How to deal with rejection in basketball

Rejection is a part of life and basketball. You can see it all the time and it’s something that you as a basketball player need to deal with. Even Michael Jordan got cut from his high school team and you hear the countless stories of champions told “No”. So how did they do it?

Firstly, you shouldn’t take rejection personally. Once that happens it is easy to get disheartened and eventually the joy for the game is gone. When you get rejected look at the positive; potentially this team just wasn’t the right fit for you. Countless times in my career I wished I had been cut during the try out phase to save the angst during the season with a team I didn’t enjoy playing with.

Understand why you got rejected?

If you are rejected take the time to understand why. Speak to the coach and gauge why you were cut. Ask what you need to improve and ask if there’s a chance you can train with the team during the season.  I address this routine in my article Didn’t make the team for the coming season? I discuss techniques that can be implemented to still salvage the season and potentially play. (disclaimer: Mind you, I am assuming you want to play on this team as it’s a great program. If the coach isn’t readily giving of this information that person isn’t a good coach and you don’t need to be playing for them. Yes, there are dickhead coaches out there as there are also dickhead players.)

Remember, during the season people do get injured. I have played in teams where we lost more than half of our squad due to injury and disciplinary action. So if you do keep training with a team it is so much easier to play a person committed and who knows the system.

Use rejection to motivate you?

Whether you talk to the coach or not use rejection to motivate you. Set yourself goals and plan the next steps to get to you final goal. Write your goals down and make them clearly visible. I keep my goals on my kitchen white board as I spend the most amount of time in this room. When I was younger I had my goals pinned to the wall next to my bed. This way this was the first and last thing I saw every day.

If you are on the court, in the gym or any aspect of training use the emotion of rejection to propel yourself. Being emotional about rejection is ok IF channeled properly. Has this happened to you? Have you had a friend that broke up with their girlfriend or boyfriend suddenly hit the gym hard? After a few months they start to look good, they have a new wardrobe and a newly found confidence. Well, that’s someone that has used rejection as motivation.

Good habits are the best way of achieving anything.

Bad habits are hard to break right? Well if you get yourself into some good habits it also is hard to break. I never thought I could ever train at 5am! I didn’t even think that 5am even existed until I got to college. I used to get up at 430am to catch a bus to get to a 530am training session.  After a few hard weeks of forcing myself I got into a groove and getting up and shooting in the morning was second nature. I still get up in the morning to go to the gym and having done that for a little over a year I am out of the bed after a couple of rings of the alarm.

Implement training routines and stick to them religiously. Set your day and times and do not budge unless for a dire reason. Implement the calendar system and enter in all your training and recovery times. This will prevent you from double booking and enable to organise your life around the most important events.

How to schedule the important

To figure out what is important you have to set your major goal or goals. There needs to be an end goal in mind so you have something to work towards and measure how you are going. How can you measure the distance between something without two points?

I schedule things into my calendar by always consulting my mission statement; by consulting my mission statement I can clearly see what is the most important things in my life. Things like, family, my girlfriend, my close group of friends, website work and training is the most important things in my life right now. Everything else gets scheduled around these major “Rocks”. I learnt this method doing the Franklin Covey 7 Habits self-development course.

To help you let’s talk about a common interest we have and that’s basketball. Why else would you be on the No Boarders Basketball site? Say one of your big goals is to play college basketball in USA. What you want to do is schedule things in your week that is going to help you be a good basketball player and a great student. Everything else (apart from family) is a distraction.

As a basketball player, identify your dream. The big goal! Now, what do you need to do to get there? Let’s break this down to an average week using our example above.

What’s important for basketball?

  • skill practice
  • team training
  • weight training
  • diet(purchase good food, no fast food)
  • recovery routine

What’s important for studies?

  • home work
  • staying on top of your assignments
  • schedule monthly or weekly teacher feed back
  • reviewing notes in class

Notice that parties, playing xbox, chillin with your homies are not scheduled in. Well if your goal is to play college basketball how are these going to help you? So many young athletes get misled by losing sight of what is important. See them at clubs till late chasing women and eventually their dream gets away. This I’m being dramatic? Have you heard of Lenny Cooke? Watch the documentary trailer below.

Following the above and scheduling these tasks in will help you be a good student athlete. Exactly what is needed to play college basketball in USA. Now this is a general overview of what is needed but ensure that the major ROCKS are aligned with your end goal. Work hard towards that goal by defending your big rocks.

What are your big rocks? What are the things you want to achieve with your basketball. Please share using the comment section below. I’d like to hear what drives you.

It could be you that people watch on TV playing basketball

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