I Bet You Don’t Have What it Takes…

Here’s a shot of inspiration for all you athletes out there:

“The mind beats the body any day. I mean, your body may be weary, but you can’t tell yourself that. I always remind myself to stay confident — to stay humble and keep working hard, and just fight through it.” – Bradley Beal, NBA Pro (Washington Wizards)

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Now this quote goes beyond the words that spoke it. I love this quote because it’s real, motivational, and can push you to the point of giving up… but that’s what separates the goods from the greats of the world. When you’re sitting there at three in the morning working on that project or when you’re out on that field running your 6th and final mile of training, do you fall asleep? walk that final mile? or do you put your thinking caps on and finish that project, become a man and sprint that final lap? Small decisions like this define you.

Obviously if you chose to finish that project even at three in the morning or sprint that final mile as if it was your first you’re what people classify as an elite, or at least on your way to become one. Which is great. The world needs elites. On the other hand, if you gave up, it’s fine. Stay in the trails of others, stay average. Enjoy life being average. What’s that? You don’t want to be average? Oh well that’s great. Going back to that quote in the beginning, this post will apply mainly to athletes. I know everyone’s been at the point of fainting during a practice or has lost their breath after running a set or sprint, and I’d bet anything that most off you would’ve quit if your coach wasn’t there to push you on. Well that’s the whole problem with people they react with their mind over their body yet they don’t take advantage of it. They don’t use this blessing in disguise to become elite, instead they cower down and lose to this beast. Well that’s exactly what you can’t do, you have to overcome things like this and realize that you stop not when your body gives up, but when your mind does.  Until you’re at the moment where you’ve fainted and are lying on the ground, you need to keep going and finish your task. A mentality like this may sound stupid but it’s not.. its rather deadly… for the opponents who will have to face off against the beast that you’ll become. Come on, just try it, push yourself next time you’re out at practice and just see where it takes you. You’ll feel horrible but being great comes with a price. Like Muhammad Ali once said, “[You must] suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Will you do what it takes?

-Brian

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How to Be Great at Everything

The crowd was silent, watching on as a player was about to make or break history for his franchise. The player, Sasha Vujacic, the franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers, the year, 2010 NBA Finals. As an eleven year old, this moment was probably the highlight of my life so far. And as he sunk both free throws , the crowd roared, Kobe finally let out his held breath, and the Celtics were heartbroken, as they huddled for the timeout. Then they came out of the timeout, four attempts at a three point shot to possibly save their season, all misses and as the buzzer rang the Lakers were once again champions. Watching it live it was extremely emotional, even for my eleven year old brain at the time. Even as I watch it now it’s emotional, and I can feel what I felt watching it so many years ago. But in the moment all I focused on was the Lakers, the championship, and the celebration. It wasn’t until a long time after that I had realized the greatness of Sasha Vujacic and the inspiration that he is. He is the definition of heart, hard work, and confidence.

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The story of how a bench player, barely in the rotation, could ultimately determine the outcome of the most important game in a team’s season is extremely amazing. It shows all the hard work, the dedication, and the fearless hours he put in off the camera to prepare for situations like that. He was an unsung hero and truly rose to the occasion. What he did just shows how anyone can accomplish anything as long as you truly put your heart into it and work for it. He never backed down from any obstacle or person (not even Kobe) and that’s what made him great.

I truly admire Sasha’s work ethic and I work everyday to try and acquire these characteristics. These characteristics help him in everyday life as well as in basketball. His ability to always work hard, be confident in his abilities, and rise to whatever life throws at him is life changing. Imagine if everyone in the world had this ability. The possibilities would be endless.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the same mindset Sasha does and so not everyone  can be as successful as he is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t develop these abilities. Developing these abilities will be extremely hard work and you’d have to really push yourself to the point of discomfort to accomplish such things. But as famous quote once said, “In order to be successful, you must get used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I’m not saying following this will instantly make you great but once you have that instilled this in your mind whether you’re working out in the weight room or up at night studying for a test, you’ll know in your mind that you are one step closer to achieving mental greatness than everyone else is, and that if you keep pushing yourself and compete against yourself, you will one day achieve greatness. Remember only you can keep yourself from being what you want to be. Take Sasha Vujacic’s story and remember it next time you face a challenge. You control all things, as does everyone else so always seize the moment, work hard and stay humble. I challenge you to be great.

-Brian

The Biggest Argument in Sports: A Battle for the Ages

From his childhood years in Italy to his banner raising ceremonies in Staples Center, Kobe Bryant has become a legend. If Michael Jordan had not existed, he would be a huge candidate for best basketball player of all time. There are never ending debates about Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, and really, Kobe should be on top. He has a drive in him exactly like Jordan and he might even have a better work ethic than Michael Jordan, if that’s even possible. Kobe holds records in the NBA men of this generation could only dream of. He’s earned the respect of greats around the NBA and has become a worldwide role model. He also had to deal with playing against a more evolved generation of the twenty first century while Jordan’s opponents of the 1980s and 90s were much smaller and not capable of half the things he could do.

Although there are arguments that Jordan must be better due to statistical evidence, newer pieces of information could disagree. In addition, although Kobe didn’t win all his statistical battles with Jordan and doesn’t have as many championship rings as Michael, his work ethic and determination to win championships no matter what the conditions are is something to look at. It’s obvious that although both players had that same fire in their games, there cannot be another person on this planet that works harder than Kobe Bryant himself. He is the definition of heart and without him not only basketball, but the world could be different.

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