Whatever It Takes
What does “whatever it takes” even mean?
How many of you say you want to play Division 1 college basketball? How many of you say you want a “free ride?” (Side Note: This phrase makes me SMH. If you ever get the opportunity to play on a full athletic scholarship you will SMH too because you will learn it’s anything BUT free – you will work your butt off).
Do you even know what it takes to play at the college level on an athletic scholarship? Then how many of you say you want to win a championship? You say you’ll do whatever it takes. Most people say that, but most people don’t do it. Let’s take a look at some numbers.
Only 1% of high school basketball players go on to play NCAA Division-I college basketball.
Then think about how many of those 1% actually win a championship. Playing Division 1 is hard. Winning a championship is even harder.
Playing D1 college basketball requires you to actually be ELITE; not just play on an elite team! Not to just score 30 points a night against sub-par competition. Not to just have people tell you how good you are. Not to be in the same gym with elite players. It requires you to be a master of your craft.
It requires you to be better than 99% of other people playing the game, which means you have to do more and make better decisions than 99% of the other people.
These numbers are astounding to me! So why does everyone that laces up their J’s think they can play D1 when clearly only the top 1% are good enough? Is playing D1 enough? If you’re going to play the game, don’t you want to win?
So, lets get real for a couple of minutes. Most people will probably give 50% effort most days. Some people will give 75% effort and they just know they are “grinding and killing the game.” A few people will give 90% effort and they will be good; but they aren’t at the top because they aren’t willing to give that last 9% to get them to the top.
Man when you are that 1% you are so obsessed with being your best that you can’t even think about anything else. There are always things to learn. The drills are never boring; they are the means to the end. There is a high level of pain tolerance and discomfort because you just tell yourself that those things are what it takes.
The winners are a part of an even more elite group. If you did “whatever it takes” to play NCAA D1, think about what you have to do to be the best in the biggest moments against the best competition. Let’s not even start talking about playing professionally.
You understand you have to take risks, because without risk there is no reward. You are confident with those risks because you’re prepared. You know you’re ready because you stay ready. You don’t see failures; you see opportunities to learn and grow. You are never tired; you push through, and you smile because you are enjoying the process. You are never worried about what other people think about you; you don’t have time to worry about them, you have a dream to reach. The 1% are willing to step and up lead; to say the truth, to hold their teammates accountable and to push everyone around them to new heights, because they understand that they will be more successful when others around them are.
I don’t know which path you are going to choose; but what I do know is that both the 99% and the 1% both hate doing the same things…the 1% just do them anyway with maximum effort. I remember a quote that I heard when I was watching the Pistol Pete Maravich Movie as a kid (look him up he had the SAUCE before his time). It was a scene when his dad was talking to him about working hard. He said every second that you aren’t working; someone else is. That hit me and it’s a quote that drives me forward today!
So, I’ll ask you again….what does “whatever it takes” even mean to you? Are you really willing to do whatever it takes to be the top 1% in your craft?