Last week I walked onto the basketball court twice and on both occasions not one person had ever seen me before.
Thursday I found myself as one of five guys playing some 21. For those of you that don’t know, 21 is a game in which it’s every man for himself and the first one to score 21 points wins.
We then switched to 2-on-2 and chose teams by shooting. The first two to make a three pointer would be on a team, so I shot first, made it and then my team went on to lose the first game.
Despite the fact that I clearly played better than my teammate in the loss, I wasn’t picked up to play the next game.
I was a little shocked by not being selected actually. I was so sure that I’d be chosen to play that I just stayed on the court, until I was told that he had picked the other guy.
After a quick drink of water, I made my way to a bench underneath the basket and sat there while they continued play.
Upset internally, I made up my mind that before I left these young men would know me.
Once I got on the court for my second game, my team didn’t lose again. By the third game, I heard the guy on my team tell the person guarding him, “I’m gonna let the white boy do his thing!”
After five or six wins in a row, I decided it was time for me to go. As I was leaving, I waved and said goodbye to the group who had just started playing another game. They stopped and each one of them, just 22 years of age, came over shook my hand, asked my name and introduced themselves.
Friday, while I was getting some shooting work in, I got asked to play some 2-on-2, again with people I didn’t know.
“I’ll take this guy,” said a young man, in a tone insinuating that he had to take me because there was no other person available.
Within a few plays I could overhear the person matched up my teammate say, “This guy can play a little bit!”
With us down 10-9, the same young man that had almost felt forced to play with me, passed the ball to me and said, “Do your thing!”
We won 15-10.
This post isn’t about me being a superstar basketball player, because I’m not.
This is about being ready to prove yourself. This is about preparation.
On both days, the people I was playing with and against didn’t know that I’m preparing for Michael Jordan. They didn’t know that I get hundreds of makes in each week. They didn’t know that I’ve played against DI and pro players.
Instead, they looked at me dressed in a shirt and tie when I walked in, sized me up and did what we all do at times…they judged.
They assumed that I couldn’t play.
In life you’re going to be judged on a daily basis, no matter who you are. Unfortunately, some reading this will be judged on far worse things than just a game of basketball.
The great thing and what you must not forget is that YOU, not they, determine your success!
If you’re willing to put the work in when no one is watching, you can show a group of players that you belong as I did or be excellent at whatever it is that you are passionate about.
But you must work.
Michael Jordan went into every single game looking to prove himself. He knew that there was someone in the stands or watching on television that hadn’t seen him play before and he wanted to make sure that they understood why he was so highly regarded as a basketball player. He wanted them to know why he was the best.
MJ prepared daily so that when he stepped on any court he would be ready.
Are you doing the same?
Are you ready to prove yourself?
For more info on my journey to play Michael Jordan:
*Follow me (@KennyEller) on Twitter
*Click here to LIKE and become a mevsMJ.com Fan on Facebook
*Subscribe and get each NEW post I've written emailed directly to you!
*Watch every video on the mevsMJ.com YouTube Channel