I’m the proud father of 13-year-old twin sons, Luke and Jack, and an 11-year-old daughter, Lyla.
All three of my children play basketball year round.
For the past two years, each of them has told me that they have the goal of playing college basketball.
This is not something I have ever pushed or forced, this has always been THEIR goal.
I’ve told them more times than I can count that I think that it is a fantastic goal and that I will always support, encourage, and push them to achieve it.
And most importantly, that I will always hold them accountable to achieving it.
We recently had a ‘check-in’ conversation in which I asked each of them if they still had the goal of playing college basketball.
And with a slight hesitation, they each nodded and said yes.
I then asked them if it was okay for me to offer my evaluation of how they were doing in pursuing that goal.
They nodded again.
I told them that it was my opinion that they LIKED the game of basketball, but they didn’t LOVE the game of basketball.
I feel like they enjoy playing. They have fun playing. They’re fine going to practices/games and occasionally shooting around in the backyard.
But they don’t truly love the game.
I told them it is my observation that they haven’t decided to make the required commitment to investing in what it takes to play college basketball.
They have fun when they play… but they are OK going a day or two without picking up a ball.
I then explained to them that in order to achieve a goal as lofty as playing college basketball, you must be ‘all in.’ You need to show full commitment. You need to work on your game… every single day.
You have to work on your skills: shooting, passing, rebounding, defending, and handling the ball.
You have to work on your body: your fitness, strength, agility, and explosiveness.
You have to work on you mind: your basketball IQ, your ability to ‘Play Present’, and your mental toughness.
You have to prioritize your sleep, nutrition, and hydration.
You have to work on your leadership and communication skills.
You have to do the little things consistently.
I told them, “If your goal is to play college basketball, something that only 1% of all players will ever achieve, then you need to consistently do the things that 99% of players aren’t willing to do.”
I know what it takes to play college basketball. I played and I have trained HUNDREDS of players that have played.
To honor my commitment to holding them accountable, as part of this discussion, I looked them in the eye and with all of the love in my heart, told them that what they are currently doing is not going to be good enough to play college basketball.
You could have heard a pin drop.
I told them they have a choice to make.
“One, if you are still serious about your goal, you have to make a much stronger commitment.
Or two, you can decide that you don’t want to play in college, and you simply want to play for fun.”
I told them I will love them and support them regardless of what they choose!
As a father, it’s important for my children to understand that if their goals don’t align with their daily behaviors, that one of those things needs to change.
I will love my kids unconditionally no matter what they choose. I just want them to be happy.
If they choose not to pursue playing in college, and just want to play for fun, that is awesome with me!
However, if they do choose college basketball as their north star, then they’re gonna need to flip the switch and they’re going to need to deepen their commitment.
They’re going to need to start working on their game every single day. They’re gonna need to have the discipline to wake up in the morning and make 200 jump shots before school and then do the same thing after school. And this is in addition to their weekly practices and games.
They’re gonna need to work relentlessly during the Unseen Hours over the next several years in order to EARN the right to play in college.
It will be interesting to see what they choose!