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Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 at 3:38 pm  |  24 responses

Puttin’ in Work

Adrienne Goodson on what it took to make it to the WNBA

By Adrienne Goodson

Once I started to write for Slamonline it seemed like everything that I could remember came flooding in, like the fact that there were so many players that have come and gone. Faces that were powerhouses and faces of those who were just happy to be there. The comment, “I’m just glad to be here,” cost a lot of people their jobs throughout the course of my career.

For some, it was an opportunity of a lifetime and for others it was their livelihood. Let’s visit with this for a moment. I mean, some players just wanted the opportunity to say that they were on a WNBA team. Kinda’ like a fantasy camp and we all know what happens when fantasy becomes reality. I couldn’t quite understand that whole mentality. Yeah, the per diem is sweet and so is the car, the apartment, and endless attention from the press but wouldn’t you want that for the duration and not just the moment.

People would literally think that they could come into training camp around 70% ready and be successful. Let me enlighten you. We practiced twice a day the first two weeks of training camp because pre-season is so short (maybe 3 ½ weeks), not to mention media days, doctor’s appointments, league meetings, appearances, adjusting to your teammates, and learning all of the plays. This requires a lot of energy and a strong head.

I remember some of my teammates who would come back for a new season with the same attitude that they had the year before, still out of shape, and acting like they couldn’t get cut. The funny thing about it would be the tears of disbelief when called into the coaches office to be released. Training camp is not a joke and those preparing should prepare well. Here’s the reason why: there are countless people in the world vying for 140+ spots in the WNBA. You have to be good and possess something that sets you apart from the rest. My uncle Skip said to me at a young age, “You must practice hard because there’s always someone out there trying to be better than you.” I took that advice and ran with it from grade school to the pros.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to scare away the babies but there is power in the truth. Television portrays such an unrealistic view to all of this. Lights, camera, action out in the open but blood, sweat, and tears behind the scenes. The one thing that set me apart and kept the spotlight shining on me was my work ethic. No one out worked me in practice and that was my mentality. This carried over to the game and the rest is in the books.

I really enjoyed this article from the preseason on WNBA.com that outlines how truly successful players work in the offseason.

Ultimately, the WNBA was full of great moments for this kid from Jerzey. Moments that helped define me as a player, as a person, but most of all as a woman. I hope the other players don’t take this opportunity for granted.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Goody with the dope, Laker-inspired column header. Very cool, and another great bit of insider insight.

  • http://myspace.com/bodiebarnett jbn74sb

    Ryan – that is the least sarcastic comment you have ever made. Adrienne – cool post.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Goody’s words are always on point. The header, was put together by our art wizard Stephen Goggi.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Or at least top 5, Bodie.

  • Krystal

    Great article Goody. Anyone who is planning to pursue a professional sports career should take a look at this article.

  • CamrnCrz1974

    Great work, Goody

  • uknow11

    I really love this ricle Goody. It’s so very true, every word and true athletes no it. Most poeple get to that pro level and get real comfortable and the hard work stops. This is some reality for ya

    Goody, Uknow i know

  • uknow11

    sorry I was so feelin this article uknow was just hittin keys

  • Smoov

    Nothing ticks me off more, than watching that #12 player on the bench. Just happy to be waving that towel and pulling up everyone else’s socks. If you’re that #12 player. You should be thinking about/and working on, moving up a depth charts on someone’s roster in the offseason. Not, just happy to be there. Showing up to camp at 70%. Are you friggin’ kidding me?

  • Goody

    Thanks everybody.

  • cathy coyle

    Great reminder of what it takes to be a professional today. I agree, too many take success for granted. Loved your insight and honesty. You may have some great moments to remember, but I want ro thank you for giving your fans great moments to remember also.

  • Margo

    Really enjoyed reading your article. Made a lot
    of sence. Hard woek allways pays off in the end. Goody keep up the great work.

  • Butch

    It’s true, it reminds me of an old song verse,
    I just turned around and he was gone, in this
    case, she or they were gone. I sure miss all of
    the great WNBA players like yourself and so many other greats of the game. They just don’t
    make them like you guys anymore.
    Your #1 fan. Keep feeding up these great and
    insightfull articles.
    Butch.

  • http://www.myspace.com/chicagosky hoop

    Another great article, Goody. Thanks for the insight :-)

  • Jason

    Great article. It reminds me of the Liberty in ’99 and how Whitmore and Hammon, a third round pick and an undrafted (both so low only because of the ABL dispersal draft, I know) made the team by outworking earlier selected players and people with bigger names who were just happy to be there in training camp.

  • tike

    Thanks Sam for another boring Column what a dope!!

  • Annie

    Wow!
    That article really hit the point and emphasises hard work to keep amd maintain your position. Maybe Cooper for the Sparks read it and it influenced his change in the lineup……Sure is working for Baker , Spencer and Co.

  • Harold

    Great job goody. For all who read this, this is the perfect way to approach everything you do in life on or off the court. In order to reap the rewards you have to be willing to put in the work and by putting in work you show what you are made of and gain more than money or material things: you gain respect which get you the $’s and material things. Holla

  • http://www.ecsmg.com Ruff

    AG – what you are addressing here are life skills. They are excellent basketball words to live and practice by, but they carry over and remain with you for life. Its what will allow them to become successful in the work worl or as business women. Keep up good work.

  • JOHNAY

    WOW, NICE ARTICLE!!

  • Shelia

    Adrienne,
    This article was very sentimental to me and I love you for that. Yes, we must work harder because there is awlays someone better than us!!!

  • aja brooks ms.shelia’s freind

    I REALLY LIKE THIS ARTICLE CAS IT GIVES ME SOMETHING TO THINK BOUT, AND MAKES ME WANT TO WORK EVEN HARDER WHEN PLAYIN BASKETBALL. MY DREAM IS TO MAKE IT TO THE WNBA AND I KNO ITS NOT GONA BE EASY, AND I THANK YOU MS.Adrienne Goodson FOR PUTTING THIS ARTICLE OUT FOR ME TO READ AND AS WELL AS OTHERS WHO HAS THE PASSION FOR BASKETBALL.

  • http://www.odu.edu karen barefoot

    I love reading your articles! youe insight about the game is right on point. I enoyed watching you play in the WNBA and I miss seeing you play but now I can read your articles!!!

  • http://- Mitch Blackman

    24th

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