Elephants need jobs too. But that has nothing to do with this blog. Just had to get that off my chest. I’m not staying focused!
Ray Allen recently retired after an NBA career that spanned 18 years. He “wrote to himself” in this article at Players Tribune titled Letter to My Younger Self.
The reason that the article grabbed me is two-fold. First, in the article, he writes that life is not a time machine. He writes that he wishes he could tell himself that, “You need to stay focused”, and then recites all the reasons that you can’t go back.
I found that interesting as an overlay to an article that quoted one of his prior coaches, Erik Spoelstra, who said that he always wanted Allen to play on his team because of the way he stayed focused and prepared. He ultimately did and won a championship with the Miami Heat.
In the Miami Herald he recites an example of why Allen was so successful in an article titled Ray Allen’s ‘crazy’ drills, work ethic remain enduring examples in Heat locker room.
“He would lay on the floor, pop up, backpedal, have the presence of mind to have his feet set and not out of bounds and have a coach throw him the ball,” Spoelstra said. “Afterwards I said, ‘That seemed like a crazy drill. Why would he do something like laying down in the middle of the floor?’
The article goes on to describe how that very situation basically occurred in Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals. Allen hit his most famous shot with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, which sent the game into overtime and eventually the series to a Game 7. When Miami ultimately won the championship, everyone pointed to Allen’s amazing shot from the corner, without realizing that it didn’t just happen.
But as Coach Spoelstra put it, “Things don’t happen by accident the majority of the time in this league. It was an incredible thing to see, but that’s how Ray Allen was with his workouts. And it was on all levels — his conditioning, his shooting, his footwork. He was really maniacal about the details.”
Abraham Lincoln said about preparation, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”.
The Ray Allen preparation grabbed me on a professional level. In the months of November and December we have several jury trials. Right now, the preparation is being completed. Life is full of surprises but our hope is that we are always prepared for what might happen next.
I hope you have a great weekend!
For pic o’ day, I am posting a picture from a friend with a look-back to Halloween. This made me laugh: