As athletes are developing their roles and finding their place on this year’s 2010–2011 basketball teams, I must say my Blackberry is buzzing like crazy and email inbox is over-flowing with messages from PGC grads. The increased communication around mid-season is very common. What’s also common my message back to them: Just fight through it!
The athlete emails in my inbox usually start with “Coach, I hope you’re doing well. I’m doing OK with the start of season… But…“. I always know the “but…” is coming. When it does, a quick smile arrives on my face and think of one person: my younger brother. He has given me renewed faith and confidence that the mantra of ‘just fight through it‘ is real.
My brother, Brett, is a high-school senior. He’s highly-skilled wide receiver who will play college football at the NCAA Division 1 level. He’s dealt with politics, negative coaching influences, and unfair playing time his entire high school career. However, he recently caught a game winning touchdown that would rival that of a play seen on ESPN’s Sunday night highlights. It was a story-book ending for a young man who too used to ask me the same questions I’m currently receiving: “Lynds, how do I get more playing time? Why isn’t he throwing it to me? I work hard, so what aren’t the coaches seeing? Why am I not the ‘go to player’? What is wrong with my coach?”
Sports is a perfect training ground for creating and modeling a successful life. I’ve told him countless times, “Brett, just fight through it. You will have a boss one day who doesn’t see your daily contributions to the company, but you’ll still have to fight through finishing a project and deadline. You will have a spouse one day who you feel invisible at times despite your efforts to complete the weekend errands, but you’ll have to fight through those frustrations or relationship problems could ensue. This is your life in a nut shell. So go to practice tomorrow and focus on what you can control: your effort, your enthusiasm, your attitude.” Reluctantly he would hang up the phone, have a catch or two the next week, and I’d get the same call. As of a few weeks ago, I’ve seen a noticeable change in our communication. He has rarely commented on the negatives of his football experience.
Life has a funny way of working itself out, and to no surprise, he ended his high school career with a multitude of catches, a game winning touchdown, and more importantly, a belief in himself that fighting through adversity with a raised chin and smile is really the best course of action. Not because he was on the front page of the LA Times, not because random people are praising him, but because he’s developed a blueprint that will make him a stronger person for his entire life.
So athletes, consider this my reminder to you: “just fight through it”.
Yes, it’s easier said than done, but moping around because you’re not getting the ball enough or pouting at the end of the bench surely isn’t doing you any good. See these challenging times as an opportunity to build your fortitude, your toughness, your resiliency so you can replace the ‘woe is me’ with a ‘just fight through it‘ attitude.
THINK THE GAME
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PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.
We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.
Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.