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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Right Voices

My mother was wonderful. I know I am biased, but my mother was wonderful. The thing my mother was so good at was to make me feel good about myself. Yes, she sometimes was critical of my choices but she never seemed to be critical of me. She had the ability to separate my behavior/choices from me as a person. Quite simply she was supportive, loving, and full of praise.

I remember when I got a D in French. It was the last term of my junior year. I figured summer vacation was not going to be good. She was not home when I got home, so I just left the report card on the kitchen table before going out with my buddies. That evening the only thing my mother said was, "Evidently foreign languages aren't your thing." You could have said I should have studied more- I should have.

While I appreciate how my mother made me feel, by the time I was a sophomore in high school, I realized when it came to basketball I needed to tune her out. While I appreciated her praise in other areas, I realized her lack of objectivity when it came to my basketball ability did not serve me well. I realized if I wanted to improve, I needed to hear other voices.

A parent, and in this case my mother is a parent- they are not objective. What made me think of this topic? I read the following from Kevin Eastman-- good stuff.

The Right Voices

No matter what line of work we’re in, we have people talking to us all the time, giving us never-ending information, and even offering us their opinions on what we should be doing.

We see this in athletics all the time, whether it's family members, hangers-on, or close friends. Everyone has the answers for us. This is when it becomes dangerous, because if players listen to the wrong voices, they can seriously jeopardize their chances for attaining success.

A major key to growing and improving -- and to reaching your goals -- is to make sure you listen to the right voices. The “right voices” may be tough to listen to, as they often tell you truths you may not want to hear. But the truth will set you in motion to reach the goals and dreams you have for yourself. Understand that the truth will hurt sometimes. The truth will ask you to do things that are uncomfortable and difficult. But the truth will also get you on your way to where you want to be!

It has been my experience that coaches are great voices to listen to. I can tell you that our guys listen to Doc Rivers because his agenda is quite simple. That agenda: (1) to win and (2) for each player to reach his potential for himself and this team. There is no better person to hear the truth from than someone like Doc.

To find the right voices, we all have to think long and hard about the people who are truly interested in us, as opposed to those who really are in it more for themselves. Those who are truly in it for you are the voices you need to listen to -- not those who just tell you what you want to hear.

The great players in our league want the truth more than they want to feel good. The truth will help them get where they want to be!

The best way I can put it is this: Those who choose to listen to the right voices are the ones who most consistently make the right choices.

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