Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hard Work

High school basketball season is nearing the end here in Maine.  The tournament has begun with preliminary games this week and the actual tournament this weekend and all next week during school vacation.  I'm not sure how it is in your neck of the woods, but basketball is king here in Maine.  Especially in northern Maine and certain communities.  Where I went to high school in east middle of nowhere a small northern Maine town, the whole town it seemed, would take the week off and head south to watch the tournament.  Our high school teams almost always made the cut so they would play at least one game down at the Bangor Auditorium.  The whole week continues until they crown an Eastern and Western Maine champion at four different class levels based on school size.  This brings me to my thought for today.

When my daughter was doing a local basketball camp this summer, the coach would have a quote of the day for the girls to think about.  One quote really resonated with me and I think about it often.

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.

Is that not true in every aspect of life?  I love that quote and what it means.  Talent is important, but hard work is more important.  How many times have you see someone squander their abilities because they didn't apply themselves?  That player on your soccer team who was good, but skipped practice or partied and then didn't end up contributing much to the team at all.  That kid in your class who never did any school work or studying but still managed to get by with B's and C's.  Imagine the scholarships they may have received if they had just worked hard. 

I don't care what you are or what you do, if you are the best, then you worked hard to get there.  Joan Benoit didn't just become a marathon winner because of just her natural talent.  Andre Agassi didn't become the first player to win all four Grand Slam titles just because he was naturally good.  (Read his book and you'll find his dad had him hitting 2000 tennis balls daily at 8 years old.  Daily.  2000.  That's a lot.)  Michael Jordan didn't become the best basketball player ever just because.

They had talent AND they worked hard. 

This is pretty good news for us weekend warriors.  We may never become olympic marathoners, or wimbledon winners, or NBA champions but we can work hard and place in our age group!  Or win that local sprint tri.  Or get a new PR at that half marathon.  Get that nursing degree.  The world is waiting for you to take it on! 

Now go!  Work hard.  We may not be the best, but we can be pretty damn good. 

What are you going to work hard at today?

Is your local team going to the tournament?  Do you care?


Carrie said...

Great post!

Terzah said...

When it comes to running, hard work is the only thing I've got going for me! ;^)

Christi said...

That has been my motto for all of my life. I made not have said it as eloquently but I always knew hard work was the key!

Enjoy the basketball!

Nitsirk said...

Love that motto. I may have to borrow it. I can see it in my kitchen in lieu of those "Live Laugh Love" stick-ons :)