Why do you play basketball? A simple question but an important one, and often something that we forget along our journey. There are many reasons why people play the game of basketball, and knowing your why is essential to our experience.
Everybody's why is different, and everybody's why will most likely change depending on the trajectory of ones life and career. When you were young, you may have started playing basketball because it was fun, because your friends played, or maybe because your parents forced you. As you got older, your why probably began to shift. Your why may have become more layered, more meaningful, more specific. Sure, you probably kept playing because it was fun, but maybe you enjoyed challenging yourself to get better every day, or dedicating yourself to your passion, or being a part of something bigger than yourself. Maybe you found basketball to be your escape, your safe place, your happy place. Maybe you play basketball because you want to be the best player you can be.
Everyone is going to have a different “why” and what motivates each individual to play the game is special and unique to that person. Whatever your reason is, sitting back and reflecting on your why can be extremely valuable, especially when times of hardship arise. The road to success is not a linear journey, and there will be ups and downs - but knowing your why will help ground you and give you strength to get through the tough times. Having a refined why will make you better equipped to deal with life challenges. Because if one thing is for sure, challenges will come. There will be days where you lack motivation. You will have bad games. You will have days you don’t feel like going to practice. Your body will get sore, you will get tired, and your love of the game will be tested. But if you know what your why is, these obstacles won’t be as intimidating because you will have a clear vision. You still may not feel like getting out of bed in the morning to get extra shots up, but you still get it done because it aligns with your goal(s). Your why gives you purpose. It instills commitment, reinforces your dedication, and it holds you accountable. Your why is your driving force.
Knowing your why allows you handle setbacks and adversity in a healthier way, and will help keep you on track when things may not be going your way. Your why will not only help you refocus during difficult times, but it will help remind you of what really matters. When you have a clear vision of why you play basketball, the hardest days will become easier. Your why is your bigger picture. It keeps you focused on your mission, less tempted by distractions, and assured of your purpose.
Having a clear vision of your why will not only help get you through challenging times, but it will make your journey that much sweeter. Having a defined sense of purpose will make you feel more fulfilled. You will feel confident and self assured, allowing you to pursue your dreams unapologetically and relentlessly. When you feel certain of why you are doing something, and you believe in what it is that you are doing, you gain self assurance. Whether you are playing because you want to be the best, or playing because you want to have fun, knowing your why will give you confidence along your journey and if you feel lost, it will help you find your way back to your north star.
If you already know your why, you are already one step ahead. If you aren't sure of your why, today is a great day to think about it! Share it with a teammate, write it down, or stick it to a post it note over your bed for when don't feel like getting out of bed for practice. Remember, everyone's why is going to be different, and it's okay to have more than one! Whatever your why is, I hope it inspires you to be the best person and basketball player that you can be!