I love watching sports. One of the things that amaze me is some of the athletic feats that some of these amazing people can do during games given the limitations that may have once been placed on them. If we look at any of these athletes we can learn a lot about how to overcome obstacles and limitations in our own lives. Basketball is one of my favorite sports. It’s also a sport that the taller or stronger you are the better chances you have to be very good at it. But if you’re not the tallest or strongest you have to push past those limitations to even play this game.
Let’s look at Anthony Jerome “Spud” Webb. While he was in the NBA he was listed at 5’7” tall. This man trained exceptionally hard to be able to strengthen his vertical leaping ability enough to compete in the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest. Not only did he compete, but he won it!! (Just for the record… I’m 3 taller than him and could just barely dunk a 10’ basket) His deficiencies were obvious. He was small. But he was also very quick and could shoot and pass the basketball very well. His limitations didn’t stop him from training to achieve his goal of playing in the NBA and being able to dunk. For him it was possible.
In this era of the NBA everyone is watching in awe as they watch Stephen Curry shoot the ball with precision. He is much taller than Spud Webb. (Stephen Curry is 6’4” tall) but is never the biggest or strongest on the court unless he is playing a pick-up game with some kids in the off season. One thing that Steph has done during his practice time is work on his strengths. He can shoot the ball exceptionally well with ridiculous accuracy and from just about anywhere on the court. The point that I’m making is that you don’t get that way by not practicing and putting in the work. He shoots at least 100 three pointers every practice and trains during the off season to be better for the next season. It shows on the court while he is playing. He is literally changing the game because of how well he shoots the basketball!
What I learned from these two examples is the following:
1) Train and put in the work.
If you focus on becoming great at your strengths then the other areas that you are not so good at won’t matter as much. Do want you do best and don’t try to be like anyone else. Can you imagine if Spud Webb tried to defend Patrick Ewing? It wouldn’t go so well for Spud.
2) When you are that good you can change the game
When you focus in on what you are good at and maximize your ability in that area you can literally change how things have been done for years. Take a look at the technology company Apple. They revolutionized the world with what they were good at. Now music can be purchased by anyone with a smart phone. CD’s are no longer the preferred method of choice to listen to music.
Be encouraged and remember that nothing is impossible. Your limitations are there only to focus you to break through them or to point you to focus on your stronger strengths.
Go and be great!
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