Today I saw another one of the advertisements for some “get good quickly” gimmick product that promise shortcuts to success. I despise these advertisements because I do not believe that there is a shortcut to success. I believe that to become a great basketball player, you have to work hard and work smart at developing your athleticism, your skills, your competitiveness and your game awareness. How can you rely on a player who takes shortcuts in the pivotal moments of a close game?
Then, I read a Draft Express article about Houston’s Aubrey Coleman. I wrote about Coleman last year because of his unorthodox journey from streetball to Division I basketball (via junior college and the bench when he was in high school).
In the article, Coleman reiterates the work ethic that has him on the cusp of the NBA:
â€œI was working out for some school and killing one of their guards and I got the offer from Southwest, I was going out of state because nobody thought I was any good,â€ he said. â€œI told the coaches there, I donâ€™t know anything about basketball, but Iâ€™ll work.â€
However, despite earning a scholarship and performing well as a junior, his work did not stop:
â€œMy first year people were sagging off me because they knew I was a driver,â€ he said. â€œSo [Houston head coach Tom Penders] told me, thereâ€™s going to come a point and time where you need to develop that three-pointer jumper in order to keep them honest, so thatâ€™s what I spent the whole summer working on. I worked at pulling up off the dribble, shooting from the outside and just getting comfortable with that.”
“That needed the most work, because I knew I could get to the basket, but this made it harder to guard me. Defenders had to play up on me and that makes it that much easier to get them off the dribble.â€
Like all great players, he used the off-season to improve a weakness and add a new dimension to his game. While many players remain the same from year to year, great players add new things to their games: they develop. It is easy to have some success and get comfortable. The best players never relax; they are never comfortable with their game; they always strive to improve, chasing perfection with a positive mindset.
â€œWhen I first started out I made my mark because I was a hustle guy who never stopped running and that caught the coachâ€™s eye,â€ he said. â€œIt shows that if you put your mind to it you can do it. Iâ€™m not where I want to be yet, I want to rise higher and higher and show people that Iâ€™m one of the best players in the nation, not just because of my scoring either.â€