This week’s tip is from Larry Bird. Bird won 3 NBA Championships and 3 NBA MVP awards while playing for the Boston Celtics. He’s the only person to be named NBA MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year.
Larry Bird was and still is my favorite player. I grew up in the 80’s and loved watching him play. I wanted to be great at basketball just like him. In fact the first line in my recently released novel, The Blue Team, is “I wanted to be the next Larry Bird.”
There’s a reason I chose that line as the first in my book. It sets the tone for the story. The main character who wanted to be the “next Larry Bird” had fallen into the trap of using basketball to identify himself. When we try and identify ourselves as the next Larry Bird or Kobe Bryant or as a great basketball player or a great coach, father, teacher, lawyer, etc. we get in trouble.
Playing basketball is something you do … same as being a coach or father or teacher or whatever … it’s not who you are. You and I are made in the image of God. Just like I created the characters in The Blue Team, God created us. Be the best basketball player you can be. Work at it with all your might. Don’t settle, don’t give up, don’t give anything less than 100%. But ultimately our identity is in the Lord.
Back to Larry Bird’s quote: not everyone is real quick or strong or 6’9″ tall and able to jump out of the gym. But anyone can have a strong mind and anyone can master the fundamentals. Basketball fundamentals are available to everyone, the genetics to grow incredibly tall and run incredibly fast are not. So quit trying to be somebody else. Be you. Master the fundamentals.
How do you develop a strong mind? One that is able to banish doubt, humbly accept correction, thrive in the present moment, and master a competitive spirit that shines brightly? Read The Blue Team.