Talent, hard work and attitude

EVERY POUND COUNTS - Allan 'Coach A' Choachuy (The Freeman) - February 9, 2019 - 12:00am

There is no “I” in a team that’s why basketball has always been a team effort. But each team needs a captain that can steer it to its right path. The role of a coach is limited only on to the strategy of the game and reminding the players what to do, when to do and how to do it. But inside the playing court during game time, it’s the captain who makes all of these possible.


Talent is of utmost importance in forming a highly competitive team. Players train day in and day out to be in their best shape in terms of endurance, strength, speed, accuracy and agility. But it is all a waste if these talents can’t be translated to a win. Like the famous Cebuano basketball term, “maayo lang mo sa practice da” (you are just good in practice). A good talented player for me is determined on how he executes all these trainings during actual game situation.

LeBron James is probably the best of both worlds. The talent of this future Hall of Famer is way ahead from the rest of the team. At 34 years old, he is still fast, strong and totally impossible to stop. He works hard on and off the court, maybe that’s why he has never suffered a major injury except for the groin injury he sustained on Christmas Day that sidelined him for 6 weeks. His work ethic in training is exceptional. Perhaps that's why he is such a great basketball player.

Kevin Durant’s favorite motivational phrase from Tim Notke says that “Hard work beats talent if talent does not to work hard”. Oxford defines hard work as, “a great deal of effort or endurance.” Merriam-Webster defines hardworking as, “industrious, and diligent.” Effort. Endurance. Diligence. Industriousness.

Hard work is pouring in blood, sweat and tears just to improve one's self and make him or her a better and stronger person than he used to be. The best example to this statement of hard work is the most famous story we all have heard from our childhood, the “Rabbit and Turtle race". Even though turtle is not fast and talented to win races, it won because of hard work. The rabbit, on the other side, had talent to win and chose to relax and not work hard. That is where attitude comes to play.

Attitude is defined by the business dictionary as “A predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person or situation. Attitude influences an individual’s choice of action and responses to challenges, incentives, and rewards.” It is difficult to change one’s attitude but with a good mentor/coach or leader one may change. For me attitude in sports is divided in three major components: Attitude towards the game, attitude towards other persons such as teammates, referees, coaches and the  opposing team. Finally attitude towards action on how one responses and reacts towards a certain situation.

Attitude towards the game when one feels he lacks the talent in shooting or defense, this attitude then calls on hard work to train in shooting or defense. Attitude then summons its inner self to work really hard, then to improve his talent in the things he work hard for. Afterwhich, attitude uses this new talent in real game situations on the action or reaction on how to response to it. Meaning, all the hard work to improve one's talent would be such a waste if you don’t have the attitude towards the game when it actually happens.

Attitude towards other persons, teammates, coaches, referee etc. “Respect” is sometimes just a hype because one may respect one another if they are face to face but is totally different when there are behind each other.

LeBron James is again the best example to a player having the greatest talent and still works hard on and off the court. His attitude towards the game is exemplary. He wants to win, but what he has lacks is attitude towards his teammates. A great leader should make his teammate shine, but it is the exact opposite to what is happening in his LA Lakers team. He is creating division and making the young rookies uncomfortable. LeBron is not getting his lollipop and is acting like a big baby. The Lakers' present lineup is talented on paper but the young team is losing its direction and focus. But I may be wrong. These all crazy trade fiasco could be just a strategy of Magic Johnson to warn all the young guns to wake up and start playing ball.

Let’s wait and see as James and the Lakers are now rank 10th as we speak and is 3 games behind 8th seeded LA Clippers. There's still a ton of basketball games after the All-Star break. The Lakers have to focus to turn their playoff dream into a reality.

Again, there is no “I” in a team but definitely there is an “I” that can spell the difference between success and failure of a team.

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