I grew up practicing and playing basketball on the outdoor courts of Finley Playground in Mt. Airy (Philly). As my game progressed, so did my shit talking — to the point that, to shut me up, older players would simply point to the indoor building at Finley, where the “under the whistle” games took place, and remind me that, if I was really as good as I said I was, I had to prove it in there, in the real games with the coaches and referees, not just in pickup.
They were right. The principle, even if you don’t play outdoors at all, still applies.
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You’re not good at your game until/unless you prove it when it matters, where it matters, against players who matter, in front of decision makers who matter.
You can dominate in practice or against your friends every day. Have a lot of game that you’ve developed via solo practice and HoopHandbook programs. You know know you have undisplayed skills the others don’t have. But until you prove it, it doesn’t count.
This applies to all areas of life, from sports to business to relationships.
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If you memorize an entire speech then get on stage and forget every word, what will the audience remember about you?
If you study day and night for a test, then forget the material on exam day, what grade do you get on the test?
If you dominate the games against your friends, but look like you’ve never touched a ball before when tryouts come around, do you make the cut?
I’ve worked a few jobs where my pay was completely performanced-based (also known as “commission”). As an entrepreneur today, I’m still on commision: If I don’t make good stuff, get the word out, and get people like you to exchange money for it, I don’t eat.
I’ve known many people to abhor performanced-based work, preferring a “guaranteed” income (a gross fallacy that’s for another email).
If you didn’t know, here it is: All of Life is a performanced-based business. Any responsible adult who pays their own bills will confirm: If their work falls off, so does the money.
For you, up-and-coming athlete, your skills, history, confidence, and work ethic don’t matter one bit if you don’t perform.
This may be disconcerting for you, that all the work you put in could go to waste if you don’t show it when it matters. It’s almost as of this whole thing sounds like an all-or-nothing deal.
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