As a basketball lifer, I have always had the belief that if you put the right work in good things will happen for you. There was a player that I once worked with who was being overlooked. He kept telling me the coach doesn’t like me, he will never play me, he let the other players do what they want but I can’t. I call this the woe is me syndrome(I don’t take responsibility for what is happening in my life or my game). I told him to stay after practice and work with me everyday that he could. Everyday turned into consecutive months of staying after practice for hours and hours. Finally his break came when a couple of his teammates became ineligible. I went watch an away game of his. It was one of the weirdest things to listen to spectators ask “who is this kid?, “where did he come from” as he drained three after three from nearly half court and make big baskets when his team needed it. After the game, I reminded him that it’s all about the work!
The grind of playing basketball never gets old and those who choose the path of hard work, commitment and sacrifice have chosen correctly. Successful people and players will attest that their is no exceptions for hard work. When you put the work you will be able to trust yourself when it matters the most. The moment won’t be to big for you.
There’s no substitution for preparation. You can see when a player is prepared. The look in there eye as they go through their pregame warmup, the stare into the coaches eye when the coach is delivering the game plan, the calm that they display when the game is on the line and it matters most. This comes when the player has taken complete ownership of their attitude, approach, and development as a player.
Working out should take precedence over staying up late on the phone or turning down the video game for an opportunity to train or lift weights. The player must realize that commitment to their craft is everything when it comes results. I remember getting the Janitors phone number from my high school. just so i could meet him at 5:30 am to spend 2 hours of uninterrupted time to work by myself. After working out by myself I’d lift weights for a hour and then do vertimax for 30 minutes when the rest of the guys arrived. All without my parents requesting that I do it or someone picking me up or waiting for someone to call me. All any player really needs is to show that he or she is committed and willing to make the sacrifice before rest comes.
Tatum’s tips to be the player you want to be.
1. Don’t make excuses for your performance, instead make sure you are preparing yourself for when your moment comes.
2. Hold yourself accountable. No one should have higher expectations for you than you. You know what you want and you must go get it!
3. Remember that your labor is not in vain. The sacrifice is a part of the journey. Every time you make a sacrifice you’re depositing seeds into your dreams and no one can take that away from you.
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- Deonte Tatum
CEO/THE WAY BASKETBALL, LLC