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A new basketball season brings joy to many boys, girls, parents and family members. It’s a sport
that can take you to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It’s a sport where people in the
stands think they know more than the coach at any given point during a game. It’s a sport that will
tell you the truth and all you have to do is look in the mirror to find it. The start of basketball season
is where you find out if all the hard work you put in during the off-season was worth it. It’s one of a
handful of sports where your effort, sacrifice, mental strength and dedication will be put on display
daily.  Are you doing everything you can to pursue your dreams on the basketball court? What have
you done in the last 3-6 months to prepare yourself for a great season of growth and success?

If you want to play college basketball you need to look in the mirror. The old adage “if it was easy
everyone would do it” applies. Hearing kids say they haven’t shot hoops in a week or two is
unforgivable. Basketball is a mental game. Part of that is mentally focusing on getting to the gym
and putting in the work it takes to develop your skill set, the other part is mentally developing the
muscle memory it takes to be a great shooter through repetition.  There is also a big difference
between shooting hoops and actually getting in a solid workout. Going half speed 2 times a week
(shooting hoops) is not going to work. If you are tired and winded during a game you need to
practice at the game speed so your body is prepared. Kids need to swallow their pride, change their
mentality and realize that they are their own driving engine and their own brake. The amount of
time, hard work and sacrifice to receive a scholarship is enormous. There are always going to be
certain kids that have more natural talent and physical skills. Even at some point the talented have
to take it up a notch to meet their ultimate goal.

I can’t remember many times when I was in middle school, high school or college when I would go
more than 2 days without playing basketball, playing pickup or getting in a solid workout. In 2014
it’s easier to play video games or tweet all night than go out and work on your basketball skills. You
always need to be in the frame of mind that if I’m not working, someone else is and that person may
be who I am competing against for that starting spot or scholarship.

I CHALLENGE all the players who want to use basketball to better their career/life path with this:
DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL. The best players make mistakes and grow from them. The best players
are positive towards their teammates even when they are not playing their best. The best players
know that if they need to score 12 points in a row to win a game they need to step up and put the
previous month’s hard work to use. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a player afraid to
be great. If you are going to sacrifice all the time, sweat, and tears, I believe you should show it for
all to see when the bright lights are on. You must have ultimate confidence in your training and skill
set to know that even at your worst, you can still find ways to be an asset and things will eventually
get better. DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRUST YOURSELF!

As the season is starting you need to take a step back and see how your personal goals are being
met. If you find yourself not in the best of shape, it’s time to put in extra sprints after practice. Is
your shot off or not dropping like it was in the summer/fall? Time to spend extra hours in the gym
putting up hundreds of shots during the week. I know with practice, games, school and life, time can
be limited, but if you time manage there can be hours found!  Please think about your goals and
what you truly want out of the 2014/2015 season. Getting to work on the basketball court and
putting in the right amount of time is on you! It’s time to get recommitted or step it up even more to
chase that dream! At the end of the day, it’s only YOU that can change the course of your basketball
career.

Best of luck this season! Stay hungry and confident!