Four professional basketball players answer questions about different aspects of their careers including mental preparation, struggles, advice, and influences.
What was your biggest off-the-court struggle and how did you overcome it?
“My biggest off-the-court struggle was going through the recovery process of a torn ACL. I tore my ACL in December of 2012 and received surgery in January of 2013. Being physically unable to play the rest of my season was heartbreaking. Mentally, I was out of it. I thought about giving up and not going through the pain or the constant medication and physical therapy. I have always been known to be a hard-worker and strong-minded, but that ACL tear was turning me into someone who was weak and emotional.
I overcame this struggle by not letting it define me. That meant sucking it up! That meant going hard in physical therapy and pushing my body to limits i never knew were possible. When I did that I recovered in five months and was cleared to play by my junior year.”
How do you prepare mentally for games?
“Everything, from nutrition, sleep and making sure my body is ready to compete, helps mentally prepare me for games. I just think about how much work I’ve put in up until the game I’m about to play. It just gives me confidence knowing how hard I have worked and that I am ready to play at a high level.”
What was the best advice you were ever given?
“The best advice I was ever given was to never give up. This advice was given to me as a kid in the form of a picture where a pelican had a frog in its mouth, but at the same time the frog was choking the pelican. This advice always seemed to hit home through the ups and downs of everyday life, fighting to reach your goals and aspirations. Keep pushing and learn from wins and losses!”
Who is your biggest influence and why?
“My mother is my biggest influence because she raised four boys by herself. By doing this she taught me that no matter how tough a game or practice is, never let the toughness affect your hard work.”