I believe that the only way to become your very best is to work hard and set goals for yourself so that you can succeed.
The reason professional athletes are where they are is because of the time and effort they put in. Not all of it is natural skill as most people think. They set a personal goal and went out and did the dirty work to achieve it.
My parents and coaches tell me to set a goal and make it one that is not easily reached. Set the standard high and go out and try to reach it. An example from my life is the off-season for basketball. I am a one sport athlete and basketball is my sport. I played Freshman basketball my first year. Sure, I had fun, but I really wanted to play higher up. I played every chance I got. I would play older guys at the YMCA, I got up every morning at six and went to school to shoot and condition, and I played against my sister and she made me better. Sometimes we would fight because either she or I would make a crazy shot and talk smack about it. That, I think, is the reason I got so competitive. I never wanted the feeling of getting beat up all the time.
My ultimate goal is to play professionally someday. To do that, I need to set smaller goals to reach a bigger one. You have to set smaller goals to reach the ultimate one at the end of the journey. An example from my life is shooting percentage when I went in every morning to shoot. I would shoot ten threes and ten free throws. Every time I did that, I would try to beat the score I got last time. Pretty soon I was making eight threes and all ten free throws almost every time. That helped me and it showed this year because I was second in three point percentage on the varsity team. Next year I am hoping to lead the team in three point percentage and assists. Over the summer, I am going to still do the shooting, but this year I am going to do ball handling drills and passing with a friend.
The next step to reach my goal is to play in college. I know there is not a good chance of playing after high school especially coming out of Idaho where there was only one division one player this past year.
The dream is in my reach, but it is not time for it to be. If I end up playing professionally, I know I can look back and attribute that to my hard work and those hours in the weight room and waking up early and going to the gym and say that those things are the reason I am standing here today.
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