I didn’t play on my college basketball team as a senior at Penn State Altoona. I have been dismissed from the team as a junior, and my pride kept me from trying to mend fences with the coach as a senior.
So I played intramurals and random pick up games. One regular game was a lunchtime run on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a bunch of faculty members. They were comfortable having me play because they knew I’d been on the basketball team. Plus, basketball team coach Armen Gilliam would play with them often himself, and encouraged me to participate.
Around the games, the faculty guys would ask me what my plans were since I was close to graduation. I would tell them that basketball was my chosen profession. I could tell they didn’t really believe me.
I mean, would you believe me? I was a senior at an NCAA Division III school, not even on the basketball team. Most NCAA athletes go Pro in something other than sports. Those staff guys probably thought I was in that category, too.
There were very few people, outside of myself, who believed I would succeed in making basketball my profession. And, logically, they were pretty smart to believe that. It took a lot more mental than physical energy for me to become a professional athlete, believe it or not.
So how do you continue believing when no one else does? How do you maintain an expectation of success when nothing around you denotes success?
Today’s show is about that.
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