How much do you love the game of basketball? Is this something you want to make as your career? I’ve seen a fair share of people say they want to play pro but as soon as they get cut from a team they are trying out for they never play the game again, or at least never play basketball at a high level. Why is that? it’s because they lack PERSISTENCE and DESIRE.
When I wanted to tryout for the Melbourne Tigers; I called Al Westover (the head coach at the time) 15 to 20 times before I got through to him. I needed to know the dates for tryouts and I was adamant that I was going to play for the Tigers.
I went through the weeks of tryouts for the Tigers and in the end I didn’t even make the third team. My coach at the time was nice enough to let me keep training with the team. However, I wasn’t on the roster to play any games. But, I persisted and kept training with the team. Getting better and learning all that I could learn about the Tigers system. Eventually by the start of the season I had played my first game for the Tigers under 20’s third team. I still remember my first game with the Tigers, I had 9 points and played really well to the surprise of my coach.
Another personal experience with PERSISTENCE that I’d like to share with you is during the darker days of the many years of basketball I played. I walked away from the game in 2007 after a short stint with the Gladstone Power in the QBL. I was burnt out from playing basketball and the passion for the game wasn’t there; as a result my basketball suffered. It had been suffering at that stage for over two years. I decided to stop playing basketball but to keep fit started playing soccer. I was a terrible soccer player! I had never played the game before and I had no skill what so ever. I was like a 5 year old that had to be shown how to play the game.
Starting from the bottom I had a great group of coaches and team mates that taught me some drill to improve my skills as well as worked with me before and after trainings. I had a DESIRE to be better as I wanted to play on the team. My goal was to make the reserves team by the start of the season. The first few trainings I turned the ball over so many times and kept stuffing up. But through PERSISTENCE and a DESIRE to make the team my skills came together. My first game was with the seniors team and I played an integral part in the team winning. I shut down the opposition teams main goal scorer. Oh, by the way the team was in a league three tiers below the top national league and we were all getting paid to play. When the season ended I was awarded the most improved player for the senior team.
One more story about PERSISTENCE I like to share with you. The inventor, Thomas Edison apparently failed a thousand times before he successfully invented the light bulb. That’s a thousand times until he got it working! That’s PERSISTENCE.
If you are in the situation where you have tried out for a team multiple times and been cut. Keep trying! Michael Jordan got cut in high school remember, and he became the best basketball player to ever play the game. If you truly DESIRE to play basketball for this team keep trying. In my article, Didn’t make the team for the coming season I discuss methods to improve your chances of being selected the next season. If these steps are implemented with a mix of PERSISTENCE you will eventually hit your goal.
Need more examples of people that made their mark on this world through PERSISTENCE? Watch this video.
Don’t get all sensitive about being cut. Worst thing you can do. Most people can’t do to well with rejection so they crawl into the self imposed shell. Ever see those guys at clubs hitting on girls? They’ll walk up to one girl get rejected but then you see him talking to another, and another. Until you walk past and he is making out with a girl (usually one of the hottest girls in the club) in the corner. Every time I go out I see this and it hasn’t changed as the years have gone by. This is PERSISTENCE in action.
How do they do it? Well, they don’t take rejection personally. In my article, How to deal with rejection in basketball I discuss methods of using rejection to fuel your DESIRE to make the team. Don’t go off the rails, be PERSISTENT and work even harder on your game. There’s always next season; come back stronger with the knowledge of the year before. In most of the cases where I didn’t make the team I got permission from the coach to continue training with the team. Eventually I got the call up to play a game.
A lesson needs to be learnt here. If your dream is to play college or pro basketball don’t let anything take you away from that path. Continue with DESIRE and PERSISTENCE to obtain your end goal. Let me end with a cliche Remember, nothing worth having comes easy.