s we can learn from the flock.
The team is always greater than any individual
Establishing roles and responsibilities is key to success
Create your own trustworthy flock, gather together your teammates this off season and build genuine, trustworthy relationships and start preparing for a championship next year.
One vision – each member of your flock must see and understand the flock’s objective.
Trust must always be constant. That wind gets strong, so the trust in your flock must be stronger
In honor of Mother’s Day, I have asked a sport’s mom who is a regular reader of iA to be a guest contributer and write about her experience bringing up two athletes (basketball players) in her family, this is her story unedited!
From a very early age, we knew our sons were going to play basketball, it was in their blood and they were talented. They were very fortunate to have very good coaching, and a gym at their disposal, which helped them develop their skills. As parents, it is our responsibility to discover what talent lies within our children and then do whatever is necessary to develop that talent. Whether the talent is music, or art, or athletics, knowing what they are good at, is half the battle. We were always very supportive of our sons. From their very first game at the YMCA (2nd grade), to their last college game, we were always there for them. We never missed a game and always made sure they were on time for games and practices.
Developing their self esteem was crucial and basketball did that for our sons.
Motivating our boys was actually easy…they loved the sport; they worked hard during the regular season, and more importantly the off season. But they needed us to show legitimate interest in their activities, always attending games, asking those important questions, and providing the financial support that developing their talent would need.
They needed approval, positive words, smiles, and letting them know that we recognize their improvements. We NEVER allowed Coach trashing. They were taught that all adults were to be treated with respect, and we were very lucky to have very good coaches in their lives.
We as parents enjoyed every minute of watching our sons play basketball, and the success they enjoyed during their playing days. We have watched them grow into positive, hard working young men, and playing an organized sport for much of their lives helped get them there.
One of my favorite words in raising an athlete, is the word “we “.”We will work on it”, or “We can do better next time”, these are positive statements and gives out the message that we are all in this journey together.
Parents, I promise when using the term; “we”, when talking to their kids, will see a positive change in their child’s habits and performances. To parents just starting out, enjoy the ride, be always positive, and always be there for them, ask questions and make sure that what they are doing is making them happy and leading them in the right direction towards becoming an adult.
Congratulations, you have been appointed as CEO of a new start up company, the mission statement of your new company is “reach my potential and make good decisions”, its simple but compelling andthis takes thoughtful planning and ingenuity as a young Chief Executive.
You have to look at your career as if you’re running a business, all decisions go through you and all outcomes are because of you, you are the only employee of your company. You have to do the accounting, the marketing, the sales, the R/D, and develop your product.
Every company needs partnerships, we all need help from others to achieve our objectives, your partners are your teammates, you need your partners to reach your goals, so treat them fairly, work hard for them as you simultaneously help them achieve their objectives and trust they will provide the assistance you need.
Every company needs investors, people with resources that provide you every opportunity to reach your objective. These are your parents/guardians. How many times have your parents drove 45 min to take you to
AAU practice, spent $400 on a summer camp, and bought you those $120 NIKE’s? They are investing in your future, the same goes with Angel investors or Venture Capital Companies looking to invest in a small startup company. You need to convince them it is worth their time, energy and money, they are also a strategic partner for your future…Make sure you thank them daily and use their resources wisely.
A lot of startup companies use outside resources to ask unbiased questions and to get honest feedback, they are called “consultants”. This is your coach, your coach should always provide you the most accurate and honest feedback. They should be wise, fair and always have your best intentions at heart. One of their many responsibilities is to empower you on a successful path.
Every company (and athlete) needs:
A business plan – a detailed, mapped out plan that shows how you will get to your objective.
A business model - How your business operates efficiently, what are your best practices and disciplined habits that make you stand out in a competitive market?
A product/service - What market are you in and why your product is the best. For me I was in the shooting guard market and I needed to be the best long range shooter available for purchase.
Marketing and Brand - How do you make people aware of your product and how do you brand yourself? Your personal brand is everything; embrace this responsibility because no one can market your brand like you. This involves your attitude, the way you carry yourself and how you treat others. It also speaks to your work ethic.
Target Market - Who are your customers? In this case your audience. Who are you performing for? As players, we all want fans, people who pay money at the door to watch you perform. All good CEO’s know that the customer’s need to have a great experience if they are to keep coming back. Put on a show every time you are on stage for your fans.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a CEO? If not, lets’ start now!