Friday, September 30, 2011

Take a Risk, Not Afraid to Fail

I believe that most people think and dream about their aspirations and goals constantly.  Probably every single day.  I know that I do. And I guess I have nothing to prove that this statement is true, but I would say that approximately 99% of those people don't do a damn thing to act on any of it. My opinion is that most are cripled by the fear of failure or humiliation.  It is a scary thing to go after something that you are so passionate about, and have it crumble right in front of your eyes. The people around you that truly love you won't care, they will still love you, but deep down you still feel like they think of you a little bit differently.  Maybe judging just a little bit, having conversations between themselves about how you should have known better.  On some level that probably does happen a little bit.

Anyway so I'm going to do something in a couple weeks that I can guarantee most people will think is ridiculous.  I don't care what they say to my face, how much they say good luck, secretly they are saying this guy is losing it.  Or he needs to move on. 

So the Cavaliers recently purchased a NBA D-League team which will make its home in Canton.  They will play their 24 home games at the Canton Memorial Civic Center.  The organization will be holding open try-outs for local players looking to fulfill a lifelong aspiration and dream of playing professional hoops.  I'm sure by now you can venture a guess as to where this is going.  I'm trying out. It's a two day session one being held on the 8th and 9th, the other on the 16th and 17th.  That would be a day after my 30th birthday.  I haven't decided which I will be attending, but my registration is filled out and turned in.

Crazy, right?  I can imagine some of my buddies reaction when they read this.  The reality is the D-League is an up and coming pro league that has some of the best basketball players in the world.  Mostly Division I players that did not get drafted or invited to an NBA training camp.  The number of players in the NBA that graduated from the D is growing every year.  A daunting reality for me indeed. 

Am I hanging on to a few words a former NBA player said to me almost a decade ago?  Maybe...  I used to play at Springside Raquet Club in Akron where former NBA player and Euro MVP Jimmy Oliver worked out in the offseason.  We would go at it from time to time.  Just playing one on one.  He told me once I should go try and play in Europe.  Get an agent and see if he could get me a shot.  Far fetched again, I know.

But that's not it.  The fact of the matter is I love the game of basketball, and I'm good at it.  I'm better than any of my coaches ever gave me credit for.  I am also in the best shape of my life physically and playing better basketball than I ever did.  I also have absolutely nothing to lose by going to an open tryout and playing the game I enjoy so much.  I would regret not giving it a shot the rest of my life.  Even if the likelihood of making the team is slim to none.  Even if I will probably have to have the conversation, "How did it go?", "I didn't make it", a million times. Even if I fall flat on my face.  So I'm going to do it.  I'm going to go out there and leave it all out on the floor and play a meaningful game of basketball for probably the last time in my life. No matter the outcome I'll know that I wasn't too afraid of something to take a chance.  That I relied more in my belief than anything else.   

I would encourage any of you reading this to take the same approach with anything in your life that you've be afraid to try, or just haven't pulled the trigger on yet. I have to believe that most great accomplisments were preceded by failure at some level.  Take a risk. Even if it means taking on a few bruises along the way.



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Anonymous said...

That's Awesome! And rest assured, I may even like you a little more if you don't make the team.

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Darin said...

Jeff, you're making all McBoners proud. Good luck. I'm sure it will be an incredible experience.