How To Decide How Far You Can Go And Make The Most Of Your Talent…

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Thought about this yesterday while on a walk. Maybe it will give you hope on your path…  

Of the starting five players from my senior year high school basketball team (I was not a starter), none of them got any better after high school. 

Of the starting five players from my senior year high school basketball team (I was not a starter), none of them got any better after high school.  Click To Tweet

By age 17-18, they were all finished products. 

Our best player, a combo guard who made the All-City team that year, went on to a JuCo and finished college playing D2. 

Our point guard was heady and steady in high school, but not very athletically gifted— his physical profile would take him only so far. He played college ball, and last I saw he’d become a college coach. 

Our starting small forward had some skills. I always saw him as a guy who would play basketball as long as it was fun and easy for him. In high school, he was talented enough to make it so. 

After high school, everyone else caught up to his talent, and that was that. 

The two starting “big men,” both of whom were 6’3”, had only big man skills — these weren’t perimeter players who just happened to be tall and got stuck in the paint by default. 

Playing “down low” was all they could do. That sufficed in the Philadelphia Public League back then. It wouldn’t be enough for a college team. 

I was a late bloomer in basketball. I didn’t start feeling truly confident in games until the summer after high school, before college. I was 18 by then, well past the age when “elite” or even “good” basketball talent gets identified. 

I was a late bloomer in basketball. I didn’t start feeling truly confident in games until the summer after high school, before college. I was 18 by then, well past the age when “elite” or even “good” basketball talent gets identified.  Click To Tweet

As a high school senior, I had some skills, a hint of “maybe” talent — and nothing else. 

I made the varsity team because I was also 6’3” and could be an “insurance” backup big man for the starters. 

Neither starter ever got injured or anything like that, so I didn’t play except in blowout victories when the win had already been secured. 

Nothing I’d done on a court up to the age of 18 said I had a prayer of doing anything as a basketball player. 

Nothing I’d done on a court up to the age of 18 said I had a prayer of doing anything as a basketball player.  Click To Tweet

My senior-season teammates had already maxed out on their potential. Some of that was by nature; much of it was by choice. 

Though I knew I had capacity for growth, I didn’t know exactly how much growth was still inside of me. I just figured I’d keep playing and practicing and see where it took me. 

I got better for the next 14 years. 

Though I knew I had capacity for growth, I didn’t know exactly how much growth was still inside of me. I just figured I’d keep playing and practicing and see where it took me. I got better for the next 14 years.  Click To Tweet

***

Some of your potential is out of your hands — in sports for example, genetics help — but a lot of it is based on your choices. 

How much time are you putting into learning your craft? 

Who are your mentors? 

How much of what you’re learning are you implementing — and how soon after you learn it? 

You control that. 

What’s your future potential in the thing you’re currently focused on? Reply and let me know — I read all responses. 

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#1025: The Opportunity Is In The Opposites

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