#297: Athletes- Go To The Stronger School or The Weaker Program? [WOYG Podcast]

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Many basketball players ask about this choice: play for a strong team where the player may not earn much playing time (because his/her teammates are really good), or choose a weak team where the person asking can step right in as the star? Which makes more sense?

I used to think there were circumstances which could validate either choice. I no longer think this way. There is only one answer.

Today, learn why there is only one answer, and what exactly it means for you and your future in sports or anything else.

[Transcript] #297 Athletes: Go To The Stronger School or The Weaker Program?

Dre Baldwin: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Work On Your Game Podcast where you develop the confidence to put yourself out there, the discipline to show up day after day, and the mental toughness to keep working on your game even if the results haven’t shown up yet. My name is Dre Baldwin, also known as Dre All Day. I’m going to show you how to wrap all that up with some personal initiative to get yourself seen, heard, and known.

Dre Baldwin: [00:00:18] Today our topic is, “Where should I go to play my sport?”

I get this question often from athletes; athletes who are at the middle school level, maybe the high school level — usually it’s the middle school or high school level; athletes who ask a question such as — and before I even go into what that question is — for all of you who are not athletes, understand that what I’m going to share here today, metaphorically, applies to anything you’re doing in life. So if you’re a business person, if you’re a professional who is looking at job opportunities, if you are a student who’s looking at what school to attend, if you’re an athlete, or if you’re a parent of an athlete, or you’re the mentor or coach or the pastor of an athlete, who is thinking about what — they’re weighing their options right now. There’s a certain question I get asked often by basketball players. I’m going to tell you that question; paraphrase it here ‘coz I’ve been asked it hundreds of times, probably over the last — let’s say 5 to 6 years.

The question is this: “Dre I’m looking at 2 different high schools I could possibly go to to play my sport and” — we’ll just use basketball here and keep it simple. “I could go to high school A which is a very, very good school. They have a very solid program; they’ve got a lot of players who end up getting college scholarships; and if I go to that school, I might not play that much because they have a lot of talent.

Dre Baldwin: [00:01:27] They got a lot of good players on that team. OR, Dre, I can go to high school B” or college B or A, program B — you can substitute whatever type of situation it is. “I can go to Option B, where the team is not very good. The program is not very solid. They don’t have a lot of talent and I would probably be the star on the team the first day that I arrive. Which one should I go to? Which one would you choose Dre? If you were in the situation, what would you do? I get asked this by basketball players — I told you all the time. And before I even get into my points, one thing I do want to say because I have heard someone address this before and it was actually 2 of my favorite thinkers – I guess I’ll call him – their names are Steven J. Dubner and Steven Levitt; these guys are also known as Freakonomics. I guess the two of them together are known as the Freakonomics guys. Let’s just call them that and they’ve written a couple of books. And if you want to look them up, just go on Amazon — look up Freakonomics and see their books — highly rated books, very popular books; they even have a podcast as well, which I’ve recently started listening to. And the Freakonomics guys actually address this.

Dre Baldwin: [00:02:29] I believe it was in one of their books where they talked – they were talking about, specifically though, law school; when students are thinking about going to law school because they want to get into the legal profession. Should you try to get into the top law school out there and then struggle and strive and hope that you can finish at the top of your class. Or as most people do — finish in the middle of the class even at a really high, high level law school. Does that make you better or worse than someone who goes to maybe a less prestigious law school but finishes at the top of their class? And they concluded — I don’t remember how they came to this conclusion but I do remember their conclusion which was: If you’re a law student, you’re better off going to a less prestigious college and finishing first in your class than going to — let’s say Harvard law school and finishing 77th in the class. Even though 77th at Harvard Law School means you’re pretty damn good, it looks better if you finish 1st at some other less prestigious school — who knows what other less prestigious law school there is out there.

Dre Baldwin: [00:03:23] I’m not the one to say. And the reason is not just because it looks “better”, Don’t — I want to make sure people don’t misconstrue the conclusion that they came to. The conclusion was coming to finishing at that number one spot at a less prestigious school also correlated because they actually did a study on —  they said correlated to actually getting a better job, making more money or whatever it is — whatever the controlled baseline was; What is it that we’re actually measuring here to see what matters? It’s not just how it looks. So I’m throwing that disclaimer out there because I’m going to give you some other things that are not similar to that disclaimer ‘coz I don’t think there are too many things in life that are similar to law school. Sports is definitely not like law school and most of life for that matter: entrepreneurship, business, and things I know about had nothing to do with law school or law school has nothing to do with them.

Dre Baldwin: [00:04:09] So I just threw that out there just to let you know that I have heard of this situation before. However, I do have 4 specific points that I want to share with you athletes out there; with you students out there; with all of you business people out there; all you professionals out there; who are weighing your options — should I go here, where it will probably be pretty easy for me to be the star and dominate or should I go here where everyone’s really good and I may have to struggle and strive to even get acknowledged and maybe never be the star; maybe never dominate. Which one should I go to? Which one should I go for? Which one is more — Which one is better for my future,

Dre Baldwin: [00:04:42] moving forward? Now, I’m going to be giving this information that I’m sharing here with you, athletes specifically, as I’m going to be talking to in this episode but again if you’re not an athlete, note: understand what I’m saying here, metaphorically applies to anything that you do in life. That it’s not just an athlete discussion but I’m going to speak directly to the athletes just for continuity to make this message make complete sense. I’m speaking to you athletes on the basis that I am assuming — I may be wrong but I am assuming, in this episode, that your aim is to go to the next level and the next level and the next level in your sport.

Dre Baldwin: [00:05:17] So I’m not assuming that you’re going to high school and you want to go to — and You’re trying to choose which high school to go to so you can get your 4 years of high school and then never touch a ball again competitively at a higher level. I’m assuming that if you’re asking which high school should you go to — it’s because you’re looking for a way to make yourself look good so you can play in college and then play well in college so you can eventually go to the professional levels of basketball; so, I’m assuming that you’re looking to move up after you get done playing at whatever it is the next place you want to move up to the next level to the next level, the next level.

Dre Baldwin: [00:05:45] This message that I’m gonna share with you here today, this episode is not for the people who are just — I just want to just do this and then I’m never doing it again; I’m not going any further; I’m talking to the people who have some ambition when it come to their sport at least you still see it that way; you still have some ambition when it comes to your sport. Meaning, you still want to go further and further and further. You want to move on up like the Jeffersons. So let’s get into the points that I’m going to share with you here today: 4 specific points to answer this question — to answer the question: Should I go to a smaller school? or should I go to a bigger school? or should I go to a weaker school or a stronger school for my sport where I might play more. I might play less? and parents out there, this is — this message is for you too, because I know parents often have a lot of say in steering where their children go for their schools.

Dre Baldwin: [00:06:29] I know parents personally who have — they have a big say, they do a lot of steering as to where their child’s going to go. I don’t want to put them in that program, I want to make sure I can – I have a relationship with this coach – That – that situation. Whether you’re a player or a parent, this is very important because this is a question that needs to be answered and the answer – the way that you answer this question, the choice you actually end up making — because I’m not making a choice, you are — will determine who would play a big role and what happens in your future. So you need to pay a lot of attention. Take notes here, download this episode, whatever you need to do.

Dre Baldwin: [00:06:59] Number 1: Basketball is a competitive sport.

We know this, right? Basketball is competition. Football is competition. Baseball is competition. All team sport — hockey. They are competition. So if you’re asking the question, right now, “Should I go to a strong level place and perform where I might not play much from the beginning because I have to earn my spot or should I go to a smaller less prestigious weaker program where I may start my first year in here; I may start as a freshman; I may be the star getting the ball as much as I want as soon as I walk in the door?” If you’re asking a question between the two of those.

My question to you then, if you’re asking this question, is: What kind of competitor are you? If you need to ask this question, what kind of competitor are you?

If you even need to ask the question: Should I go to a place where the competition is decidedly weaker on purpose just because I know I’ll shine there; just because I know I’ll stand out there; just because I know I’ll get more attention. And I should add into this point number 1 here, that I often hear from athletes who say “Well, I do this, that; I have this skill, that skill and I don’t know if they had a skill or not – it’s just what they’re saying which for the most part, people are telling me how good they are in a comment or email or snap, I don’t believe them. But let’s just say to them — let’s just say they’re telling the truth. “I’m this good; I do all this and that but scouts never come to my game. Scouts never come watch my team. Scouts never come to my league — any games in my league; scouts never come to any games in my town.”

Dre Baldwin: [00:08:22] Well, here’s the thing about scouts. All you have to need is to understand: Scouts don’t come to leagues; scouts don’t come to teams; scouts don’t come to games; you know what scouts come to? Players. Scouts come to leagues, games. and teams because those leagues games and teams have players who are worth scouting.

Players who those scouts want to see. Players who those scouts believe, for some reason, they need to see this player in person so they can really evaluate what this young man and his young mommy can do.

Dre Baldwin: [00:08:52] That’s what a scout shows up for. Scouts do not show up because a certain team — OK, you take the Cleveland Cavaliers, let’s just say the high school version of the Cleveland Cavaliers, whoever that would be, you remove Kyrie Irving, remove Kevin Love, and remove LeBron James, all of a sudden the scouts won’t be at those games anymore; okay, scouts show up to see the players. The scouts don’t show up to see the team. They don’t show up because of this certain league; they don’t show up because of a certain city; they show up because there are players there who can play. Now. no scouts are showing up to your games wherever you play, your sport, your town, your city,

Dre Baldwin: [00:09:23] that is a reflection of you. That’s a reflection of you. Yes, you personally; not your team; not your coach; not the league; not because your town is too small; no, that was a reflection of you because if you were the player who was worth scouting, there’d be scouts there watching you. Now, there are no scouts are watching you, then you need to do some things, you need to take some actions to make sure you can get yourself seen, heard, and known. You can go to DreAllDay.com/help and there are a lot of resources that I have there that are completely for free. You can read and watch and understand and then apply.

Dre Baldwin: [00:09:54] Most important part: Apply on your own to start getting yourself seen, heard, and known; No one’s coming to watch you and that means you ain’t doing nothing worth watching and you need to understand that. So it was not — don’t blame the team, the city, the coach, your teammates, your opponents, none of that. It’s you. So this point here that I just said — if you’re playing a competitive sport, you have to ask the question: Should I go to the more competitive place where it may be harder for me to shine or an “easier place” where I know I’ll be able to get a lot of attention to shine just by walking in the door. I’ve got to ask you: What kind of competitor are you if you even need to ask this question?

Dre Baldwin: [00:10:26] You think of somebody like — if you look at college football; if you don’t watch college football it’s okay, you’ll understand it’s a metaphor — It’s a school, University of Alabama, Nick Saban is coaching there and Alabama has won a lot of championships. I don’t even know how many they’ve one since he came over to the school; he hasn’t been there that long. I say maybe 10 years, maybe a little bit less, a little bit more.

Dre Baldwin: [00:10:44] Nick Saban has a hell of a program there. Alabama is always, every year in the top five in recruiting classes. That means them recruiting high school athletes who are coming out of high school to come play in college.

Dre Baldwin: [00:10:55] Alabama’s always one of the top five recruiting classes — meaning their incoming freshmen are ranked in the top five in the entire nation; even know these teams winning championships not year after year but they’re winning a lot of championships; they’ve won more championships in the last 10 years than any other school. Now, how is that possible? If you just think about that — in college football, usually, the top ranked players — the top ranked high school players, they usually — I think they have the ego that they want to go somewhere where they’ll actually play, where they’re going to play a lot, right? When they — as soon as they step on a field because why? They did — they just finished being the man that there’s high school the last four years; that’s how they became a top ranked player. Not to say that they aren’t good but they are the man because they’re good. So if I’m a really good high school football player, right? And Nick Saban who’s coaching his team who just won a championship in college, is recruiting me. Now, I maybe excited because this team just won a championship and he’s recruiting me. But at the same time, I’m looking on other side of the coin: Wait a minute, this team has a whole lot of talent. They’ve got a whole lot of good players; they just won the championship in college football.

Dre Baldwin: [00:11:53] They don’t necessarily need me but here’s another team — another team maybe also a division one college team but they’re not as good. They’re not as strong. I know if I go to this other school; listen, I could probably step in and start — I could start all four years if I plan on staying four years; if I go to Alabama, I might not see the field too much for the first two years, maybe the first three years. maybe all four years, if I go there because everybody on the roster is a blue chip five-star recruit — How am I? How does a player make this decision? Now, I don’t know how those players make the decision because I’m not a college football player. I’m not a college football coach. I don’t know Nick Saban; never met him before. I don’t think I’ve been to the state of Alabama. But I do know — that since Nick Saban continuously has a top five recruiting class, that somehow, some way, these top players in high school who are sitting there and looking at this team which is just winning championship after championship, they’re still going to despite the fact that that school has all this talent. So I’m — I’m going to assume what Nick Saban is saying when he sits in a living room with these high school students. Mind you,

Dre Baldwin: [00:12:52] these are 17-18 year old kids. He’s sitting in their living room with their mother, their father, the grandmother, their coach, their little sister, and he’s having a conversation with them. Now, how — what kind of conversation do you think Nick Saban — now, even if you don’t play sports, especially if you don’t play sports, I want you to consider what kind of conversation he’s going to have — He has the best players in college already on his team but he’s talking to a player who’s already the best player in high school who could go to any college in the nation. Every college in the nation would give this player a full scholarship if he so chose it. But Nick Saban is somehow getting this player to come where the roster is already stacked with all this talent. How do you get to a player who is already talented No. 1 in his high school class to show up to a school where you have the last 4 No. 1 high school players in his exact same position already on your roster. How does Nick Saban get that? How does he convince a player to show up to that? Where that player might not get a spot; well, I’ll tell you what Nick Saban does. Now, I don’t know this to be a fact but I’m going to assume — you could tell me if I’m wrong —

Dre Baldwin: [00:13:50] I think Nick Saban sits down and lets players like that — players high school, players not as high school. maybe in high school but actually in his living room with his family — He says “Listen son, I just won a championship in college.

Dre Baldwin: [00:14:01] We just won the national championship in college football. You’re running back. Okay great. We got five running backs who were all five star recruits on our roster, right now and they’ll all be back next year.

Dre Baldwin: [00:14:12] I’m telling you right now, son, in front of your mom, in front of your dad, and in front of your coach, and your daughter, you might not play for 4 years in my school. You might show up to Alabama and you won’t see the field for 4 years straight. Unless we’re beating somebody by 50 and all the other guys got enough touches, so I’ll let you get in there and get some sweat going so your family can clap for you when you score point number 63 in a 63-0 blowout. You might not get on the field; I’m telling you that right now; but the reason I’m telling you that you might not get on the field is because I believe the only way you became the No. 1 player in the nation is because you’re a competitor; you want to play against the best.

Dre Baldwin: [00:14:46] You want to play against the best of the best out there. Not just in the games which is eleven times a year; eleven times over the course of a year — that’s not a lot of times that you get to play against the best. Well, what if you got to play against the best every single day? In practice. Every single day in a weight room; every single day in conditioning; every single day, you’re hanging around these guys and just soaking up the energy of being around the best of the best. How would you like that? Are you the type of competitor who wants to show up to that? And listen — And by the way, son, let me — let me throw out this disclaimer: This is Nick Saban still talking, mind you everybody. Let me throw out this disclaimer. You see these rings on my fingers? Okay. These rings on my fingers mean something; let me tell you what they mean.

Dre Baldwin: [00:15:24] They mean I don’t need you. They mean I don’t need you. If you decide you don’t want to come to the University of Alabama, listen, you can go to Arbor, you can go to Florida State, you can go to USC, you can go to Michigan, you can go to — what’s the other schools out there? Penn State; you can go to LSU; you can go to wherever you want to go and you can lose to us for the next four years if you want. If that’s what you want to do, you can lose to us for the next four years and I’m not just talking shit, son, because you see this ring on my finger. You don’t get this by losing, you get this by winning. This all I do — all we do is win. OK. All we do is win. We got the top players in the nation. You can be another one of our top players in a nation or you can go to another school. You can be the top player there but you will lose; you going to be the top player and all you’re playing is us.

Dre Baldwin: [00:16:03] Now what you want to do?” Now, based on that conversation — I don’t know if that’s exactly what Nick Saban says.

Dre Baldwin: [00:16:08] Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but those players have decided to come to Alabama somehow some way — whatever Nick Saban is doing, he’s a hell of a salesperson.

Dre Baldwin: [00:16:16] His winning is a hell of a sales pitch. He’s getting those players to show up even though he already has the best players. Listen, those best players in high school are going to Alabama anyway, despite the fact that they can go to any other school, be the man for the next 4 years but they are showing up there anyway.

Dre Baldwin: [00:16:30] Why? Because the best want to play against the best; the best want to face the best; the best want to know where the best are at and how can I get in that room so I can measure myself against the best.

And we all know, we go on to point No. 2. I talked about this in episode #194 the Work On Your Game Podcast — the title of that episode is “Go To Where It’s At”. I’ll talk — in that episode, I talk about a street ball and one mixtape, a guy by the name of Alamo from New York. Rest in peace. Alamo. He said “You can’t have guys who are — this is one of everyone mixtapes; for those who don’t know what that is, it’s a travelling basketball team. They would travel around the United States and playing pickup basketball games against anybody who wanted to show up and play against them in random city; they want to damn near every city in America. Even candidate went subsidies they went to some city once and Alamo was saying is this is on a TV show — This is on ESPN back in early 2000s; this is how popular street ball was at that time. Alamo said listen “I’m — we go into cities like Vancouver and we go on to Wyoming and we go into California. We’re going to Arizona.

Dre Baldwin: [00:17:29] We go on to Pennsylvania; Ohio; and this guy is walking up here and they really think they the man. They really think they can compete with us because every single day when they show up to the park in their little town — wherever it is they’re playing, they’re out there destroying guys, but they don’t — but they don’t really understand that the guy who you just destroy — the guy you just dunked on or crossed over or embarrassed in front of his girlfriend — listen, that dude just got off his eight hour shift at Taco Bell. You dominated him but listen, who are you playing against? who you’re playing against? If you really think you are one of the best street ballers in the world, you got to go to where it’s at. Where it’s at is New York City. And he was absolutely right. And I’m bringing up that point to tell you this.

We all know what the law of association is, right? You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with; so, you’re an athlete and you’re asking the question: Should I go to a weak place where everybody’s weak and I know I’ll be the star or should I go to a strong place where everybody might be better than me and I’m going to have to struggle to get myself better? Just going by the law of association alone, should this even be a question? Should you even be asking a question just based on your understanding on the law of association.

Dre Baldwin: [00:18:29] We know that iron — iron sharpeneth iron.

You cannot get better in life by surrounding yourself with worse associates, right? If you surround yourself with a bunch of people who are weaker than you; Yes, you are the star of your group; you’re the man; you’re the leader. Everybody’s gonna look up to you and compared to them, you’re the man. But, how are you going to get any better? You can’t because you’re associating with people who are worse off than you. As a rapper by the name of Gucci Mane he got a song on — I came to say his last album, he puts out so many albums but he has a song called “At least the M”.

Dre Baldwin: [00:18:56] He said “I don’t even associate with people whose associates don’t have at least the M.” When he says the M, he’s talking about a million dollars. He said “I don’t even associate with you if you don’t have at least a million dollars to your name. Now, whether he meant that literally, figuratively, it doesn’t even matter. All you need to understand is that it’s a metaphor that he’s saying “Listen, if you are not at least at this level, I don’t even want to be around you.

Dre Baldwin: [00:19:16] I don’t even want your average in this; your regular in this to rub off on me. I want to associate with people who have at least the M because that’s where I’m at. That’s how I’m going to get better.”

Dre Baldwin: [00:19:25] Even if he doesn’t have it, he wants to associate with those people so he can — if he’s around those people all the time, he becomes the average of 5 people who has the M. then guess what? Gucci Mane is going to end up having? An M.

Dre Baldwin: [00:19:34] So it’s a metaphor, for you to think about if you think your best option to stand out is to get with people who are weaker than it’s a problem you have. How many episodes of this podcast have you listened to? That’s your mindset. If you’re really asking that question. this — maybe this is the first episode you listened to; I forgive you but welcome to the show. You just start back at episode 1 when you get done listening to this one and then listen to this one again. Just let it go — just let it go in order, alright? Just let it go in order; don’t even stop; Just let it stream, let it loop. No. 3 — in life, you can’t pick and choose when and where the competition exists. You can’t pick and choose when it’s going to get hard, when it’s gonna be easy, or I didn’t get enough sleep last night so let me make the competition easy today, or today I feel good so let me get the good competition now. No, you can’t pick and choose in life. In life it comes when it comes you just gotta be ready for it. It’s better to have it not needed then to need it and not have it. And the better you get, understanding like — the better you get in business, in sports and anything that you do, the better you get, the more the competition will follow. If you start a business and you saw a whole lot of widgets because you’re the only option in the field and you’re just dominating their field, it ain’t gonna be long before somebody else starts selling a widget — Widget X, Widget Z, Widget Y, X is widget — they just going to go in all different directions and try to cut into your market share. If it’s doing well,

Dre Baldwin: [00:20:53] all the businesses are going to come in, try to cut into what you’re doing, guaranteed as a fact. There was a time when it was only a few people doing podcasts. There was a time when I went on a few people doing podcasts; some people caught on and all of a sudden people say “Oh, podcast is the hot thing. Now, how many people got a podcast?” To me, this is what happens when success is happening somewhere. People going to find it. People want to come to it. In sports, if your team wins a whole lot of games, you know what’s going to happen? Another team is winning a lot of games gonna call your team and say “Listen, we’ve been beating everybody; You all been beating everybody. We need to play against each other to find out who the best really is. That’s how it happens in sports. The best gets to play against the best. If you play basketball and you go to a weak High School on purpose, what are you going to do when you get the couch?

Dre Baldwin: [00:21:31] Let’s say you go to this weak High School, the school that has no program and you start as a freshman and you’re dominating; you average 40 for four years straight and then you get to college, you get to college where everybody’s good. Everybody on the team is averaging forty for four years straight. What are you going to do now? You’re not ready to compete against those guys ‘coz you’ve been competing against weaklings every day in practice. So you’re probably not going to average 40 either, unless you’re playing against weaklings as well. At which point, you know what? the scouts are not even going to scout you because they’re like “Look at this bum. Look at this guy. He’s playing against bums so he’s probably a bum; He probably thinks like a bum. There’s no way he’d compete against these other guys who have been playing against good players everyday in practice then go on to games —

maybe they only score 15 but they putting score 15 in those guys who can play; you’re scoring 40 against guys who can’t play. Who you think’s going to get scouted? You or them? Do you think scouts don’t notice? You think they don’t understand this? They understand it. I understand it. They understand it. Trust me, they know. So if you’re looking at yourself and say “I’m gonna go somewhere weaker so I can make sure I stand out.”

Dre Baldwin: [00:22:25] What you gonna do when you get to the pros? What are you gonna do when you get to the NBA? or the DV? or you gonna play overseas? You’re gonna decide you’re not going to show up to the game because the guy on the other teams is just a little bit too good? Or what if that other team — what if the team your on signs another guy in your exact same position and says “Okay, both of you are competing for one — one roster spot. Only one of you is getting a contract. We are gonna let you all practice against each other for a week and then we’re going to see what’s up. How are you going to be ready for that if you went to a high school where everybody was weak and you were just dominating without getting any better? How are you going to do that? You can’t pick and choose the competition when you get to the higher level. And do you plan on getting to the higher level? If you do, then it shouldn’t even been a question from —  in from the beginning — in the first place. You can’t sit out in the games against the good teams and the good players anywhere else. You can’t just pick and choose your competition if you want to do it in a high school. Trust me, it’s going to — it’s going to come back to bite you in the long run.

Dre Baldwin: [00:23:12] No. 4 — Last point on my share here today — Tim Grover the book “Relentless” one of my top five favorite books in episode number 60 Favorite Books Episode of this podcast; this is a quote out of his book Relentless.

Dre Baldwin: [00:23:25] “Most people have no idea what they’re even capable of. Even fewer wants to find out.” I must say that quote one more time then I’m gonna recap these points. “Most people have no idea what they’re even capable of.

Dre Baldwin: [00:23:39] Even fewer wants to find out.” and you, athlete; you, businessperson; you, entrepreneur; you will never find out if you angle your actions

Dre Baldwin: [00:23:52] Two weeks out of life so to speak.

Dre Baldwin: [00:23:55] You can’t angle your actions, angle your activity, angle when you’re going to compete to find the weakest possible competition. Now, yes there is — there are times in life when it does make sense to go find a weak competition. Let’s say if you want to

Dre Baldwin: [00:24:07] — You decide you want to be a Kindle entrepreneur; you want to sell a bunch of books on Amazon Kindle; you should probably find an area where the competition is not so tough but is also people looking to sell. We call that kind of the sweet spot. Okay. Playing sports  ain’t selling books on Amazon; sports, you got to play against the best if you are the best, you’ve got to play against the best and you can’t hide; the better you get the more attention you’re going to get.

Dre Baldwin: [00:24:28] The more those other people who are just as good and getting just as much attention, they are gonna say “Okay, well then, we need to meet and we need to make this happen so we can find out who really is the best.” Now, if you’re really a competitor, you’re looking forward to that conversation. If you’re not a competitor and you’re trying to avoid it.

Dre Baldwin: [00:24:41] And that also answered a question here which goes back — as I’ll recap these points the topic of our conversation today: Should I go to a stronger place where it is gonna be a lot of competition and I’m going to have to work really hard to even earn an opportunity or shall I go to a weaker place where there’s not much competition and I’m going to get an opportunity just because I showed up — just because I’m — just based on my talent alone without getting any better, I’m just going to be the man just because I showed up or the woman just because I showed up.

Dre Baldwin: [00:25:04] Let’s go over these points:

No. 1 You’re playing a competitive sport; if you’re asking this question: Should I go to the high level or low level? You better ask yourself this question: What kind of competitor are you if you even need to ask this; if you’re even considering this.

What kind of competitor are you? A competitor must face the best; The weakling wants to face the worst so they can look good. Which one are you? And trust me, when people are watching they can tell. People know when your competition is weak. So even if you look great but your competition is weak, everybody can see that; you’re not fooling anyone. Maybe you’re fooling yourself; you’re not fooling anybody else.

No. 2 Going to where it’s at; we know the law of association — You become the average of the 5 people you associate with most and that’s in every area of life; your business, your finances, your relationships, your sports, your body, your mental well-being.

So. if you’re associating with people who are weak at your sport, you purposely choose to associate with them. What do you think’s going to happen to you?

Dre Baldwin: [00:25:51] And again this is a law of association; it is not a rule of association; it’s not a preference of association; it’s not the option of association. It is a law. These are universal laws that they work for you or against you whether you work with or against the law. It will work with or against you. These are facts, people. This is not something that I just made up. Iron sharpens iron. You can’t get better by surrounding yourself with worse associates, alright? Gucci Mane told you — have at least the M. I don’t associate with people whose associates don’t have at least the M.

No. 3 In life you can’t pick and choose when and where to competition happens; you can’t pick and choose when things are going to get hard; you can’t pick and choose when and if you’re going to be ready to compete. Well, actually you can pick and choose but life will naturally select those who are always ready because sometimes it’s gonna happen that you need to be ready that you’re not ready and it’s gonna cost you. You may not get another opportunity; that’s also covered.

Dre Baldwin: [00:26:42] That point is also covered in a book that’s in my top five favorite books list as podcast episode number 60.

Dre Baldwin: [00:26:47] Leading me right into the

No. 4 point – Tim Grover, the author of that book. The book is called “Relentless” — he said and I quote “Most people have no idea what they’re even capable of, even fewer wants to find out.” You will never find out what you are capable of in life, people, angling for weak side, angling for the weakest competition possible, angling for the way that is gonna make it “easiest” — the easier you make it on yourself, the harder life is on you.

Dre Baldwin: [00:27:11] We’ve all heard these things before, have we not? Work On Your Game.



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