Does It Take More than Talent to Succeed as a Pro Basketball Player..?
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." Michael Jordan's words are inspiring and profound, but also indicative of the extent that attitude brings to your performance. As stated in a study on the importance of this quality, "Commitments make individuals' behavior predictable in the face of fluctuations in their desires, thereby facilitating the coordination of joint actions involving multiple agents." Basketball is a team sport, so what you give has major repercussions on every single component of your team.
Believe in Yourself
Your ability to commit is intricately tied into your belief in yourself. When you have talent and you know you are meant to be a basketball player, commitment means sticking to your guns, even if others are unaware of what you can achieve. Isaiah Thomas of the Washington Wizards is an excellent example of someone who didn't take no for an answer. Way back in 2011, he was the 60th and last overall pick in the NBA Draft and, standing at just 5"9, seemed like a less-than-sure bet for top teams. Thomas let his work do the talking, dropping in 20 points per game and eventually spending one too many games on the bench during a stint with the Phoenix Suns. Eventually, he would go on to play a major role in the Boston Celtics' success, playing for the Cavaliers, Lakers, and Nuggets before signing on with the Wizards in July this year.
Funding Your Sport
Basketball is not as expensive as sports like tennis or golf, but those wishing to go pro do require some funding for training and equipment. Find out if you may be eligible for financial assistance programs, grants, and scholarships focused on basketball players. College scholarships are particularly interesting because they enable players to obtain knowledge in areas such as business, medicine, communications, etc., all of which may come in handy for players who for some reason have a shortened career in basketball. Even though your family is struggling financially, know that basketball can help you have a better life if you are able to make it to pro status. Jimmy Butler is famed for having lived in the homes of friends after being kicked out of home. He barely staved off homelessness before being selected by the Bulls as the 30th overall pick in the draft in 2011.
The Importance of Teamwork
It was also Michael Jordan who said that "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships." Even the greatest player does not make a team successful. Rather, it is the synergy between players that makes the difference between a good and a great team. In the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, Dwayne Wade showed what teamwork is all about when he sacrificed a little of his own glory by assisting Kobe Bryant, who performed a memorable slam-dunk. His move showed not only his ability to sacrifice for his teammate, but also revealed the intuition he had about where Bryant would be at that precise moment. This kind of instinct only exists in very tightly-knit teams.
Being a successful basketball player is similar to succeeding in business and your personal life. Playing as a team is key in any field, as is reaching for your goal regardless of the obstacles that come in your way. Believing in yourself is arguably the hardest quality of all. Often, self-defeating mantras stand in the way of success. Tell yourself positive things, start the day with breathing or meditation, feed your body well, and make good sleep a priority every night. This will ensure your mood and energy levels are exactly where they need to be when you are reaching for higher ground.