He’s back. After a successful string of columns, we took a couple more of your questions and posed them to Idan Ravin, a.k.a. The Hoops Whisperer, for his column in SLAM 153. Below, are the answers from the man who’s trained LeBron, Carmelo, CP3, KD and many more elite NBA players. Enjoy!
Q: I am 5-7 and 21 years old and I come from a small city in Southeast Asia. I’m a senior in University and I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. I’d really like to go professional in playing ball for my country, but my parents don’t want to hear it. The perfect day for me would be to wake up, hit the gym and move straight to the court until the wee hours of the night. My parents, though, are strongly against playing ball. What should I do?
A: Parents always want the best for their kids, but they may not always know what’s best for those kids. Your parents want you to have a good job, earn a good salary and live a good life. It’s understandable they may not see how basketball could lead you in this direction. They also may not understand how much you love the game or know the number of potential jobs that exist in and around professional basketball (player, front office, journalist, publicist, agent, etc.). You obviously love the game and want to play it at a higher level. If you play ball for your university, you and the coaching staff can reach out to pro teams in the region to express your interest. If you don’t, then I wonder whether you are putting the cart before the horse. Playing for a pro team means you are one of the best. If you aren’t playing for your university, then most likely you are not one of these select players at this point in your career. Dream big, but at the same time keep an open mind and see opportunities in the game that extend beyond the court.
Q: Although I am already a starter on our high school varsity team, I know I can enhance my game. My idol is Steve Nash, and, like him, I have vision and ballhandling skills that are off the chart! I’m also only 6-1. Playing in college is a possibility, but it doesn’t seem likely. There is so much more for me to learn, but I’m entering my senior year and am worried I don’t have the time to learn it all. How do I take my final step in my high school basketball career?
A: As I read your note, I immediately thought about what a shame it is that you have created so many limitations with your dreams. You tell me you don’t know enough, you don’t think you are good enough, you can’t learn it fast enough and you derive your self-worth from what others think about you. The first things I encourage you to do are to play the game, practice the game, consume every ounce of information about the game and immediately throw away every stereotype you have regarding the game. Once you tear down the walls you have created, you will have more clarity with the next phase in your life.
Q: I’m about to be a senior in high school, and after that I’m going to be attending a DIII school. And right now I have concerns about my basketball career. I have so much love and passion for the game, and I’m starting to second-guess myself. This is going to be my first time playing organized basketball, and I’m not sure how I will fit in. People tell me I’m a great player with a ton of potential, but I don’t know. I’m so confused as to if I should play or not, because I don’t want to make a fool of myself or let anyone down who sees something in me.
A: Change your outlook. It’s normal to feel reluctant with unfamiliar situations. See it as a blessing. Life would be really boring if each day was like the others. Also, if you love the game as much as you say, then why would it ever matter to you what anybody says and sees? Love is all consuming. In other words, your attention and energy are devoted to that one thing that makes your heart race. So what if you don’t play well? You live a blessed life knowing you do what you love. Feel fortunate you found your passion early in life. Focus on your passion and everything will eventually fall into place.