Why give up when you can still play? Why stop playing basketball just because you’re a little shorter than the other boys my age?
Ben Grimm is the perfect example of that guy who didn’t give up. He could have, but decided that he would work harder than the others to make it. Okay, he probably doesn’t have an NBA career in front of him, but he certainly enjoys what he has right now.
I have had the pleasure of coaching Ben for several years now. He was probably in kindergarten when I first met him. He always had a coachable spirit, which made him fun to coach. Ben is probably the basketball version of a “teachers’ pet”. That is one of the reasons he keeps on improving; coaches love to work with someone who has a receptive heart.
Ben knew that he wasn’t going to dominate his opponents with his size, so he had to go back to that old school ideology; it’s all in the mechanics.
Instead of throwing in the towel, even after being cut from the 7th grade basketball team, Ben didn’t lose hope. He pressed on. He worked harder. And after a few weeks, some unforeseen changes on that 7th grade team allowed Ben to be asked back. He was asked back as an alternate. But who cares, right? He was on the team.
And because of the courage and the drive in Ben, combined with his coachable attitude, he worked his way up and by mid-season, was getting lots of playing time.
I just had Ben for a week at basketball camp, and I saw how hard he works. He is short, but knows how to use his quickness to his advantage. He is all over the floor. What he lacks in height, he makes up in heart, effort and proper mechanics.
He works so hard to get himself open, freed up to shoot the ball, and then releases the ball with picture perfect form. You watch the ball with perfect back spin and rotation as if it were a slow motion highlight video of the top 10 plays of the day.
So, here are my top 10 ways to overcome the temptation to give up:
1. Have a coachable spirit and a positive attitude.
2. Remember that it is all in the mechanics. Proper form and strong fundamentals are the key foundations to improvement.
3. Work hard. Your effort and hustle can make up for size if it looks like you are the underdog.
4. Hang out with friends and stay connected to the sports world as these friendships can have a better chance of thriving while hanging out in a basketball gym or a baseball diamond rather than a late night party on a Friday night.
5. Put in the extra time needed to take yourself to the next level.
6. Work hard in the classroom as countless studies show the high correlation between classroom success and sports.
7. Let “fun” be the motivation for your hard work.
8. Listen closely to your coaches and respect their authority.
9. Make sure you have of other fun hobbies and activities to spend time with so that your life is well balanced.
10. Find the closest Ben Grimm in your neighborhood and hang out with him!
Comments/questions? Email tom Kuyper at: firstname.lastname@example.org