Hold My Hand Please?

Some people grow up with parents that do everything for them. Wash their clothes, make sure they are fed, drive them to school, to practice, pick them up, buy them their first car and so much more. These things seem like a no brainer for a parent to do right? But then what happens when you go to college, graduate, get a job and start living on your own? Your parents are no longer there to do everything for you. They have backed off and only give advice if you ask for it. You have to figure out everything on your own. All the things your parents used to do, you have to do for yourself. You may be scared of making mistakes or disappointing your parents. But that is all apart of the process of growing up and becoming an adult. When you are a child, you think your parents are perfect and can do no wrong. At a certain age you start to see their fallacy but you are never fully aware of it. They made mistakes while raising you. I am sure there are things they wish they could take back or do over. But now that you are on your own you realize what it takes to take care of yourself. You will make mistakes just like your parents. The idea and action associated with this is to learn from them and keep going. You will eventually get the hang of it. And then you will not have to ask mommy or daddy to hold your hand.


Most people say it is hard to get started. But for me that is not the case. It is easy to get started. The hard part comes with sticking with, maintaining and improving upon what you started. Drive, mental toughness and endurance are all essential to your success. In an older post I talked about grind, hustle, payoff and repeat. I am in the repeat stage. For so long I was doing the first two that I enjoyed the third a little longer than I should have. At least in my mind it seems that way. Now I have to get back to the grind and the hustle. This time I need to make sure I take the time to enjoy the payoff as I go so that I do not become stuck in the payoff stage for too long. Now, it is about how quickly I can get to the repeat without overlooking the payoff. Remember, you need to know and understand what drives you, stay mentally tough and stick with what you want to do even when it gets tough.

What is Greatness?

What is greatness?

The Heat, led by Lebron James and Dwyane Wade with an awesome supporting cast, won the 2012 NBA championship. Last year was a different story. Last year ended in the pain of losing. Last year they could not reach their goal. But you have to remember that losing is a part of life. It does not matter that you lose because everybody has to lose sometime or other. No one is perfect. The UConn women’s basketball team had that long perfect streak but they eventually lost. The Bulls and the Lakers have both won back to back championships multiple times but they could not keep winning them. The Minnesota Lynx went perfect last year enroute to their first championship. They won 10 games in a row this year to start the season but they eventually lost. The New York Yankees, the team with the most championships in the history of sports, have won more than 3 world series in a row before. It took them 9 years to win their last world series but they have not won one since.

But the fact that you lose does not matter. What matters is what you do after you lose. You can pout, sulk or put in work. Lebron James said this after winning the championship, “Losing in the finals last year put me back in place. It humbled me a lot, and I was able to go back to the basics. A lot of people had a lot to do with it, but at the end of the day I just looked myself in the mirror and said, ‘You need to be better, both on and off the floor’. And I’m happy that I was able to put myself and our team in the position to win this.” After the finals last year, Lebron went to work. If any of you were following Lebron in the offseason you saw how much work he put in even when it was not certain when the season would start. Kevin Durant was working hard with him as well and you have to give him and OKC props for getting to the finals. They definitely put in work as well, and I enjoyed watching their high energy play. But sometimes it is just your time, and from their play and attitude, I knew this was the Heat’s time.

Coming into the season you could see a difference in the mentality and mindset of all the players, especially Lebron. They wanted it and were willing to do what it took to get it. Loss will make you rethink yourself and what you think you can do. Give Lebron and the other players credit for learning from the loss last year and readjusting themselves. They played hard, and it was not easy playing against OKC. But they fought every game and made the big plays when they needed to. This was a real team win, and I congratulate the team on their success and obtaining their goal.

What is greatness? Greatness is getting knocked down, losing, but saying, “Yes, I lost. Now what can I learn from this?”. Greatness is picking yourself back up, fixing your mistakes, strengthening your weaknesses and putting in the hard work to get to where you want to be. Greatness is working hard and giving it everything you have because you never want to feel the pain of losing again. Greatness is looking at yourself in the mirror realizing that you need to be better and that you can be better. Greatness is having nothing left and the satisfaction of knowing that you gave it everything you had.

Pickup Player Personalities

Jane McManus did a hilarious job of explaining pickup players.
Original article here: http://espn.go.com/espnw/commentary/7891244/terms-endearment-pickup-players

There is nothing quite like showing up at a pickup game for the first time. You’ve never met anyone, but if you’ve played for any length of time you know who you are going to find. It’s a little different if you’re a woman, where missing your first jump shot can mean your own team plays keep away for the rest of the game.

I’ve played games from San Diego to West 4th St. in Manhattan — where after I stole the ball I learned the charming phrase “Bitch Defense.” I’ve probably played with a thousand or so people over the years, five or nine at a time. Some just once, others for so many years we became good friends. Here are some of the people I’ve met:

• He Hates You: This is the ninth most talented guy on the court. Maybe you took his spot in the next game because you arrived two minutes earlier. He will likely draw the assignment of covering you, which he may refuse to do until you hit a few jumpers. Do not let him detect weakness, in fact go on the offensive when he misses. Trash-talk is essential with this type.

• The Comedian: This is the guy, whenever you are on the same team, who volunteers to go skins. He will find it hilarious every single time you come to this game.

• The Elbow: This is the old guy, a former center or power forward, who can’t move his legs and compensates by trying to horse-collar people driving to the hoop. He will get you in the boob at some point. You will both ignore it.

• The Other Woman: This is tough. You want to be all, “You go girl!” but you know you are guarding each other, usually to a draw. He Hates You tries to turn this into a game of 4-on-4. Tip: When you’re choosing coverage, go with someone besides The Other Woman or be radical and suggest zone.

• Mr. Solicitous: This guy is generous with the ball, the problem is, he wants everyone on the court to see how egalitarian he is by passing to a woman. The guy guarding you can read it as easy as a tabloid headline. PICK!

• The Kid. This newly minted teenager is so happy the grownups are letting him play. Plenty of unbridled energy on offense, the string bean still hasn’t learned what to do when the other team has the ball. This is good because The Kid could be guarding you. Tip: On offense, don’t even try to keep up. He’ll beat himself for another year.

• The Teammate. He treats you like you are just another player on the team. He passes to you. He has some reliable shots — for example, the left side bank shot from 10 yards out — that get your team to 11 more often than not. Depending on your situation, this guy could turn into The Boyfriend.

• The Self-Hater: You know this guy — he still says, “My bad.” A lot. He also speaks to himself in third person, after every miss, the way you might do if you were really angry at yourself but thought no one was around. And you were crazy. Can be hard to watch, but avoid attempts at pep talks.

• Mr. Uncertain: He does not know what to make of you. But one thing Mr. Uncertain is certain of — he does not want to make contact with you for fear he will snap you in half. It’s an advantage really, especially if you channel The Elbow. Bang him around a little bit and hopefully Mr. Uncertain loosens up.

• The Chupacabra: I have only seen this player once. I was at my regular community center game, and I was one of the first five — but there was already another woman. The guys who came in with the next team thought we were an easy out — two women on one team? But this was no Other Woman. She was 6-foot-2, could out rebound The Elbow all day and had a better jumper than Mr. Solicitous. She figured out my favorite spot and fed me the ball like a shooting coach. We held that court all night long. Later I found out she played for Boston College, but I never saw her at that game again.

If you are still out there, you have a standing invite to be on my team, Chupacabra.